Should a child with a documented ASD in his IEP be punished for being unfocused?

I am starting to lose my Zen...

It is now the second time that my nine year old son comes home from school with a note saying that he was punished for being unfocused. Fortunately he was not physically restrained or beaten up but he did have to walk for five minutes alone at recess. Does this make sense? It certainly does not make sense to me.

He has climbed Mount Everest to show his parents and his school that he can make it academically and socially. Four years ago, he used to be very disruptive and aggressive at school and he was recommended to be placed in a highly contained special education class. His story will appear in the online magazine "Parenting Special Needs Children" this month. I am grateful that he is now 100 % mainstreamed with hardly any aide around him and I am grateful that he is bringing home straights As and Bs but I am more concerned about his overall happiness and health.

What is going on with public schools? Setting him and all the other children like him up for failure? Working on making him and all the other children like him depressed? What happened to all those positive behavior reinforcements?

It is quite ironic to see that he was punished for being unfocused in his Social Studies class. Social Studies is his favorite subject and he does excel in it. It seems to me that he was unfocused because he was bored out of his mind...

No matter how far our children have progressed they still get crap. I am so fed up!!!


my sons teacher discussed his behavior in front of all parents

tonight at back to school night my sons teacher was talking about a form she makes students write on when they have done something "very serious" in her words "if your child comes home and says they had to write in the think sheet, theyve done something serious" "theyve been given many warnings and this is the last resort, ive only had to give out one so far and that student knew he had done something wrong". while all the parents looked around to see who it was they asked their students and it happened to be my son, which i had no idea, but im so pissed off because not only is my son on a behavioral plan built into his i.e.p she has no right to discuss anything regarding my son especially in that type of setting. although she did not use his name, the whole "only one child so far" is enough to send me over the edge, what about discretion??? what was her goal humiliation, shaming me into getting my son to act right?? he has aspergers and is severely dyslexic, and has been picked on and taunted by the same class mate who inspired his outburst, to which she didnt even bother to listen to what my son had to say what happened. she just sent him off, does this sound like the "least restrictive environment?" and what about the ferpa?? its only the second week of school and i feel like i already have to come out guns my son asked if he could put his trophy in the classroom early (before school started, she was walking in and he was early and didnt want to break it by carrying it around) and he asks her and she flat out says no, just like that. my son goes to rsp first thing in the morning and didnt want to lug it around, (every student had brought their trophies to share) i guess what im wondering is am i over reacting??? i am so sick of these teachers coming of like an angel of light and hiding who they really are, only our children get to see it. they think they dont pick up on their subtle bad attitudes, well guess what they do!!!! im ready to call the district and read them the laws and codes regarding children under the protection of spec ed. which my son is under, she had no right to give any information regarding my son, regardless if she used his name or not, its private and confidentail and should be kept that way....has anyone else had to deal with anything like this????

IDEA website correction

Background Check?

being unfocused? I would get in trouble every day!

That is just silly to even be a problem. I have a few child study’s done (this is the step before getting special education). I am quoting word-for-word a two of them:
“with babe running away”- His name is GABE.
“he likes to read other children”- I wasn’t aware he could do that.

This is just two, its sad I have a longer list. I find humor in this however, this is the special education people. Was spelling not part of the job requirement?

Got an answer from his school paraprofessional...

"He was unfocused in class yesterday. He was making noises, laughing and burping while the teacher was talking and he was disturbing his classmates".

To the paraprofessional's defense, she said that he really looked like he was bored which is exactly what I had suspected.

Let us be realistic... how do you expect a child with or without an ASD to listen to a teacher and take notes for a full hour with no hands on learning or break offered? I would start being restless too...

I suggested to have him draw (his favorite hobby) while the teacher talks for long periods. I assured everybody that he would stop bothering people and he would still listen to the teacher even though he is not looking at the teacher and is busy doing something else. Just put him to the test...

Thank you very much Cassie for the IEP info!

I think you did exactly the

I think you did exactly the right thing: talking about it with the para and then making a suggestion that would really help him. Unfortunately, the paras or even primary teachers are often not trained very well for autism, but they usually want to do what's best. We have had specialists come in to give the teachers and paras suggestions for dealing with our son's specific needs. We have always treated them with respect and kept lots of communication open, and therefore we feel great about the school and teachers and staff. Our son is 9 also and was one of the first autistic kids in the school. Everyone has come a long way! We've seen other people at other schools who have been so defensive and combative at IEP meetings, and it has helped nobody but has done quite a bit of harm. Good luck and keep up the good work! BTW, our high-functioning son was given a secondary diagnosis of ADHD a couple years ago--very common, but it was given mostly to help the school...

You are writing my son's story Kathryn

As you are saying it so eloquently Kathryn "Unfortunately, the paras or even primary teachers are often not trained very well for autism, but they usually want to do what's best".

It took me four years to educate them and educate myself. It is still a work in progress but in the end everybody is grateful.

Four years ago, my son's second IEP meeting was me and twenty plus hostile looking people. I felt like Blandine thrown to the lions. A week ago, at my son's IEP meeting, the "lions" only three of them were eating out of my hand, raving about my child's progress and asking for suggestions. I had to warn them that there would always be bumps down my son's road...

I always believe in the inner good of each person. Maybe I am just a big naive person but I would rather be positive for my children's sake than negative.

Another update... Yesterday, my son's school made the news. There was a gas leak in the kitchen and a fire. Everybody had to be evacuated, lots of noise, fire trucks, police cars, chaos, etc. Kids sat outside for two hours. According to his parapro my son did not lose his calm and gained his recess back for being such a good boy... He was also happy that he did not have to do homework that night...

Team: MOM

In the first IEP, I ask who am was I against? Is the arguing for me or against me? I truly didn’t understand why half the table was one team and the other side was another. I said "What is it am arguing with you all for?" it was so confusing and no one would tell you what your rights were. Yes, I got the little book with 800 pages crammed into a 6 page booklet. It reminded me of those tiny bibles you get, where they really have all the info in a book the size of the little raisin box. At that time I didn’t know it was a funding battle. Behavior issue= my problem, education issue= their problem.

Your son is lucky to have you!


Should a bear be punished for

Should a bear be punished for shitting in the woods?? My daughter always comes home with notes saying she pinched someone or was grabby today?? Welcome to autism!! Dhaa!!

Please remember that teachers

Please remember that teachers must document the facts and that does not necessarily equate - even in their minds - to your child's behavior being "wrong." On the other hand, if she is experiencing negative consequences daily for behaviors that are not being modified, something is wrong about the approach that is being used to help her.

IEP and your son
Go to the above websites for information regarding your rights.

My first response is that it is inappropriate for a child who has an active IEP in his file to be referred to as "unfocused" during class. These children often have a multitude of distractions and a minimum of coping skills in any social setting or educational setting. They are forced to process the sounds, sights, flourescent lighting and constant movement in school. They often "check-out" or turn inward in order to cope.

More often than not, upon arriving in the comfort of their own homes, they will spend a good deal of time releasing the stress and melting down.

I was constantly on the warpath with the "professionals" on my daughter's IEP panel. I learned very quickly that you take on the fight, and you fight it until they graduate.

Don't question yourself. You know your child better than anyone. Don't let these people bulldoze you into submission or thinking that they know what is best for YOUR child.

I have a history of contacting the office of Civil Rights when I felt my daughter was being neglected in school. I always left a paper trail. Letters with cc's to the American's With Disabilities Act. The head of the school district's special education office hated me. I didn't care. He had no vested interest in my daughter. The almighty dollar rules and in this economic crisis, I can imagine the situation to be even worse.

A note. Following fighting all the way through due process and prepping for going to court, I had had enough and removed my daughter from public school I have been homeschooling her with the Waldorf method for three years now and she is doing wonderfully.

Bottom line, do not allow anything to take place in school that you are uncomfortable with. Our children face challenges every waking moment of their day. They don't need additional stress heaped upon them when they are in the care of their teachers.

By the way, next IEP meeting, be sure to have the "IDEA Parents Rights and Responsibilities" handbook and slap it down in front of you. This will let everyone know that you have the facts. You will be surprised at how they back-off from talking down to you.

Good luck!