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Special Education/Class placement and CSe

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Question
Hi
My 8 year old has many issues- speech is spotty but rapidly improving, selective attention and tics with OCD. The tics are almost always not disruptive but he can't help it in any case. He's very sweet and social but is behind in social communication because of speech. He is very well behaved but if he's having an OCD spurt and it's mishandled it can be difficult. He has an aide but she's like a quiet babysitter.  He is performing at grade level and could be challenged in some areas where he's bright.   The district wants to dump him in a small class of kids with different problems just to avoid dealing with any of this. My son needs a uniform day and peers who can model speech. He loves his classmates and they've accepted him.  When can the school remove a child for behavior and does it matter if the behavior is biologically based. I know what's best for my son and he can be supported in the class. The aide does nothing and there's never 1:1 tutoring ever. They haven't consulted with anyone about OCD so don't understand it and tend to do the worst possible thing trying to relentlessly talk him out of it.  He's a good kid who wants to succeed and I don't know what to do And which points to highlight at a CSE so they don't steamroll me.  My son lost his dad as a baby so the school to me feels particularly cruel.  I tutor my son daily when I come home exhausted from work. I find him easy to teach because I understand he needs motivating materials and things he can relate to for learning.  I am in New York and I read this state is more school friendly than say California.

Answer
First, at the next IEP meeting when they discuss accommodations and modifications, ask about accommodations for teaching staff, specifically that they are trained in how to deal with OCD children...that should be addressed in every IEP, but rarely is.

I agree that he needs to be in a setting where he can see and hear appropriate speech modeled, providing his behavior isn't a disruption to the learning of himself or the other students.  If the behavior is that bad, then it needs to be worked on within the IEP, in the form of a Functional Behavior Analysis, followed by a Behavior Improvement Plan (2/3rds positive).  

Unfortunately most good parents of special needs children have to tutor significantly at night, so yours is not unusual.  I know this is rarely recognized, but I for one applaud you for the work you are putting into your child, in spite of working hard all day and coming home to only face for hard work!  The only relief I know is to find a good, understanding tutor who can come into your home a night or two per week, giving yourself a break and taking advantage of some expert help.  Your child's special education teacher may know some good tutors.

New York and California are considered among the better states for special needs instruction, but then, I have found wonderful teachers in Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Kentucky, I have also seen some teachers who should have never gone into the business.  

Regarding the CSE, which is often called something else in other states, you are an equal member of that team, and what you need discussed should be heard.  Since the school has, by law, 4 voting members and you are 1, the law requires consensus, which means you can be out voted.  You have legal complaint procedure if you are not pleased with the discussion.  Start by discussing the decision with your Special Education Director.  If that doesn't help, the you can call your state department of education, ask for Exceptional Student Services Complaint personnel.  All states are required to have three procedures available, A formal Complaint investigated by the state department, mediation if both sides agree, and due process hearings.  The complaint person can explain those to you.

When can they remove him from school if his problem is biologically based.  Only for the first 9 days of suspension, then they have to prove that the behavior getting him disciplined is not related to his disability.  To avoid the 9 days that he can be removed, I would have the IEP Team (CSE) discuss the need for a Behavior Intervention Plan, preceded by a Functional Behavioral Analysis.  

You can search any of these terms I have written by any search engine on the computer.  There are many good informational sites out there.  

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Dr. Norm Bishop

Expertise

I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.

Experience

I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Organizations
Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Publications
Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

Education/Credentials
I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

Past/Present Clients
-Confidential-

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