High Functioning Autism and IEPs and Principals
Hello! I am the mom of three beautiful and brilliant children, one of which has High Functioning Autism. His school has also labelled him as Gifted, and has stated on several occasions that they don't know what to do with him.
His IEP is a joke, and the meetings a farce. Recently, my son (he is 11) was suspended for two days for an act that did not occur and the principal refuses to hear his side. In addition to fighting that battle, we requested another IEP meeting (Our 4th in a year) because of his needs for social skill instructions.
After visiting an advocate who went over the IEP in detail, page by page, we went to the IEP meeting and were told that what we wanted was unneccessary. All we asked for were specific and measurable goals for the IEP, Functional Levels of Performance for his Autism, and assistance with his communication and social needs.
We were told by the district representative at the meeting that IEPs must be general, that having the term "Autism" on his IEP would tell educators what needed to be done, since the IEP was only for the student goals. A Functional Behavior Plan would have to be implemented in order to address all communication, social, and in their terms, "behavioral" needs. As for Present Levels of Performance, we were told that was only for children who needed assistive technology. Communication concerns were negligible since my son speaks eloquently. The school psychologist dismissed nonverbal communication as relevant.
We were told that goals do not have to be measurable or specific, and those that were had not been written by educators who knew what they were doing. Our advocate, they said, was not trained as well as the district and we were better off doing as they said.
I know what is supposed to be in an IEP. I have researched and talked to other parents, but the district will not budge. It is like the term Autism is not an actual disability, but they are humoring me by putting it on his IEP. We have filed complaints, but nothing is accomplished. Our next step is mediation according to the State Board of Education we have been in contact with, yet I still feel that it is not enough.
The suspension devastated him because he did not understand it nor do what he was accused of, then he was moved away from his teacher that he loved into an Inclusion class. When I asked why they didn't start him in an Inclusion class, it was becasue he was Gifted. The school cannot seem to accommodate both of his "Disabilities." I can't seem to get through to them!
Any advice would be appreciated. We are so frustrated!