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Unread 07-12-2006, 12:06 AM   #155
Rubber Obsessor
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Aiea, HI
Posts: 164

Originally Posted by barbf
My 9 year old son had a lot of trouble in the regular classroom this past year, that environment was too much for him and he became disruptive. So we started the IEP process. The school district did lots of testing and diagnosed him with ASD. Per his IEP, he was in the special ed room all day, except for gym, music, and art. The special ed room was also too stimulating for him and at the beginning of May his IEP was changed so that he was put in the Excel room (only autistic kids). That was a nightmare. The kids in there are MUCH less verbal than Aaron, there was a lot of yelling & screaming by the other kids in there. The school district said that next year they are changing the Excel room structure - there will be 2 rooms, one for grades K-2 the other 3-5 grades, and that this will be a much better environment for him.

We had been to see a pediatrician in our town about Aaron about 9 months ago as we suspected that he had a form of autism. This doctor was supposedly the "expert" in town, and his advice was to look on the internet for information and to start my own support group. Jerk. We were so dissatisfied with that pediatrician, that we went to a pediatrician in Fargo, ND (closest town with more medical services - we are in north central MN). This doctor immediately had blood work done, and MRI, an EEG, a neuropsych evaluation, and an evaluation by a child psychiatrist. So we are in the middle of having lots of testing done. The MRI & EEG were normal. The blood work showed high TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), so today we were back in Fargo meeting with an endocrinologist who put him on thyroid medication. Last Wednesday were were also in Fargo for a whole day of neuropsych testing - can't wait until we get those results. The neuropsychologist made a comment that although he doesn't have the results of all the testing, he thinks Aaron may be too verbal for a diagnosis of autism.

So now we're really confused. I had been told that the school district is quick to put a child on the autism spectrum because then they get increased funding. Like I said, I'm really anxious for all this testing to be done and to actually have a medical diagnosis. Another thing the neuropsychologist said - he was surprised that Aaron could get special ed services without a medical diagnosis! I had been so impressed with the people at the school district, and it really seemed like everything they were doing was the best thing for Aaron - but now I'm not sure I trust them. I guess I probably trusted them "blindly" because both my parents were teachers, and I naturally thought that all in the education field only have the child's best interest in mind, and I never thought of questioning them. My husband is just the opposite - he doesn't trust any of them (they are somewhat condescending to him - that really sets him off).

All these evaluations and testing are taking so much time - Aaron's appointment with the child psychiatrist isn't until the end of September (although it is likely this will be bumped up when other patients cancel appointments). I will be contacting the neuropsychologist's office in the next day or two to find out results of his testing. I'm trying to hold off on changing my opinion of the school district until we have a definate medical diagnosis.

At times Aaron also has some severe behavioral issues. Themrs - I can totally relate to your story about your 3 year old. Aaron has had some terrible outbursts. And he's getting bigger and more difficult to control.

Nice to hear we're not alone.

Hi Barb,

I'm kind of confused as to how the school can label a child with ASD when it is a medical diagnosis. As a special education teacher for the last 15 years, I can guarantee you that if your son were in my school he would not be labeled as having ASD without the medical diagnosis. It really bothers me that some people can be so unprofessional and not follow procedures that are specifically laid out in the law and not get into trouble for it. The common theme that I've read in these posts about becoming your child's advocate is true. You need to educate yourself on the law and then armed with this information along with the test results from every specialist you've seen meet with the school and discuss your child's needs. The school cannot say they don't have a program to meet your child's needs due to funding, etc. This is against the law. If the school fails to meet your child's needs, go through the due process procedure with all of your data in hand. The biggest reason schools lose due process hearings is because they do not have the data necessary to prove their position. Here in Hawaii, we have several private schools where children with ASD receive services at the Department of Education's expense because of the lack of appropriate services at the child's home school.

I wish you good luck with all the evaluations.

beccasuehi is offline  
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