My son has a sensory processing disorder but did not qualify for special ed or OT. His teacher is militaristic, verbally harsh, and impatient. My son comes home crying and upset frequently, though the teacher denies this.
I attached a small recording device to my son’s backpack and learned that the teacher does frequently yell at my son in in front of the other students.
I will meet with the principal to get my son switched to another classroom. Should I show him the recording? I’m afraid that the principal will not believe me without proof.
This is a very touchy issue because of the recording. I don’t know what state you live in. State laws about recording someone without their knowledge and consent vary.
Before you reveal the existence of the recording, I suggest that you:
- Go to our www.yellowpagesforkids.com. Click on your state.
- Find the listings of attorneys in your state who specialize in special education.
- Create a list, then google each one of their names.
- Talk to leading individuals of some of the special education parent groups in your area to find out which lawyer of those listed is the best.
- Schedule a consultation with that person.
Per attorney client privilege, you can share that recording with the attorney. But, until you know your state law, share it with no one else.
The attorney may find other reasons (sensory processing disorder) to change your son’s class. He may be able to keep the recording as the “hole” card if things get ugly (subject to your own state’s laws re such recordings).
Request a comprehensive evaluation for your son. The odds are also good that he should qualify for an IEP.
Don’t Shoot From the Hip
Go slow. Make the right decision based on good information, instead of acting quickly and shooting from the hip.
Change tactics with that teacher. Record a conversation with your son about what happens at school. If your child sobs and cries during your ‘interview’, don’t discourage this. Request a meeting with the teacher. Play the recording for her. Sharing a recording of your discussion with your child is okay. Advise the teacher that the issue is not whether what your son is saying is or is not true, but this is your child’s perception of what is happening at school.
Ask how you, the parent, and the teacher can do, working together, to change your child’s perceptions of what is happening in school.
If you can help the teacher to see the problem through your son’s eyes, without feeling defensive because you are attacking her, you, your son and the teacher will all benefit from the experience.