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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

From a Reader: Special Ed Tips

The District is planning to take away PERSONAL AIDES from SPECIAL ED students…

It’s time for our district to do IEP’s for Special ED students. I have it on good authority that our District has told teachers to NOT recommend Personal Aides for our students who need them. This is outrageous. I know that my child could not make it through the day with out them. I just wanted to remind parents a few things about IEP’s and your child.

1.     Get a child advocate. Yes the school will provide you a Parent who is an advocate but that parent may not have a child who has the same issue as yours. It’s best to find an advocate who has a working knowledge of your child’s issues and works as an advocate.  Try People Inc. or contact DDSO or OPWDD. Most of the time they are free if you are already getting help.

2.     Do not give up anything. Once you do you will never get it back.

3.     Take notes at the meeting or record the meeting this way you have a copy of exactly what was said and can call the district on it when it becomes an issue. This is something that we had to learn the hard way. It seems like every other year we are having a battle with the district about them not providing the services that they agreed to.

4.     The district cannot double dip. This is something we learned this year. Your child’s services cannot be doubled up. Example if your child has resource class that child cannot have PT, OT OR ANY OTHER SERVICE IN THAT CLASS this includes lunch.

5.     Co treatments: check to make sure your child is getting the correct amount of service. Example if your child get 4 hours of PT and OT a week and they are getting 1 hour of OT and 1 hour of PT and an hour of Co Treatment. This is only an hour and a half of each treatment.   Just because they are both seeing your child at the same time does not mean your child is getting a full hour of treatment with each of them on co treatment days. Co treatments can be helpful but remember that according to the state NO DOUBLE DIPPING.

6.     Take your time after all this is something that affects you and your child. The District plans on each IEP meeting taking a half an hour. Lets face it you take more time getting ready each morning then the district plans on talking about the needs of your child for the following year.

7.      DO NOT sign until you are happy. It’s your child’s education not a new car. Just because you have not come to an agreement doesn’t mean your child will not get the services or modifications. It means that your child will get the same Modifications and services that they did the previous year. Just like when the union contract expires at work you still go in, you still get paid and you still keep getting all of the items in that expired contract.

8.     You can have as Many IEP meeting, as you want/need. If you notice that something is not working for you call or email your child’s case worker and set up a meeting its not a case of one and done. Kids change and grow and the IEP may need to grow and change through out the year as needed.

9.     Don’t feel like you are asking for too much and always ask questions Remember your Pediatrician and your child’s teacher can always recommend the need services such as a personal aid, OT, PT or any other services.  Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor you need a scrip or letter telling the district the need for a service.  Your child’s doctor is not worried about the districts budget and cannot be fired or intimidated by the district.

10. An IEP is a legal Document. If there is an item in the IEP that is worded oddly to you its not going to mean what you think it means. Example we asked for a 50% reduction on math homework. What was written in the IEP was “a reduction of up to 50% “so that means the math teacher could just reduce home work by one problem and the IEP was being met but your child still ends up with four hours of home work.  So words matter, make sure it’s written clearly and it means exactly what you want it to mean.

11. Talk about SPECIAL ED with your friends, family and neighbors. This way you can find out what services and modifications they are getting even if they are not in our district. You never know what programs are out there and what may help your child. Plan for the future if you know your child will be going to college and that college uses a specific program or service try getting your child using it a.s.a.p.

Super

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if Dr. Calkins is a Board Certified Rheumatologist?

Anonymous said...

Colleen canney has to go...the is a 16 year old middle school kid she won't allow to move to the high school.

not bd. certified said...

Dear ANONYMOUS 2/29/12 7:30 PM

we have checked and Dr Joan Calkins is NOT a Board Certified Rheumatologist.

parent said...

Thanks for the information. I feel a lot better with this information. Like a lot of us parents we are somewhat new to this.

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased to have all this information and to know that I am not alone. Why would they keep this off our kids IEP when they know that he needs an aid?

parent said...

Super, you are the greatest. I learn more from you than what we get from Ms. Kaney. We will be closely watching for anything they try to leave off my kids IEP.

Snakes

Super said...

To Parent
Thanks.Anything, anytime to help one parent or one student is what it's all about

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you super...when does the district have to let you know what placement they are looking at for your child? This would be a in a situation where you disagree and may choose to look out of district?

Super said...

Anonymous March 5, 2012 10:05 AM

I do not quite understand what you are asking but I think this might help. The District should be giving your special Ed child some type of standardized tests every few years. The results of this testing will determine where your child is placed and be covered during the IEP meeting. Now when the district decides to give your child these tests you must be notified in writing.
The District gets money from the government to help with the education of your child. Now you, like any other parent, could always place your child in a private school or charter School at your cost and then start the IEP process with that new school. If for some reason the District informs you that they CANNOT meet the educational needs of your child then the cost of your child education at a private school would fall upon the district.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Super...but I was curious how a parent would go about fighting the district if all they want to provide is life skills classes. I know many parents feel their children are capable of doing more, but the district always bucks you. Since when did the district become licensed physicians who know more about your child than their doctors or parents do???????

parent said...

A little birdie told me Colleen Kaney is slated to be promoted to Greg Davis's position. It is reported that she hates working for our kids in her current capacity.

thanks also said...

A Big thank you Super.

Loving parent

Anonymous said...

A little known fact about Special Education in Hamburg. Special Education teachers are provided a memo before the IEP Annual Review "season" begins. This memo from the Pupil Services Administrator lists the special education services Caseholders are ALLOWED by the District to put on a student's IEP for the following year. This means that before writing IEPs, Special Education Teachers are TOLD what services will be made available from the district to students the following year. (For the 2012-2013 school year, Caseholders were told not to put personal Aides on student's IEPs-they have to fill out a separate, not legal, form requesting a student to have an aide and writing a narrative explaining why they need one). Special Education Law states that the district needs to offer/consider the full continuum of services when developing a student's IEP. This is not happening in Hamburg. Determination of services IS NOT based on what an individual student NEEDS, it is based on how much money the district wants to pay to support special education students.

Anonymous said...

Super: can you please let us know if you have experienced the above, you seem to have experience with this.

Super said...

I personally have never seen a memo that says "what services will be made available from the district to students the following year. " Each year the district send home a letter/ order / referral for services that is to be fill out by the child's Doctor. Now I have never had our doctor order additional services but I would assume that they could and that district would have to test and follow up with that , but at this point I would have to say show me said memo. If you think your child services are being cut or his or her IEP is not being followed they probably NOT , and you need to call them on it. I have been doing it for the past four years and I have been right each time.

Super said...

If this “Memo” does exist I would love to get my hands on a copy because the District could be held responsible for denying FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). As for the” Case holders were told not to put personal Aides on student's IEP they have to fill out a separate, not legal, form requesting a student to have an aide and writing a narrative explaining why they need one”. That would mean the school is offering you an aid but not putting in on the IEP . THIS ISN’T RIGHT DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING LEAVE THE MEETING AND CALL A LAWYER.