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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Truancy court experience?

Posted by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM
  • 18 Replies
My 10 year old has diagnosed anxiety and depression, her therapist thinks she has sensory issues and possible ADHD and/or sleep problems. Because of all these issues along with the normal flu or dental appointments, she has been tardy or absent multiple times this school year. She has 3 unexcused absences and 7 'partial absences', which means she came in between 8:10 and 10 (normally just a minute or two after 8:10). She has had multiple breakdowns in the mornings because of stress caused by school or lack of sleep. Once she is calmed down enough to go to school it's oftentimes later than I'd like. I know it's my job to know the attendance policy inside and out and I know I failed at that. I've been trying to get the school and her teacher to to understand what's going on with her but I keep hitting a brick wall. So now I have to go to truancy court and possibly face a fine, jail time, community service and a criminal record.
Anyway - actual question now - what can I expect at the court proceedings? Should I bring my daughter? I will call the court tomorrow to ask but I'm curious if anyone has any experience to share.
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by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mommy_me
by ~The Three B's~ on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM
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this really upsets me. why don't you get a doctor's note a doctor's excuse explaining your child's behavior before you go to the court? I can't believe the school wouldn't work with you
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Isaacsmom913
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:03 PM
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I was going to suggest as the PP did that you get all the paper work from the doctors office.  Get the official diagnosis, all the times she has been in the office, and then have him write a post dated excuse.  I can understand without anything official that the school wouldn't be willing to work with you.  I'm sure that while you have a legitimate reason that many parents don't and use ADHD as an excuse.

I would say with proof of diagnosis and a continued effort on your part that it will go smoothly.

jojo61397
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:06 PM
2 moms liked this

Request an IEP and/or 504.  Bring doctor's note and diagnosis.

jorjiegirl
by Silver Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:09 PM
1 mom liked this
Bring copies of all medical paperwork, and stand your ground don't let them bully you!
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Anonymous
by Anonymous on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I think I may be the person to answer this question. I worked for six years as a court clinician within a juvenile court. I was the person ( I am a licensed independent clinical social worker) who would meet with the parent and child after they saw the judge and probation officer. I would complete a court clinic evaluation on CHINS truancy cases. CHINS simply means Child in Need of Services. This is what you should expect, you must bring your choked to court, you should make every attempts to have the therapist write a letter with at least a preliminary diagnosis which in your case sounds like mood disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) with a rue out of sleep disturbance and ADHD, a rule out simply means that more information may be needed to confirm or refute a diagnosis based on presenting symptoms. The therapist should state in her letter very clearly how and why your daughter's symptoms and diagnosis may be impacting her attendance and what the focus and interventions in therapy are doing to address the issue including any plans to have her seen for a psychiatric or medication consult. I am not sure heat state you live in, I am from Massachusetts and we generally do not have schools refer on a CHINS truancy until fifteen or twenty unexcused absences or tarried, at the highschhol level it can reach twenty five ! I hope this was helpful, good luck!
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:12 PM

If she has such issues with regular school i would check into enrolling her into a homeschool program such as K12 where she can work at home where she is comfortable. Past that I have never had to deal with anything like this and have no real information to give. 

funny_girl3
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM

I have no advice for you, I've never been to truancy court.  But your post really stuck with me.  I pulled my son out of school for this reason, we received a couple letters from school about his tardy/absences.  He is doing cyber school for the rest of the year.  My son is also 10 years old and we suspect he is having problems with depression and anxiety and possibly sleep apnea, his dad is bipolar and has sleep apnea and both things are genetic.  I've been in denial about it for a while and we are finally meeting with a counselor this week.  I hope everything turns out alright with your court hearing.  I can't believe they will pursue this knowing that your daughter has a diagnosis.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:15 PM

I work in the juvenile justice system and in the place where I work, the child isn't supposed to come to court unless the judge requests it. If the child is at court they aren't at school...defeats the purpose.  Be prepared to defend your parenting behavior in court. It is your responsibility as the parent to make sure your child gets to school. It is also your responsibility to help your child with her mental health and behavioral needs. Does your child have or need an IEP? Are there other things going on in your family that make it difficult for her to get to school? 

kameka
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Thank you so much for that info! I'm in Texas (I used to live in Massachusetts though lol) and its been nearly impossible to get info on this /:
I have her official evaluation and a letter from her therapist stating her diagnosis. I'm trying to see what else I can get.


Quoting Anonymous:

I think I may be the person to answer this question. I worked for six years as a court clinician within a juvenile court. I was the person ( I am a licensed independent clinical social worker) who would meet with the parent and child after they saw the judge and probation officer. I would complete a court clinic evaluation on CHINS truancy cases. CHINS simply means Child in Need of Services. This is what you should expect, you must bring your choked to court, you should make every attempts to have the therapist write a letter with at least a preliminary diagnosis which in your case sounds like mood disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) with a rue out of sleep disturbance and ADHD, a rule out simply means that more information may be needed to confirm or refute a diagnosis based on presenting symptoms. The therapist should state in her letter very clearly how and why your daughter's symptoms and diagnosis may be impacting her attendance and what the focus and interventions in therapy are doing to address the issue including any plans to have her seen for a psychiatric or medication consult. I am not sure heat state you live in, I am from Massachusetts and we generally do not have schools refer on a CHINS truancy until fifteen or twenty unexcused absences or tarried, at the highschhol level it can reach twenty five ! I hope this was helpful, good luck!
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kameka
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I am not nearly organized enough to homeschool, though the thought has crossed my mind. I just don't have the disposition for it - and frankly, neither does she. We are looking to move this year though, and her school is our #1 priority.

Quoting Anonymous:

If she has such issues with regular school i would check into enrolling her into a homeschool program such as K12 where she can work at home where she is comfortable. Past that I have never had to deal with anything like this and have no real information to give. 

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