Wednesday, February 2, 2011

messin’ with my head

I wish someone would make up my mind.

Logan goes to our local public school for speech therapy once a week.  This is the 3rd year we’ve done this—he received speech only during the 2008-2009 school year, then last year he attended the developmental preschool part of the year and had speech only for part of the year.  This year we’re back to speech only services since the boys are homeschooled.  When Logan started last fall, the secretary at the school was exceptionally rude to us for a couple weeks.  At first she insisted that we couldn’t be there because she’d never seen us before and we had ‘no right’ to walk in to her school like we were a ‘regular family.’  Huh?  After we cleared that up (this was, after all, our 3rd consecutive year of coming to speech!) she insisted that I had to sign in and out every time.  Both drop off and pick up, each about a 45 second process.  Signing in and back out takes far longer.  When asked why I needed to sign in and out, she said it was for fire safety—the clipboard was used to check each room and know who was still in the building.  Okay…but I’m not on campus that long!  And Logan IS on campus each week for 45 minutes, but she didn’t care about having him signed in.  Our great SLP heard what was going on and got involved, saying that Logan SHOULD be signed in and out but I don’t have to be signed in and out.  Slightly better.  But on what sheet?  He’s not a substitute.  He’s not  a classroom visitor.  And he’s not a late arrival or early dismissal…

The catch?  In order for him to even get speech at the school, we have to fill out all the registration forms.  We have a user name and password for the school parent pages to report absences.  We are on the school and school district mailing list.  And phone lists.  So according to the school and the district, he’s a ‘student.’

Uh huh.  Not so fast.  A request was recently submitted by Logan’s SLP asking the district to provide him an FM system.  It works much better than hearing aids at helping him hear and is a very necessary part of his life.  It’s called assistive technology, and under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities  Education Act) laws, they do, in fact, have an obligation to provide necessary assistive technology.  If it was hearing aids, we wouldn’t have any questions.  But because it’s an FM system, it’s ‘at the discretion of the district’ and they can choose to provide it for only his speech sessions, even though other students with FM systems in the district can ‘check theirs out’ and take them home every day.  Not Logan.  Unless we enroll him in school.   Or, if he was enrolled in a ‘real’ school, we could petition.

What the heck?  According to the district paperwork, he IS enrolled.  The (irritating) automated phone calls I get regularly, letting me know about school cancellations and other ‘items of interest to the ___ School District family’ seem to concur with that theory.   The local elementary school shows him as a student, the secretary and her thoughts aside.  And, according to state law, homeschooling IS real school, and homeschooled students are entitled to every service available from the local public school.  But they don’t agree, and I’m not sure I have it in me to fight them.

Government entities at their finest…

No comments:

Post a Comment