Tag Archives: IEP

A Failure to Communicate


by Lillian Csernica on March 19, 2015

Once again, I find myself in the position of wanting to start shouting loudly enough to shatter a few windows over at John’s high school.

At the beginning of this year, John and all the other sophomores received their class assignments and went off to locate the text for their courses at the school library.  John ended up not having any texts to pick up because some decisions had not been made at higher levels about which texts would be used.  OK.  It was rather late in the day for that kind of indecision, but no big deal.

A few days later, John’s classes got switched around and one was changed to something entirely different.  Nobody bothered to ask the permission of this special need student’s parents, namely Chris and me.  Nobody bothered notifying us after John started attending this class.  Good thing his IEP was right around the corner.  I printed out all the emails between John’s caseworker/teacher and myself and took them to the meeting to demonstrate the fact that we had been neither consulted nor notified.

All of this is prelude to what I’m angry about today.

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The change in schedule put John into Graphic Design.  This was problematic for several reasons, but I’m going to focus on one in particular.  At John’s school, the computer system has lots of lovely software programs so the students can work on their assignments in class or at the Computer Lab.  Nobody told us that in order for John to be able to do the homework for Graphic Design (which nobody bothered telling us about, period), John would need to do as the other students had done and purchase a package of software programs totaling $293.00.

I don’t know about you, but for us that’s a big ticket item.

My husband is a software engineer.  He was already seriously unhappy with a number of things that went on last year when John had to take Digital Literacy.  Guess what?  The same teacher is in charge of Graphic Design.  He’s a nice enough man, but he’s of a rather abstract turn of mind, so his thought processes are diametrically opposed to the way John, being ASD, can learn.  A number of the same issues that came up in Digital Literacy have now arisen in Graphic Design.

I am in a screaming hissy mood right now because John has been sent home with work he’s supposed to do over the weekend, using the software we do not have and, for a number of very good reasons, my husband refuses to buy.  Once again, despite me really hammering this point home at the IEP and in a number of emails, the teachers and school aide do not seem to grasp the point that John CANNOT do these assignments at home.  Not because of any processing issues on his part, but because the autocratic yahoos took it upon themselves to leave us, John’s parents, out of the loop, in violation of his IEP, common courtesy, and common sense.

Have any of you found yourselves in this kind of situation?  What did you do about it?  How do you get the administration to really listen and retain the crucial information about what’s interfering with your child’s education?  As my husband said, I really cannot believe we are the only family who didn’t and doesn’t have almost $300 to pay for a software package essential to the coursework.

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