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Aspergers IEP targets......Unreasonable? Achievable? Measurable? Fair?

(48 Posts)
MissesF Wed 19-Sep-07 22:47:44

Tom has is 13 with ADHD and AS...mainstream school- no individual TA support on regular basis. I'm told he is at the 'less autistic end of the spectrum'...which at the moment i am sick of hearing.

He is AUTISTIC. Full Stop. End Of. Can we just help him please....!

I got his IEP last week- and am so pissed off.
he is yr9 and they are still using stuff they put on his yr7 IEP ... so does that mean he has not progressed????
(or is it as it looks...just a case of 'copy and paste' off the old IEP...onto the new.....)

AND DESPITE BEING DIAGNOSED AT 7 WITH ADHD AND AGE 9 WITH ASPERGERS....AND HAVING HAD I GUESS 10 LETTERS IN THE PAST 2.5 YEARS FROM VARIOUS HEALTH PROFESSIONALS STATING HIS DISABILITIES..........THEY STILL SATE ON THE IEP THAT HE HAS ASPERGERS TENDANCIES...NOT *ASPERGERS SYNDROME* (for f's sake...since when has Aspergers Tendancies been a diagnosis?????????)
Basically...his IEP targets are:

1) I will look at a teacher in the eye when they are giving me instructions

2) I will write at least 5 sentances in my best handwriting so they are readable, in each lesson.

3)i will write homework in my daily planner.

so....in a nutshell ...my thoughts are...we have an autistic teenager who has always had poor eyecontact...being expected to start looking people in the eye....which he finds excruciating. He hates being looked at too.

then....handwriting...last year the OCUPATIONAL therapist saw him and recommended to the school that tom use a computer as he has porr hand eye co-ord...and flexible joints..which cause him difficulties controlling a pencil. i cannot read his writing.

and HE has to write homework in his planner.
(no reminding...no help...no checking it is readable....and the rest of the class have left the class and the new class is coming in...and he is still writing in his planner...so he rushes out grabbing everything...dropping everything...shoveling it into his bag...people treading all over his stuff.....and that is to achieve the target of writing in his planner.)

Now....where you all can help (as always)

I need to look at this from a TA/SENCO/TEACHER/THERAPIST/DOCTORS point of view...not from my 'mums' soapbox.

This target to look at people...feels wrong.but if he were at a 'special school'...for autism... are the children taught to endure and offer eye contact?
Or is it accepted.

and the 5 sentances....surely if the OT has stated he cannot write without discomfort...then surely this is wrong to force him to do this 5 sentance thing.

and finally....any thoughts on the recording homework issue....surely they can accomodate his need for help...

TotalChaos Wed 19-Sep-07 22:56:23

well I am a mum rather than a professional, but I share your misgivings, and without reading your answers thought exactly the same about 1) and 2)!. Giving (or attempting to give) eye contact may take so much effort that your DS is unable to focus on the instructions! Possibly if he looks at her face area, but not eye contact if eye contact is too difficult for him? angry on your and your DS' behalf. particularly about the eye contact being given top priority.

MissesF Wed 19-Sep-07 23:04:25

thanks TC!!
I just feel that if he couldn't walk...they'd not DARE suggest that whilst at school he 'at least try'....do you know what i mean?

like he CANNOT tie laces...so as soon as football starts...we have the usual problems of him having to be the 'odd one out' wearing trainers on the muddy football pitch...as we cannot get VELCRO FOOTBALL BOOTS in his mens size 8.

yet...no accomodation is maid. when he was in yr7 he badly sprained his ankle after he tried one lesson to wear football boots that i had tried to adapt to enable him to wear them- but he cannot even pull laces tight...he cannot. it is not that he can and chooses to not bother.

LaDiDaDi Wed 19-Sep-07 23:11:14

It's difficult to say if they are being unreasonable. Sometimes I wonder if people don't view disabilities such as ASD in the same way as they do physical disabilities, especially in relatively high functioning children which it sounds as though your ds is, they seem to take the view that the child could do x, y and z if only they tried hard enough.

Alternatively you can see that making eye contact and the other targets would be desirable outcomes for your ds.

I think the questions are about how realistic they are and hand in hand with that how the school go about helping him to achieve them. What strategies do the school propose to help him meet the targets?

MissesF Wed 19-Sep-07 23:13:50

true...yes...at home we do 'work on eye contact' etc...but like you so rightly said...what are they doing to help him try to achieve the targets?

it is so hard trying to be objective about this. I feel the old 'wrap them up in cotton wool' cocoon instinct creeping up on me again!

cat64 Wed 19-Sep-07 23:22:49

Message withdrawn

coppertop Thu 20-Sep-07 11:32:30

What a pointless IEP!

My ds1 once had the same targets for a couple of terms but the only reason for this was because he was making so much progress with them that it was decided to continue with them. The same targets for 2+ years is useless IMHO.

At ds1's school parents don't usually take part in IEP meetings (although I did when ds1 was in Reception) but the IEPs are sent home for you to sign and you are offered the chance to go into school to discuss the targets with the teacher/SENCO.

Would Tom be able to get away with the old trick of looking at the teacher's eyebrow or bridge of their nose? I suspect that the school thinks that a child isn't listening/concentrating properly if they aren't making contact. If anything the opposite seems to be true with AS/ASD for many people. If you're busy concentrating on the thought "I must make eye contact and not look away" then you're not going to be paying much attention to what's being said.

coppertop Thu 20-Sep-07 11:33:29

By "same targets" I mean his IEP didn't change, not that he had the same targets as Tom. blush

sallysparrow Thu 20-Sep-07 15:47:58

Im a physio, work closely with oT with children with DCD. That looks like a very poor IEP written by someone with no time for the individual child.

If the OT has made a recommendation for a computer, its because his handwriting isnt going to get better by practising. And surely, if he spends time in the lesson writing 5 sentences, isnt he going to miss the rest of the lesson and what it was about? Ditto the writing in the homework book.

Some schools can email the homework to students, or have it written on a photocopied sheet.

Why are there still schools that think that every individual has to be able to learn in the same way, when with a little imagination and allowance for differences, a SN child could benefit so much more, without it being disrupting for the class as a whole.

And as for making eye contact - dear God, that shouldnt be a target for anyone, let alone a child with ASD! Can you explain to them that if he is lookingat their eyes, he is unable to focus on what they are saying, or what he is trying to say - because it is too much information for him to process at once.

Sorry this isnt very helpful, but it does make me mad. I see so many schools that are doing brilliant work with children with SN, but there are a few that are still wet from the ark, and it is so unfair on the children.

Who writes the IEP? Can you speak to the SENCO if it was the form tutor, or vice versa, or is there a pastoral care person for his year group?

Good luck!

jenk1 Thu 20-Sep-07 16:06:39

this sounds like the IEP mike had 2 years ago.
must always make eye contact when speaking to a teacher
must be able to express his feelings at any given moment.

load of crap.

if he hasnt progressed much in 2 years then surely this is evidence for statementing?

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 16:28:41

thanks jenk (and ALL of U)

yes...to still be at yr7 level for 'recording work'...organisational skills....PE changing probs...interaction struggles etc.....i'm sure there is something in the Code of Practice that actually staes about the 2yr rule...in that a child can be deemed as neededing help if they don't move forwards in 2yrs????

He came home extremely distressed today- maths teacher hassling him about 'poor attention' etc etc...
so i am going to save the senco the bother of doing her job (which she clearly has not- as if she had ALL his teachers would 'know' about his ADHD/AS)....and send a copy of his 'crap' IEP with a letter i wrote back when he joined secondary school- where i describe toms' quirks and funny ways...so that teachers can 'undersatnd' him better- and be aware of the very subtle ways he shows his distress.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 20-Sep-07 16:41:41

Some IEP's are also not worth the paper they are written on; its a pen pushing exercise.

Some LEA's also operate blanket policies whereby they state that a child has to be a certain number of years behind in order to get a statement etc. Such policies are totally ILLEGAL and LEA's do know the law on this matter.

Your son is at a school where they clearly do not understand his difficulties. Even if you succeed in getting him a Statement the school may still not be understanding.

I would strongly urge you to yourself apply for the Statement for your son; its a great pity to my mind that this was seemingly never suggested to you years ago. You don't need schools permission or anything in order to do this.

IPSEA are very good at the whole statementing process and there are model letters you can use:- www.ipsea.org.uk.

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 16:48:59

Suggest that rather than force eye contact they introduce a method that he can demonstrate that he has listened (which is surely more important).

The handwriting sounds unachievable (as such a big step) which isn't really the point of IEPs.

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 23:13:19

have put a sample of his writing in my mumsnet profile...can you have a look.

and with a view to me arguing further with the school...can you see what i mean?

however...i REALLY do want honesty. if all 13 year olds write like this then i have to accept it. (however...my 8 yr old is better.....and that really upsets tom as he will be 14 in december)

tom's writing seems to be getting worse- and the effort harder as he became a teenager!!!

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 23:14:05

to view my profile click the 'book' icon to the right of my posting.

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 23:18:19

....then scroll down the page to the "missesF's pictures"

thanks.

i feel awful asking this...its just i need to know whether you agree....i have used mumsnet to validate/rationalise my concerns many times....and i just feel that to expect you all to know what i'm on about ...is easier if you can see the writing.

please note...the writing is not his only difficulty...but it is what seems to upset him the most. I just feel that the only way we will get him a guaranteed support is to try asking for statement ourselves.

moondog Thu 20-Sep-07 23:32:28

I'm a therapist working with people with special needs (lots of whom have ASD) and it strikes me as ill thought out.

Make your points in written form and call a meeting in which you can go over them.
Try not to get upset and/or angry. People are busy (no excuse I know) and often put little thought into these things but are more than willing to be shown how to rectify them.

smile

moondog Thu 20-Sep-07 23:33:30

Yes,obvioulsy writing is difficult for him.

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 23:46:34

thanks moondog.

its like ds2 is the class poloceman. he cannot stand anyone breaking rules or cheating.
he is told to ignore and not tell tales...which is imposible for him to do as he cannot ignore anything.

even my husband doesn't undersatnd...that is till i found a great way to explain how ds sees it.

eg...my husband is a keen golfer...likes to win etc.
i said to him how would he feel if he hit the ball...and just as it was going in the hole...someone picked it up. then as he asked for it to be put back...they threw it into a lake.

he said he now understood ho ds2 feels. he feels passionately about everything....and therefore if anyone does something wrong he gets cross.

moondog Thu 20-Sep-07 23:49:56

Our golden rule is that it is not the children themselves who need to change but those around them.
FFS, really cross on your behalf.
It's not complicated. angry

MissesF Thu 20-Sep-07 23:55:03

Hmmm....that's what mainstream inclusion is all about isn't it???? (she says sarcasticaly!)

Moondog, i'm just glad that there are people around like YOU who see OUR kids for WHAT THEY ARE....and help them move forwards.
xxxxx

bullet123 Thu 20-Sep-07 23:56:39

1) I will look at a teacher in the eye when they are giving me instructions

No. Please ask them to change this. One of the reasons why eye contact is difficult is because it lowers understanding of the spoken word as well as feeling uncomfortable. If they want a compromise suggest he looks at the nose or the shoulder or the mouth. Otherwise he runs the risk of not being able to understand the instruction.

2) I will write at least 5 sentances in my best handwriting so they are readable, in each lesson.

I had appalling handwriting (to the extent of having to have special lessons for it) as a school pupil. It's not got much better. He won't be doing bad handwriting out of laziness, it will genuinely be difficult for him (poor pen grip, poor angle, loss of concentration were all things that affected me). They would be better off either letting him type if he can have access to a computer/laptop or helping but not insisting on good handwriting.

3)i will write homework in my daily planner.

I always used to forget about homework. I have a funny story which was when I was in the fifth year I had an afterschool detention and was wondering about telling my parents. Well, I needn't have worried. My dad was head of year and it was his job to sign the letters informing the parents that their errant offspring had fallen foul of the school rules.

TotalChaos Fri 21-Sep-07 09:48:44

had a look at the handwriting - it looks a bit worse than mine was at his age, (I had bad handwriting), as the size seems to vary a lot. as an interim measure, what about him only writing on alternate lines?

sallysparrow Fri 21-Sep-07 14:15:36

You can see from the handwriting how quickly it deteriorates, there is no way your poor DS could do all the writing needed in secondary school.

They need to do something about this before exams start looming.

Is there SN/IT person in your LEA, or could your OT recommend someone, who could make an "official" recommendation to school that he use a computer?

If he is really down about his writing and would like to try to improve it, there is a good programme called Write from the Start by Teodorescue and Addy that works on patterns and shapes used in letter formation, rather than just forming letters over and over. However I would only suggest he used it if handwriting was very important to him, eg to write in cards or something. IT help is more important at this stage in his life.

gess Sat 22-Sep-07 08:57:49

He needs a computer or alphasmart or something.

There's a book developmental dyspraxia by ??? agh can't remember but its a big yellow book and written by THE UK expert and she talks in there a lot about handwriting (and has examples). I think iirc she talks about using computers etc as well instead of struggling with hand writing that's going nowhere.

Dig out the OT's recommenedations and ask the school why they are ignoring her recommendation for a computer. (Take a look at alphasmarts as well- they're cheap, easier to lug around than laptops, sturdy and the files can be downloaded onto computer, I bought one from ebay for £75).

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