I’ve always felt like I’ve been the best advocate that I could possibly be for my children. Imagine my surprise when I was hit with the news not even a week ago I in fact had not been.
My middle child, my sweet biddy boy Caleb started Kindergarten this past August. After a year of preschool and working with at home he was still lacking a bit on knowing letters, and numbers but I had complete confidence in our district that they would do what was right for my child along with myself advocating for him as well.
From August until November I watched my child regress. I watched him go from a confident, sweet, always smiling child to very closed off, unhappy, and his confidence had taken a huge hit. As much as we worked with him at home I could see a disconnect. The nights were on, the wheels were turning, but he just couldn’t process.
I asked for testing to be done through our school. An ETR (evaluation team report) was administered, test results were briefly brushed over, and an IEP was “set in place”. I admit fully to the responsibility of not asking enough questions, not pushing for more answers. I was promised my child would receive 3 days individualized services, 2 days of group. He would also begin receiving speech services as well.
The year went on and I noticed no change. Caleb was not picking up, when I would work with him at home he identify 1 out of 3 letters half of the time. I hit a level of frustration wondering what was I doing wrong? How could I do more? What could I do to help his teachers? So much limited progress pushed me to have yet another meeting with his education team. I was assured that he was receiving his services, and that “they just didn’t know what else we could do”.
I had the discussion then of possibly retaining Caleb. Another year just to mature might do wonders for him? I still had not made up my mind yet.
I continued to work with him at home. I saw some progress but very little.
In May I received through the mail a letter for retention. The letter stated that we “had already had a meeting determining retention was best”. No such meeting had occurred so I refused to sign.
In the midst of all of this we recently moved; we now have a choice of 3 districts my husband urged to send to his home school, as I battled the decision of leaving my boys where they were already going, or send them to a new school the following year. After hearing several times from Caleb that he wasn’t going to his “special class I decided not a week ago I would schedule an appointment with the guidance counselor to see how his IEP would be handled there. She asked for a copy of his IEP and ETR to review.
I asked our current district for the copy, and they were very hesitant to giving me this copy.
Once at the new district I watch the guidance counselors body lau gage and find that maybe something is up with this IEP and ETR.
The guidance counselor closes the meeting by saying “I know for a fact we can do better then this”.
Cue scratching of my head in bewilderment.
After 5 reviews of 5 special education background individuals I find that this individualized education plan had in fact been a copy and pasted document that midway through they left the other child’s name “Christian” will be given the Woodcock to assess his annual progress yearly in areas of basic reading skills. Caleb will need the following interventions. . .
And it goes on.
I also find the my child’s IQ score was incredibly low. They chose not to disclose this with me more then likely because they knew this test was NOT administered correctly.
I was told he tested at 4 years and 6 months on his testing which put him behind only 6 months, yet IQ score barely had him at a functioning level.
I learned that my child had not received a second of intervention time, no time spent with a special education teacher, and rarely received speech services. I learned many things.
I’m heart broken. I feel like the highest failure a parent could possibly be. I failed my child miserably, our current district failed him; but Momma is the one person you should always be able to count on to be in your back corner advocating for you, and I didn’t. I trusted our district to do what was right. A district who had done so well with Caiden, a child who thrives.
I’ve learned a lot about trusting someone else to do right for your children.
We’ve made the decision to send to the other district, I’ve learned to NEVER EVER again sign for such a paper on the same day. Caleb is now receiving tutoring throughout the summer to hopefully get him at a level of a starting Kindergartener. He’s receiving speech services outside of the home, and this mommy plans to be in contact with the OHIO BOARD OF EDUCATION this week. It won’t help my child, but how many others have they done this to?
Advocate for your children, trust no one else to do what is right for their education because when it comes down to it no one is more concerned about doing what’s right then Mommas.