The Wrightslaw Way

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I Don’t Understand Why the School Won’t…

01/16/14
by Wrightslaw

Can you tell me if I have any rights?  Here is my issue: potty training.

My daughter is 8, non verbal and developmentally delayed. She wants to be potty trained. At home she signs when she needs to go. At school they ignore her signs and tell me they can’t possibly take her once an hour. There are four aides and one teacher for 9 children. I just don’t understand why someone can’t take her to the potty as needed.

Your issue is about potty training at school for your daughter – a legitimate concern. Parents of children with disabilities have hundreds of different issues. There are always disagreements with the school.

This is the REAL issue -

 - resolving a problem while maintaining a healthy working relationship with school personnel.

Here are the first steps you should take to resolve a problem.  These steps apply to the issue of potty training …and many other disagreements you may need to resolve with your child’s teacher or school staff.

1. Write a letter to your child’s IEP team.

2. Describe the problem.

3. Ask the team to develop AND implement a strategy to …. (potty train your daughter).

4.  Explain the consequences to your child, the school staff, family and friends if your child…. (does not learn to use the potty now).

5. Include a little information about the background history of your concern. Describe how you deal with the issue at home.

6. Describe what you would like the school to do for your child and why.  Provide information to back up your suggestions.

7.  Request an IEP meeting to review your child’s goals and revise your child’s IEP to include a goal for …. (potty training).

8. Create a written record of your request and what each staff member is responsible for doing.

9.  Use a parent attachment form during the IEP meeting.  Here are several good forms – or develop a form of your own.  http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/tips/bonnell.iep.attach.htm

PWN – A Powerful Tool When Skillfully Used  http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=2157

10.  After the meeting, write a short thank you note that summarizes what the team agreed to do. Be sure to offer to help.

Agreements always need to be in writing so a nice thank you note is a good way to create the initial record.

More on effective Advocacy strategies and advocating through Letter Writing.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Audra 02/05/14 at 1:03 pm

    I am dealing with the administration that won’t let my daughter with status epilepticus have her emergency rescue meds carried by her teacher or aide. She has had the meds carried by them for 2.5 yrs and all of a sudden they inform me that the meds have to stay locked up with the nurse. She (the nurse) guarantees me she can get the meds to her in enough time to arrest the seizure. Not True and I don’t think that is something they should take on or guarantee.
    This seizure is a life threatening type and every second without the meds could mean the difference between a 5 min seizure and 1.5 hr seizure. She is in a self contained ID class. So frustrating as we hit one road block after another. I thought all these admins and other staff were here to help.

  • 2 Teri-Lynn 01/26/14 at 4:44 am

    I believe whole heartily that special education law is a JOKE!! Unless your child is SEVERLY abused/ neglected and there is ACTUAL documentation, in THEIR school records.. You get no help… ITS a hard fact to realize and I have had to swallow it.. I have a daughter who doesn’t even fit Autism diagnosis.. BUT has many similar needs.. I relate to your story and it makes me angry! I’m disgusted with schools personelle, special education attorneys and the O.A.H. and their law judges!!. Unless you have money and as I stated above.. you will get nowhere.. no one gives a crap.. one law trumps another or is less vague.. IF you have money you can fight for your child.. IF you have money you will.pull your child from public schools to not have to put up with it.. If your poor and believed it matters to others.. well.. your wrong..

  • 3 Autism United 01/19/14 at 1:22 pm

    Very important to get teachers and caregivers to read and sign, then at least you know they have read too.
    When class loads are so low, it makes no sense that they can’t help with the aspect of potty training, other than they probably just don’t want to deal with it, and that is a shame when you are working towards a goal and they are blocking it.
    And in my own opinion, if they are not willing to help and co-operate, they shouldn’t be working with that child.