Friday, August 22, 2008

The Never Ending Roller-coaster Ride

We are home from Ethan's IEP meeting and it's all I can do to keep from making myself a tall stiff alcoholic beverage right now, and not because there is reason to celebrate. 

The school district we're in feels that they can address all of Ethan's educational needs and so have declined our request to send him to the deaf school. We're pretty taken aback by their decision because there are 3 children in Ethan's class from our district and one of them is not even deaf (she's severely apraxic) and all 3 of them have a full ride paid for by the district. What a difference one person can make on an IEP team; the person who used to be in charge of those decisions has left the district and we got to break in the new guy today. I guess he felt that he had something to prove and our case was a good way to prove it. 

I really don't want to wallow here, or anywhere, because that just isn't the way I roll, but damn it if I don't feel like the universe owes us a break! We uprooted our lives for this opportunity! What more are we supposed to do? 

We'll continue to fight. We'll go through the process of appealing the decision and we'll get mediation and go to court over it if we have to. And Ethan will be be in good hands at his new school until we just can't fight it anymore. 

But really, he deserves this and I just can't believe that we're going to fail at giving it to him. 


slouching mom said...

oh, no. oh, no. i am so sorry. hopefully you will make some noise and they will quickly realize their error.

you're right: it shouldn't have to be this hard.

Julie said...

Oh, I am so sorry.

They never want to let a kiddo transfer out to a deaf (or other special) school, and I bet you can guess why... MONEY!

Do you have any idea how much money they get for each "disabled" kid they have enrolled? I don't even know what it is now, but 10+ years ago it was $15K/kid/year.

Hang in there :0) Fight. Make noise. Get a big team together. Honestly, go into the next meeting with as many professionals and advocates as you can bring.

Don't hear this as me saying, "It's all your fault because you did something wrong", because that's not what I think :0), but here's what I have to do:

I psych myself up by reminding myself that I am the "General Contractor" of my children, and everyone else is a "sub"(contractor). They exist (and my taxes pay their salaries) to serve my children's needs. I am The Expert on my kids. (Oh, those people can be so arrogant!)

I wonder if the folks at St. Rita's (isn't that where you want Ethan placed?) have faced this before? They may have a support team already in place to come alongside you.

I don't know what's in your area, but there must be people who have been in your shoes before.

I'm mad too, and I've never met Ethan!

Kel said...

Good gosh, that is just not right! I'm so sorry they're making you fight this fight, because you're right, it really shouldn't be this hard. Good luck!

Kyla said...

Oh no, Heather! That's terrible. I hope you can change their minds (and easily).

I am Trish Marie said...

In your fight, I would bring up what you expect them to provide, if they can, as they say, provide everything that he needs. I would gladly give you an inventory of what Emmi's public school has. She goes to the elementary that is the magnet for deaf ed. They have in-house audiology, a sound booth, equipment to sound check all three brands on implants, fm systems, rooms modified with PA systems...the list goes on and on. And that is just the equipment. I haven't even gotten into the education of her teachers and the staff.

I am so sorry to hear about this. Why does it all have to be such a battle. I mean, haven't you been through enough yet?!

Tracey said...

Oh dear... I'm sorry it's so hard to get the help he needs. Luckily he has strong parents to advocate for him.

Good luck!

BTW, I found you because I loved your avatar name of Hetha! Made me giggle. :)

Drew's Mom said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this. You're right - you do deserve a break. Why can't anything be easy?

You're great at advocating for Ethan, and you know what's best for him. Follow your gut, no matter how hard the fight!

Let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We're more than happy to provide a little alcohol for you! :)

Kristina (emma's mom) said...

I am so sorry for you. I was hoping that you wouldn't have to go into another battle for Ethan. He (and you) really deserve a break. Does St. Rita's have some assistance to offer you? Since they have others from your district at the school, perhaps they have been through this before? I hope that others who have walked a similar path can help you address this need with as little hassle as necessary. Good luck! If I can do anything to help, please let me know.

Eileen said...

That just sucks! I am so very sorry. It just figures you would get the new guy, who wants to flex his muscles. It makes me so mad because it comes down to money.

Honestly, appeal, show up with a lawyer and don't give up. I know you won't anyway, but damn, you have been through too much. It should not be this hard to get your child the services he needs.

Sending you hugs and hope.

KC said...


This totally sucks but it's not the end. I like the suggestion to see if St.Rita's has been through this - would anyone there be willing to speak on his behalf? Totally appeal.

This is injustice. I'm going to beat someone.

She said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Furious! This just makes me so ANGRY! Who does this guy think he is?

Fight, Heather, and fight hard!

You know how schools are. They don't want trouble as in lawyers and such, so show up with one!

You do deserve a break and damn it, it should not be this hard!

I'm so sorry.

Nikkicole said...

dont say that you are going to fail at anything because you wont get very far with it if you do say that

trust me i should know and i know you well enough to know that you are not a quitter

marylee said...

This is definitely a failure, but YOUR failure?! I think not. Time for a big dog. Ohio Legal Rights Services. (and a little margarita never hurt anybody)

Lotta said...

How frustrating! Gah!

Nicky said...

This makes me so mad and sad. You have been through so much already. I know it's exhausting but fight it and fingers crossed the decision will be overturned. We have found that the odd alcoholic beverage helps in these situations :) grrrr

leahlefler said...

Oh, Heather- I am so sorry you have to go through this just to get Ethan the best educational placement for his specific needs! Seriously, if they approved a hearing-but-apraxic child for the deaf school, why in the world would they deny a little boy who is both deaf and apraxic? It just makes no sense. He needs a different environment for both receptive and expressive communication- I can't believe that they don't agree St. Rita's is his LRE.

I wish I had some words of wisdom (or some words that might be helpful in a legal sense). My mama bear is growling...