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Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

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Old 04-23-2007, 09:53 AM   #1
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Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

I am new stepmom of a 12 year old, mildy mentally retarded daughter. I have no children of my own. My stepdaughter is an absolute joy. She is enthusiastic, well behaved, happy, hard working and has outstanding family support at her full time home with her mother's family(supportive stepdad, 18 year old sister and 16 year old brother) and her every other weekend home with her dad and me. She has been in a self contained special ed class in public school for many years and is about to finish the 6th grade. She has always gotten A's and B's but cannot read, write or make change. This weekend her father and I helped her with her homework which involved learning about Islam. Previously we helped her learn about Buddism. We are not against her learning about Islam and other religions, but we feel that learning how to read street signs and making change is more important. Next year she will need to attend a Jr high and the school wants to mainstream her as a 7th grader! Her mother is well educated on her special needs and is looking for alternatives. I want to help as much as I can. Does anybody have any experience in "fighting" for a childs' right to learn the basics? The IDEA states that every child has the right to a free education and to learn the basics. If the school refuses to provide this, can we get then to fund the cost of private education alternatives? Any advice is welcome!

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Old 04-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

The school might be trying to keep their percentage of students in special ed. classes low as mandated by state/federal law. If her parents don't feel that mainstreaming is an appropriate instructional setting then they need to make their feelings known at the IEP meeting. The school is required to have a meeting in order to change her placement.

Old 04-23-2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

Well I think during the IEP meeting you all need to mention about meeting the basic skills of life such as counting, making change, reading street signs. You could have her put into work program where they take special education students into jobs but there are people to teach them what to do. You can tell them that you want her to first meet these needs, but if you have time you should go to school where you can be supportive. I think the learning can be done with the parent present as well. You could try to teach her some things at home. Have a nice day.


Old 05-17-2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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Re: Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

Don't forget, ANYONE can call and IEP meeting. If you request one, the school has only a certain number of days to hold the meeting. As much as schools/districts dislike parents refusing the sign an IEP, you can refuse to sign if everything is not to your liking. Good luck. I know you will do what you feel is best for your daughter.

Old 07-17-2007, 12:03 AM   #5
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bumblebee HB User
Re: Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

Hi- You might try googling IDEA and student/parent rights. Your local school district is required to provide your step daughter with an FAPE- free appropriate public education. They are not required to supply all the bells and whistles, such as private education.

By all means contact your daughter's teacher of record and let him/her know your concerns about your daughter's inclusion in general ed classes.

Old 08-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: Child in Spec Ed - Still can't read - school wants to mainstream her

Hi, I'm a special ed. teacher and this is a common problem. We are required to teach the state standards, but these often are not what the child really needs. Contact your daughter's case carrier and tell her what you'd like to be included in her educational plan, the teacher/case carrier will write these up into yearly goals with periodic steps called "objectives". Make sure you know how she'll be tested and how often. Ask for the results of these assessments.

A lot of parents feel uncomfortable in IEP meetings, if this is the case with you, inquire about local advocates. These people can attend the meeting with you and they'll make sure your daughter is getting what she needs.

Believe me, I know from experience, the squeaky wheels gets the oil!! Good luck! -pam

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