Dear Special Ed. Director
January 21, 2010
Dear Special Education Director,
I had a meeting with you yesterday to discuss my son’s school placement. At the time, we were requesting school placement at __________ because we felt that TLP could use a fresh new start somewhere. I am writing today to inform you that TLP has been talking to me today, regarding his hopes and wishes for his school placement. We also attended a therapy session today with his attachment therapist, where TLP spoke openly again about what he feels he needs to be successful. I wanted to share some of this information with you, so that you can pursue this as a possible option for TLP.
TLP told me a story about sitting in a circle outside at recess when he was at the Jr. Middle School. He said that he and his friends from the Cognitive Classroom were talking about how excited they were going to be on graduation day… and that they had planned who was going to walk down the aisle with who… and also discussed their excitement about attending each others graduation parties to celebrate. From listening to him speak today, I heard a sadness in his voice that I had never heard before… and I heard my son say that he was angry that your school system had separated him from his friends in 9th grade… and made him go to classes that were way too hard for him. He talked about not feeling as if he could converse with the kids in the regular ed classes, and was sad as he talked about feeling picked on and misunderstood. He talked about how hard the work was, and that he didn’t know what they were asking him to do most days. TLP is expressing a personal desire to return to the Cognitive Classroom in this district, and to be back with some of his old friends. TLP is saying that he wants to be like his brother and sister, and graduate from __________ High School. TLP talked openly about being angry that he was taken out of a program where he was beginning to feel safe and successful… and beginning to develop some good friendships… and he wants to return to that same program where he can attempt to have some of those same successes again.
Given the new test results from BRAIN’s… TLP clearly does fit into the category of Cognitively Impaired and I don’t see any good reason why we couldn’t attempt to put him back into the Cognitive Classroom… and monitor his progress to see if it might be a good fit for TLP. As we did in past years, we could monitor him at home in the evenings and mornings and make that final decision as to which days he is emotionally able to attend school, and which days we feel that he should be kept home due emotional health issues. We have become quite skilled in monitoring TLP’s moods and behaviors, and we have always been very open to keeping him home from school on the really shaky or questionable days… because we want TLP to experience as much successes as possible. In the past, we also worked out a system with the teachers where they called or emailed us when a substitute teacher would be in the classroom… giving us the option of keeping TLP home on those days. We always appreciated those calls, and always called in sick for TLP on those days… as he doesn’t do well with change.
We also would expect the classroom teacher to call us to come get him on the days when he might appear to be struggling emotionally… to prevent the school from having to deal with any of the severe emotional issues. I think it’s fair to say that we have always tried to be there to run interference for teachers regarding the emotional issues, and we have always responded positively to teachers or social worker calls for assistance at the school. We know that TLP is a very complex child to deal with and we don’t want him to be left at school when he is headed for some type of an emotional breakdown. We want him to be at home with family, where he can feel safe. If TLP is allowed to go back in ____________’s Cognitive Program, we promise that we would work closely with the teachers and staff to help them and TLP have the best of success, but in order to do that… we would need __________ Schools to agree to put TLP back into the Cognitive Classroom again. If we do this, I think that it would be very important for everyone involved to take this really slow and just concentrate on helping TLP survive the rest of this year successfully in that Cognitive Classroom. If this placement proves to be successful, we can take a closer look next year at attempting to transition him into a possible job. But for this year, I would really like to see TLP prove to us that he can be successful in the Cognitive Classroom, without the stress of being sent off to another building where they wouldn’t be equipped to recognize or deal with him on an emotional level, if he began to struggle.
I would like you to call me to discuss this new request in greater detail, and I am also asking you to please contact TLP’s therapist to discuss the conversation that occurred today between he and TLP during therapy. Please see the attached form giving my permission for you to speak with TLP’s attachment therapist. I look forward too hearing back from you very soon.
After being home-schooled for 2 ½ years (due to poor test results and an incorrect school placement), TLP is FINALLY back in school (11th grade/ Cognitive Classroom) and doing very well.