Misunderstood Kids

Your child not only acts a bit differently than other kids but is treated differently too. You probably have a whole library of voices in your head, voices from neighbors, teachers, friends, and relatives. They sound like this..."If you'd only just whack him a good one now and then he'd straighten up." or "That family is so dysfunctional it's no wonder she turned out that way." You hear them all the time, said to your face or whispered just within your hearing. You know it isn't true. You know you've given your life to your child. You know that you were powerless to change how your child turned out.

So where does willful behavior end and uncontrollable behavior begin? Our group has discussed this often and the one thing we have pretty much agreed on is that once a rage has begun it's pretty hard to change the course of it. Often doing or saying anything to the child will prolong her rage. The best course of action is to try and head the child off before they begin. A good way to do that is to try to find the triggers that set your child off. Keeping a diary is a tried and true method.  This diary should help you see what triggers your child to rage and it may be possible to head some of them off before they start.

A common theory is that children who rage have a fairly consistent underlying anger that can be set off by triggers. If you can see what happened just before the rage you may be able to prevent some of them in the future. Often it's as simple as telling them no. A good way around this is to offer your child choices in everything. It helps them feel in control of their lives. Choices can be simple..."No, you can't wear those red socks with that yellow outfit but you can choose between the white socks and the yellow ones." When your child is given a choice he salvages pride and has some control over his environment which is what he often needs.

Links to websites that may be of interest. 

ADDHelpline for Educators
ADHD articles http://search.about.com/fullsearch.htm?terms=adhd&PM=59_0100_S

Advocate Information   http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/advocate.htm

Advocacy & Regulations http://wrightslaw.com/ 

Asperger's Syndrome: Preemies http://www.tonyattwood.com/paper4.htm

Autism www.geocities.com/dalenancyc/autismpage.html

Brian's Story - a boy allergic to red dye http://www.spidercreations.com/brian/

Changing Attentional Patterns - Dr. Weathers explores the possibility of attention problems being unlearned http://addhelpline.homestead.com/caer.html

Chat Schedule: Adults caring for Special Needs Children and For Disabled Adults http://members.tripod.com/LeeLydon/chat.html

Classroom Behavior Modification Tips
101 Tips that can implemented in the classroom to help your child become more
successful  http://addhelpline4.homestead.com/behavemodification.html

Child Safe: We have always thought that if a school employee took our child off the school property without our permission, he would be fired and charged with  kidnapping. This is not true! There is no law or school rule stating that an employee can not take your child anywhere he wants, whenever he wants. The policy that no employee will take your children off the school property is "assumed" and not enforceable .http://childsafe.tripod.com/home.html

Circle of Inclusion  http://www.circleofinclusion.org/

Disabilities  http://www.irsc.org/

Educational Placement http://www.air.org/cecp/resources/stats/defedplc.html

Dr. Koop - check your meds here http://www.drkoop.com/ 

Feingold Diet - Explore the affects of the Feingold Program on behavior

Homeschooling Our Special Angels http://www.angelfire.com/zine/homeschoolspec

Homeschool World http://www.angelfire.com/ms2/homeschoolworld

IDEA Policy  http://www.ideapolicy.org/IDEA%20Regulations/parentally_placed_children_in_pr.htm

IDEA Resouces http://www.ideapractices.org/resources.htm

Individual's with Disabilities Education Act  http://www.kidstogether.org/idea.html

LD Association site  http://www.ldanatl.org/

LD Resources  http://www.ldresources.com/   

Live and Learn  http://www.liveandlearn.com/learn.html  

Medical info  http://cp.gsm.com/fromcpo.asp

Mothers From Hell 2 http://www.mothersfromhell2.org 

Nichcy http://www.nichcy.org/

NORD National Organization of Rare Disorders http://www.rarediseases.org/

PACER Home Page  http://www.pacer.org/

Pierre Robin Syndrome, Stickler Syndrome  http://www.members.tripod.com/barrypatch

Pierre Robin Network  http://www.pierrerobin.org

Reed Martin, J.D. , Special Education Law  http://www.reedmartin.com/index.html

Special Education, Learning Disabilities Resources  http://www.iser.com

Special Education News: Covering breaking news in grades pre-K through 12 http://www.specialednews.com

Special Education Law - Slide Show that accompanies the Tests and Measurements http://www.wrightslaw.com/slideindex.htm

Special Education Law - Understanding Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Attorney, Educator and Advocate. http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/tests_measurements.html

Special Education Law -How to Write Powerful IEPs http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/iep_guidance.html

The Arc of the United States - A national organization on mental retardation http://www.thearc.org/

Tourette Syndrome and Rage - http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/rage.htm  

U.S. Department of Education (ED) http://www.ed.gov/

US department of Ed. Site  http://www.maec.org/links.html

Web MD http://my.webmd.com/index

Wake up and smell the caffeine with this Caffeine Quiz.

Give yourself a break with these Relaxation Exercises.

IEP Information and Links

An IEP (Individual Education Plan) is for services that your child needs to advance in school.

Go to the IEP with goals that you want your kids to meet.   There is a lot more to this than this brief summary.  It does appear that checking the box stating that you disagree with the IEP or asking for a due process hearing may really get the ball rolling.  Also, you don't have to sign an IEP but they can still implement it.  The only IEP that the school needs you to sign is the first one.  After that, they can still implement an  IEP even if you don't sign it.  You need to disagree with it and ask for a due process hearing.

Depending on your location, a due process hearing can cost the school over $20,000.  The school has a strong incentive to mediate and get you your services.  They may win the due process hearing but if the services requested cost less that $20,000, they've lost the war.  Most schools don't meet the timelines set forth in IDEA because it is almost physically impossible given the way that Special Ed services can be cut, even though it is supposedly against the law to do that.  It is recommended  that if we requested an evaluation and the school couldn't do it within 10 days, don't pitch a
bitch if it can be done within a month or a reasonable time.  Save your fights.  Pick your battles.   It also depends on how close it may be to IEP time.  You can request an IEP at anytime.  So, if you do an IEP and then your child makes significant progress or you learn something new about services that he needs, request a new one.

12 Steps to a Successful IEP/IFSP Meeting  http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/a1.htm

Awesome Library - Individualized Education Plan  http://www.awesomelibrary.org/IEP.html

Conflict Resolution in Special Education -  IEP Conflict Resolution Chart.

Guidelines for Successful Communication  http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/comm.htm

Making the Most of Your Child's Education  http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/making.htm

The Family's Role in the IFSP / IEP Process  http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/famrole.htm

Remember that the IEP which is for services, unlike a 504 which is for accommodations.  A child can have both an IEP and a 504, but does not necessarily have or need both.

If you imagine that all school kids are contained within a circle, there is a subset (a smaller circle within the circle) of 504 kids. 

504 is a very broad term and it mostly involves making accommodations for kids.  There is no funding attached to Section 504.  Within the 504 subset there is another subset of Special Ed or IDEA.  There is funding involved with Special Ed from the federal level and hopefully the state. 

Unfortunately, if you want services, you will be better off trying to move your children into the Special Ed circle since there is some money attached to it.  Being in the 504 circle will get you accommodations but you will really have to fight if they are costly accommodations.

The definition of students protected under 504 includes those with a “record” of a disability or “regarded as” having a disability. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.3(j)(1).

Section 504 Manual http://members.tripod.com/BrianKelley/504.html#section504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute which provides that: "No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance or activity conducted by any executive agency or by the United States Postal Service." 29 U.S.C. 794.

Section 504 guarantees an appropriate special education as well as accessibility to regular education programs. It requires that all children with disabilities be provided a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. A person with a disability under Section 504 is any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment. This definition differs from that found in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which defines specific disabling conditions. Because of this difference, some individuals who are not qualified for special education under IDEA may be qualified for special services under Section 504. In addition to students who are eligible under the definition of Section 504 but not under the definition of IDEA, there may also be students who have a disability according to both definitions but do not require special education. For example, some students who use wheelchairs may be qualified under both definitions. They may not require special education, but they may require special accommodations under Section 504. More at http://ericec.org/faq/sectn504.htm

So, What is 504?  http://denver.digitalcity.com/can/504.htm

Special Education Law - Section 504 and IDEA 97 Compared by Rosenfeld     http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/504_IDEA_Rosenfeld.html

504 Plan FAQ:  Frequency Asked Questions
   Letter of Introduction
1. What is a 504 plan?
2. How is a student considered for a 504 plan?
3. What are examples of "major life activities"?
4. What is the process for placing a student on a 504 plan?
5. Who is involved in the process?
6. What is the teacher(s) role/responsibility in the 504 placement process?
7. What accommodations might be included in the 504 plan?
8. What if I disagree with the 504 plan or any of its components? What are my rights?
9. Once the plan is approved, what are my responsibilities?
10. Can a 504 plan be altered and can I request changes in the plan?
11. If I sign off on a 504 plan, what is my accountability?
12. Can I call the union office with questions or concerns regarding
individual students, placements, and 504 plans?

LD OnLine: Section 504 & IDEA: Basic Similarities and Differences   

Legal Foundations of  Section 504 http://members.xoom.com/SpecialKids/504.htm

Top15 tips for writing IEP's and Section 504 Plans  http://www.drschool.com/iepsand.htm

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 http://www.giles-lea.giles.k12.tn.us/psych/504.htm
Who Is Protected?--Any individual with a disability who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities; or (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Further, the person must be qualified for the program, service, or job. 

Remember that a 504 is for accommodations, unlike the IEP which is for services.  A child can have both an IEP and a 504, but does not necessarily have or need both.

Section 504 is intended to establish a "level playing field" - usually by eliminating barriers that exclude persons with disabilities - whereas IDEA is remedial - often requiring the provision of programs and services in addition to those available to persons without disabilities.  Section 504
precludes hurdles to participation, whether physical - steps that prevent a person in a wheelchair from accessing a building - or programmatic - excluding a child with hepatitis from a classroom.





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