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Asperger's Syndrome Message Board
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:56 PM   #1
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briternik HB User
Aspergers and IEP Question

I am pretty new to this board and can't find any information related to the issue I am having. My son who is 14 was diagnosed with Asperger's about 4 years ago. He is very anti-social and doesn't really have any close friends. He keeps pretty much to himself and doesn't cause any disruptions in the classroom. However, he has a hard time with schoolwork. Sometimes he can focus without too much problem and sometimes he will go for hours in a "daze". Everything he does do, though, is done at a very slow pace.
Earlier in the school year, one of his teachers was giving him detention for being "slow" with his schoolwork. I asked her not to punish him for his disability. She said he needed to be held accountable for his actions, but I didn't have any problem with that for awhile. She recently started giving him lunch detentions again for not finishing work during the time she required. Also, another teacher that she works closely with gave him a detention the same week for reading a book while she was trying to do a test review. She said if he did this again she is going to put him in ISS (in-school suspension). I seriously doubt that any other child has ever been suspended for reading a book. I don't see why she just didn't take the book away until class was over.
I feel devastated that my son is being put in detentions for things he has no control of. It seems like he is being grouped with the "trouble-makers".
My son has never told me anything about what happens during the school day. I have to pry information out of him. During his 9 years of school, I bet he hasn't mentioned a teacher to me over 10 times (either good or bad). However, this year at least weekly he comes home saying how much he dislikes this one teacher. The fact that he bothers to say anything makes me think she must really be tormenting him.
Anyway, I have a conference set up this week with the head of the Special Ed dept. Is there anything that I need to be asking for, or any information that anyone can give me to point me in the right direction? I guess I really don't know what my rights are as a parent of a special ed student? Thanks so much.

 
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

I am sorry that your son is having such a hard time. Does he have a 504 plan? If he does not you need to get one for him right away. If he has one you need to make certain that all of the teachers are aware of the accomodations that are in the 504 and make sure that they know that they are legally required to follow the 504 plan. Some secondary school teachers really do not understand their legal responsibility. Make sure that the principal, not just the special ed. teacher, is involved in making sure that all of his teachers are aware of his rights under the 504.

I would also remove him from that particular teachers classroom and find a more suitable class. That teacher could be a good teacher, and her methods may be effective for some students. However, it appears that she is having a detremental effect on your child. You need to find a classroom that he will thrive in.

 
Old 04-03-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Thanks Betsey Ann. Yes, he does have the 504 plan and all of his teachers are aware of his modifications. Basically, he is only required to do 1/2 of the Math problems that other students are assigned and has less work in most of the other classes too.
Our meeting this week is going to specifically deal with how he will be punished when he doesn't "accept responsibility for his actions". I don't think he needs to be punished for being slow. I understand that they don't want the other students to see him getting by with things that they aren't allowed to and as of now, I don't have any suggestions for them.

 
Old 04-03-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Does positive reenforcement work better for your son? Instead of punishing him for working slowly perhaps they could have some rewards in place when he works more quickly. What type of things are motivating for him?

 
Old 04-04-2007, 12:29 AM   #5
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

First off,the word punishment should not be used and it should not be written into the plan. Rather, there should be a whole set of consequences. Some of these consquences can appear to be negative but are really just the absence of positive reinforcers. For this to work, you need to have a list of positive reinforcers that appeal to him and that he is willing to work for. For the sake of example, let's use pennies. If he completes all his work, he gets 10 pennies. Half the work is 5 pennies, no work is no pennies. The consequences are employed automatically and without emotion on the part of the teacher or aide. It's pretty much a basic cause and effect set up and he will learn what causes are required to bring about what effects. There are two key principles to employ: consistency across all providers and a set of consequences (reinforcers) that work for him. Finding reinforcers can be difficult as there may not be much that motivates him or that which does may not be readily available in the school. Also, reinforcers can change over time. Points or a token economy don't work too well as the reinforcement (or consequence) needs to be employed immediately.

a 504 plan is an accomodation for an individual based on his or her needs - it is not dependant on what other students think or feel about it. Also, keep in mind that in most cases all specialized services are based on the student's needs so try and phrase all the services you would like him to have, especially surrounding "punishment" or consequences and reinforcers are worded with his needs as a priorty. For example, "....needs constant and immediate positive reinforcement when a task is completed." From there, it can get more specific such as "when 5 math problems are completed within x amount of time, ....will receive....." (less time or fewer problems are reinforced with a lesser consequence - not punishment). Good luck.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 05:19 AM   #6
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Thanks for the advice. Actually, I think I misquoted. The word they use is "discipline", not punishment. I understand what you are saying about the positivie reinforcement. You are correct in that it is very hard to motivate him. Actually, he really doesn't care if he is assigned lunch detention or ISS. He is content to just sit in his own little world without being around other people at all. It is more me that the isolation bothers.
Also, when he gets upset (such as when attention is put on him by being griped at) that is ALL he can think about for hours- literally. I'm sure at that point he isn't listening to the teachers at all. His mind just races and it's hard to pull him out of it.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 07:43 AM   #7
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by briternik View Post
I am pretty new to this board and can't find any information related to the issue I am having. My son who is 14 was diagnosed with Asperger's about 4 years ago. He is very anti-social and doesn't really have any close friends. He keeps pretty much to himself and doesn't cause any disruptions in the classroom. However, he has a hard time with schoolwork. Sometimes he can focus without too much problem and sometimes he will go for hours in a "daze". Everything he does do, though, is done at a very slow pace.
Earlier in the school year, one of his teachers was giving him detention for being "slow" with his schoolwork. I asked her not to punish him for his disability. She said he needed to be held accountable for his actions, but I didn't have any problem with that for awhile. She recently started giving him lunch detentions again for not finishing work during the time she required. Also, another teacher that she works closely with gave him a detention the same week for reading a book while she was trying to do a test review. She said if he did this again she is going to put him in ISS (in-school suspension). I seriously doubt that any other child has ever been suspended for reading a book. I don't see why she just didn't take the book away until class was over.
I feel devastated that my son is being put in detentions for things he has no control of. It seems like he is being grouped with the "trouble-makers".
My son has never told me anything about what happens during the school day. I have to pry information out of him. During his 9 years of school, I bet he hasn't mentioned a teacher to me over 10 times (either good or bad). However, this year at least weekly he comes home saying how much he dislikes this one teacher. The fact that he bothers to say anything makes me think she must really be tormenting him.
Anyway, I have a conference set up this week with the head of the Special Ed dept. Is there anything that I need to be asking for, or any information that anyone can give me to point me in the right direction? I guess I really don't know what my rights are as a parent of a special ed student? Thanks so much.




Hi, I havent' been here in a while, but your son sounds like my daughter. She was diagnosed with Aspergers three months ago but had other diagnosis' before that including: sensory processing disorder, selective mutism, anxiety disorder. She is in first grade and she never tells us anything about her day or even if she does not feel well. She has never expressed verbally any emotion she is feeling so it is very difficult for us to really "know" how she is feeling. She also has non-verbal learning disability which makes it nearly impossible for her to verbalize many things although she started talking at 8 months and knew some colors at that age.

Anyway, does your son have an IEP or 504 plan? If you can get an IEP in place, it is much better than the 504. You can have really anything put in the IEP that would help your son with specific issues he has. Our daughter's IEP includes more time to take tests, one on one for personal instruction, special ed bus, and many other things.

Once you have one in place, make sure the teachers and school follow what is in the IEP. It's sad to say, but you have to keep on top of them. We had an incident where the art teacher yelled at my daughter for not doing her art project "right". You can bet I called her and told her that that is unacceptable, and told her of my daughter's special needs (which includes developmental delays in fine and gross motor skills).

That teacher that seems to be giving your son trouble needs to be reprimanded. I would call the school and keep checking up on her. No child should be treated like that but if you make yourself known and heard, the school will have to do something whether it's putting him in another class or something like that.

When you have the meeting, address the problems with the teacher your son has. Always remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil!

Oh, and by the way, the only reason I found out that the art teacher yelled at my daughter is because a friend of mine who has a daughter in the same class and is friends with my daughter, called and told me. If she hadn't called, I never would have known.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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firenice HB User
Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

"that is ALL he can think about for hours- literally. I'm sure at that point he isn't listening to the teachers at all. His mind just races and it's hard to pull him out of it."

This then would be part of the accomodation; teachers and aides would need to know that this is how he responds and intervene accordingly depending on what you set up as a proper intervention.

Also, dvalred is right, if you can get the 504 upgraded to a full IEP there is much more clout in that. There are some good books for parents on IDEA and IEP. Do a net search on Individual Education Plan.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 01:44 PM   #9
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briternik HB User
Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Thanks again. He is on an IEP. I was thinking that the IEP and 504 were the same thing. Originally, before his diagnosis he was on 504, but is on IEP now.
My meeting is tomorrow. I guess I need to do some more research before then. Wish me luck.
Dvalred, yes- my son sounds a lot like your daughter. Once our school had a bomb threat and I found out about it on TV. It was over quickly, but when my son came home that day, he didn't mention a word to me about it. I also, like you, hear about things from friends of mine whose kids are in his class.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 08:36 PM   #10
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Re: Aspergers and IEP Question

Good luck tomorrow. I hope you are able to get an effective IEP in place. My thoughts will be with you.

 
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