My daughter's education

Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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My daughter's education

Postby vyletsmomma » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:22 am

Hello everyone

I'm the mother of three small children. My oldest was diagnosed with ASD around the age of 3 with an underlying diagnosis of Trisomy 16 (mosaic). She is currently enrolled in the public school system here in south Louisiana where we live and is attending 1st grade this year (she's going to be 8 years old in February). Since the beginning of this year (currently in the second six weeks of school), she has had major behavioral problems, shutting down frequently and for long periods of time, refusing to do her work, refusing to do her homework, being overly defiant in regards to school, and is often late or absent because when it comes time to get ready for school, it is a fight. I thought it may have been just a transitional phase from being out of school for the summer, however, as time keeps going by, I've come to believe that it is something else entirely.

There are a few different causes I have pondered after, like maybe this year, other students or faculty are treating her poorly. My daughter doesn't respond to negativity at all, in fact, negative responses from anyone (including myself) cause her to shut down and refuse to do anything you want her to do. Louisiana is one of the states that has done away with special education classes, so my daughter has been integrated into a regular class of about 20 students including one other student with developmental delays. There is one aid who helps with both my daughter and the other student.

She has come home from school on three different occasions with marks on her that weren't there when she went to school (and I've raised this as a problem with the school board already, but seems the school is now treating me badly for reporting this first to them and then to the school board). I could easily rationalize this by saying that even I have to wrestle with my daughter when she shuts down or has meltdowns, but I have never left marks on her while doing so and if the school is doing this, it is not acceptable.

The school believes that putting her on medication will help, but I don't believe so. She is mostly non-verbal, but she can speak (either partial words/phrases or pretty much incomprehensible broken words that form a sentence). The school also believes that transitioning form Kindergarten to 1st grade is challenging for her because there is more structure and less of those learning "games" and "play" like there was in her previous academic years. If this is the case, I feel the school should take measures to ensure she learns the way SHE learns, not the way they want her to learn. My daughter does begin her work and is so intelligent. She knows the work already, she'll get through the first bit of her work and then will refuse and say it's too hard. I don't believe its too hard, I believe she's just bored with it because it is the same thing over and over.

I am at the end of my rope. I have googled everything under the sun and have come up with nothing. I have been looking into schools and programs specifically designed for children with autism, but to no avail. Does anyone know of any schools in Louisiana that do this? One more mark on her from school, and I will be withdrawing her. If I have to teach her myself, I will do it to ensure her safety and well-being. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: My daughter's education

Postby Winnie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:41 am

Hi vyletsmomma – welcome to the forum.

It sounds as if your daughter may be struggling in her current placement. There is so much wrong here I hardly know where to begin – but this might be a place to start:

vyletsmomma wrote:Louisiana is one of the states that has done away with special education classes, so my daughter has been integrated into a regular class of about 20 students including one other student with developmental delays. There is one aid who helps with both my daughter and the other student.

Louisiana is subject to compliance with IDEA (Federal law), so the state simply could not have done away with special education classes and placed every student in a regular class.

I don’t know why they would tell you this other than they just wanted to put your daughter into whatever placement they happened to have available. This is a denial of FAPE. This won’t even fly if they attempt to use the Least Restrictive Environment angle if she is not receiving an appropriate education in this placement.

You need to arm yourself with some accurate information and assistance with advocacy. Here is the link to the Louisiana Parent Training & Information Center. Please contact them and explain your situation!

Also -- information from the Wrightslaw site is also helpful. Their book, From Emotions to Advocacy, is a great resource to help guide parents through the special education process. Every parent should own a copy :):
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:00 am

Re: My daughter's education

Postby caretothepeople » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:26 am

Hi vyletsmomma -Glad you're here and continuing to advocate tirelessly for your daughter.

The Autism Society of Louisiana has a resource page with many links to state support services, which may have use for you:

Autism Speaks also keeps a list of resources for School Age Children: ... l%20Age/LA

Hopefully these helps.

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