My 10 year old son has Tourettes/OCD. His teachers do not understand his disability and what he is going through in class. They have no idea about inner tics. Their main concern is proper position of words on a page. They are not trained to effectively work with him or teach him. His IEP meeting is in a week, what do I do?
What do you do? Turn to what IDEA says about support and training for school personnel.
IDEA envisions services that are provided to the parents or teachers of a child with a disability to help them to more effectively work with the child – that’s why “supports for school personnel” was included in this section of the law.
Supports for School Personnel
This does not just mean participation in normal inservice training that all teachers get – but targeted directly on assisting the teacher to meet a unique and specific need of the child.
The school may need to bring in an outside expert in TS to train the teacher and provide consultation services about how TS affects your child.
This training or support for the teacher must be written in the IEP – clearly designating who will train, when, how much, etc.
So do your research and be prepared when you meet to revise the IEP.
Tools for Effective Advocacy
You will also want to use your best advocacy skills when you meet with the team.
Use the Colombo / Miss Manners approach instead of “insisting” that the teachers are “clueless.”
Review all the advocacy strategies in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.
Attorney Susan Bardet says “By making sufficient use of support for school personnel and parent training, IEP teams can use the tools provided by IDEA to help children succeed.”
For more information on how to do this, be sure to read this article by Susan – Support For School Personnel and Parent Training: Often Overlooked Keys To Success. http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/support.bardet.htm