Monday, May 03, 2010

IEP Day Gone Bad

It was IEP day and I really was not too stressed about the situation. After all, it was only an annual review and I’d made my peace with the only problem I felt the team had around a month ago. At least I thought I had.

“I am NOT going to recommend Ava for visual services, she does not fit state criteria” says Mr. TVI to start the meeting off on a REAL good note. Ahhhh, yes he did…I could see it in everyone’s face – complete shock for most, guilt in some and really the ONLY ass in the room was Mr. TVI – newly made DR of special education with an ego larger than ANY M.D. I’ve ever had the pleasure of opining with (my accounting friends can laugh now).

Here's a little history of the last month:
*Big blowout with Mr. TVI in front of his boss - she is there again today
*Mr. TVI calls to say he is wrong and going to recommend Ava receive the services she needs
*Mr. TVI asks for permission VIA Ms. SLP to do a "vision assessment so he can give the new TVI some tools." - I was suspect but trying to be a GOOD team player.
*Ms. SLP feel VERY, VERY BAD. She should not, it isn't her fault he's a jackball.
*It is blatantly obvious to all in attendance...Mr. TVI does not like Ava's mom

In short, he got the lady at the top, Tanni’s opinion, and forgot to tell her about a few of my daughters visual diagnoses…like strabismus and ocular motor apraxia AND when I bring this up he proclaims “HER STRABISUMS IS CURED!” in front of a room full of folks, with their own thoughts.

“Really, I’m not sure that is possible?” I say. Honestly, her strabismus is just as much apart of her neuro problems as CVI itself. Albeit I am still completely dazed, amazed a confused on how this situation with Mr. TVI has gone this far. Did I mention I am a hot head and extremely (and visibly) PISSED at this time?  I actually ask for a break to cool down.

Did I also mention the only notice of meeting I received was for a review, not an evaluation??

Did you really call the top dog and not give her the full medical report/diagnosis and then write a letter based on her decision finally to quote her saying that “CVI can not stand alone” when you know damn good and well it doesn’t??

Did you really insist that my daughter CHOOSES not to see??? More than once??  Would you tell a person with Parkinson's they shake on purpose?

Let me tell you, the answer is YES if your name is Charles Farnsworth.  Not only do you think about it, you actually do it.

Arrrggghhh…I am absolutely nutty, mad at myself for allowing this joker to do a functional vision exam. I signed for reasons that were much different than what it was used for. In addition, some quack from the St Vrain school district all the sudden becomes the expert on my daughter for vision classification.

Yeah, her name is Dr Carol Love Joy and she is supposed to be an “expert”. As a professional myself, I was completely shocked that ANYONE whom claimed to be such would form an opinion with such limited & skewed history. Seriously, did you take ethics? My daughter’s educational future is at stake.

It seems Dr Love Joy and Mr. TVI accomplished in 40 minutes with Ava more than me, the entire professional staff she has worked with at the Anchor Center, the Children’s Hospital and her home school team of providers have ever been able to solve in the past 4-years.

Where have these geniuses been? That must have been quite some day with Ava.

The solution: we will meet again with Dr Love Joy. We are the director of special education and me aka mom. We both have a few questions to ask Ms Love Joy.
In short, I’m quite positive HIPPA laws have been violated at a minimum. I’ll be serious, my intentions do not involve nasty lawsuits but I am shocked by the nature of the situation.
We will also have a meeting no later than October 1st to determine visual IEP status. The great thing – Chuck is gone in July so hopefully his replacement doesn’t start off jaded with me. In addition, Tanni will be invited to speak for her opinion expressed in Chuck’s report.

It’s really not that difficult. I’m sad so much has to be put into something so simple…so defined by their rules as obviously a service Ava deserves.  A service that allows the rest of her team access to the items they need for success too.

Thanks for reading the rant. Better to blog than insert foot in Mr. TVI's ass.  I think I can rest now.



Robyn said...

Hope I don't get my head bitten clean off for saying this, but it's hard to imagine an expert of any kind working for St. Vrain Valley School district. I have some not very nice opinions of that district, both as a para and as a parent, but I'll save them for later. I hope you get everything worked out, and I'm hoping Mr. TVI's replacement isn't as big a dick as this guy seems to be.

ferfischer said...

Wow - I am so sorry you're having to deal with this. Keep us updated. Do you guys have the ARC for advocacy up there? They really really help in IEP meetings I hear!

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

Ugh. I'll try this again. The air conditioner popped the breaker which then popped the computer off, and I'm stuck without my comment.

Long story short...what happened at the IEP should NOT have happened! I believe all states have it, but I know from experience that Colorado has something called Due Process to be used in situations like this. Essentially, Due Process halts everything from changing, and the IEP will remain intact as it's currently written until things can be resolved and parents and educators can agree on the course of education.

I didn't find out about Due Process until the superintendent of special education in our district tried forcing our daughter into middle school with no transition staffing. It's against the law. And he wasn't budging. He then lied and said that a transition staffing had been held without us as parents (again, against the law!!), because the teacher felt I was 'too emotional'. That was the WRONG thing to say to me! LOL

Anyway, we ended up having to call Due Process, because the jerk was not listening to us, and we were right, and it would have been more trauma for her to move up to the middle school than she could have handled physically or emotionally. It was a nightmare situation to say the least.

If you already know about Due Process, then please forgive the intrusion. If you don't, a good place to learn something about it is the CDE website.

Also, just a note....educators, (although some teachers will be leading the cheer squad and only let you know that they're cheering for you!), and bureaucrats at the district and school level do NOT want the state called in. They can get in big trouble, if the state is called. However, we found some of the most helpful people at the state level, and we were able to get things resolved without unnecessary bloodshed.

I just wanted to mention this to you, so you can be more prepared when you go in for your next meeting (or in case you call a special meeting for earlier, which we've also been known to do). It seems like some people within the educational system like to catch parents as flat footed as possible, so they can look better in their own eyes. It's very frustrating!

Please forgive the intrusion, if you were already aware of all of this. I wish you and little Ava the best! Your daughters are absolutely beautiful, and you're a wonderful advocate! I'm glad they have you on their side!