In July of 2003 I received a letter from the case manager enclosed with the new IEP document that was to contain the changes that we had agreed upon in our settlement at the courthouse.
I read and reviewed the IEP document. Everything in the settlement was in there but I happened to notice a few minor errors. I wrote an extremely polite letter to the Special Education Director. There were four bullet points with the corrections that needed to be made. I also stated that I attached each IEP page and highlighted the errors that needed to be changed in an effort to make it easy for the district. Because for some reason, IEP pages were not numbered. Perhaps, this was a tool of the districts so they were less likely to get caught when they left out pages in the IEP making them less likely to get caught by a parent then if the pages had actually been numbered. Anyway, my letter ended, “Other than these few small changes I believe everything else looks correct and I thank you for your time.” I mailed it certified, return receipt.
I received the Director’s response. No matter how hard I tried to communicate in a polite and business like manner his responses were always were rude and abrupt. In short he said, “In your letter you requested that more changes be made to your son’s IEP. These changes are in addition to those that you on July 9, 2003 swore under oath in court would complete your son’s 2003-2004 IEP.”
Why did he have to be such a prick? They were inaccurate factual mistakes that the district had made that I asked to be corrected. They were not changes to the program, services, or placement. He just tried to provoke me any chance he got. I remember the first time I had met him I thought he was an attractive older man with striking blue eyes. But as soon as he opened his mouth anything attractive about him faded and his ugly personality took over.
While this was all going on I also received a letter from the Masonic Learning Center for children denying my son entry into the Orton Gillingham Tutoring program. I had applied to the program for my son more then a year before so I was disappointed to receive a denial letter. I decided I would call the center. After all, my son was the perfect candidate for the program and we had waited for more then a year. How could they deny a child a program after being on such a long waiting list? It didn’t seem right to deny someone a chance more then a year later. Couldn’t they have told us sooner if that was the case? I wanted to know. I got in touch with the program director. I told her my son desperately needed the program. I also stated that while I knew there was a long wait, how could they turn around a deny someone even an evaluation more then a year later. We had patiently waited and had our hopes up high. It wasn’t fair. Then I found out they were
denying my son based upon the school reports that made him look like a behavior problem. I made a plea for my son, how the school was wrong, how they had just settled with me, how my son’s behavior’s were due to his frustration. I said, “Please, I know my son has a severe reading disability and he needs help.” It worked. I told her I would travel anywhere in the state of New Jersey if she just gave him a chance. I received a letter. We were accepted into the program and placed on a secondary waiting list to get into one of three centers that was listed on a new letter.
Then on August 1, 2003 I sent a letter to my son’s case manager with two requests to the case manager:
“1. I would like to set up a meeting in the beginning of the year with the staff who will be teaching my son this year so we can discuss his needs, strengths, and weaknesses.”
“2.I would like to review my son’s entire and complete school file including all cumulative and confidential educational records (tests, evaluations, special education records, medical records or letters, formal and informal correspondence,discipline records, tape recordings, all data collection, e-mail’s, and teacher to teacher notes).”
It ended, “Thank you for your time and I look forward to a successful school year and communications between us as we work together in my son’s best interest.”
I set up an appointment to review my son’s records. In it I found a few peculiar things. There was a note saying that my son flips desks. Remember the one incident that my son pushed his desk away when asked to read and then placed himself in the corner and started to cry. Let them tell the story he was “flipping desks”. There was also some of my son’s artwork in there marked “inappropriate”. It was a picture of a dragon and knight. Wow, they were really stretching things to make a case against my son. And lastly there was a post it note that read, “MOM DOESN’T STOP- KNOW ALL”!
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT