Restraint and Seclusion

Texas law states that seclusion is not allowed. They are, however, allowed to use time-out:

A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use time-out with the following limitations.

(1) Physical force or threat of physical force must not be used when placing a student in time-out.

(2) “may only be used in conjunction with an array of positive behavior intervention strategies and techniques and must be included in the student’s IEP and/or BIP if it is utilized on a recurrent basis to increase or decrease a targeted behavior.”

(3) “must not be implemented in a fashion that precludes the ability of the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum and advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals specified in the student’s IEP.”

Restraint means the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of the student’s body. A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use restraint only in an emergency and with the following limitations.

(1) Restraint must be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to address the emergency.
(2) Restraint must be discontinued at the point at which the emergency no longer exists.
(3) Restraint must be implemented in such a way as to protect the health and safety of the student and others.
(4) Restraint must not deprive the student of basic human necessities.”

“Emergency means a situation in which a student’s behavior poses a threat of: (A) imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others; or (B) imminent, serious property destruction.”

Is this being implemented in the best interest of your child and others? Numerous students have died during improper restraints, some going as far and having a person sit on the child until they can’t breathe. Your child is more likely to be restrained at school than be the victim of a shooting.

What are your thoughts?

Back to School 2019-2020

Welcome to the new school year.

Tips for a successful year:

Meet your child’s teacher.

Have your child’s IEP ready and available.

Talk to your child about their IEP if you feel they are old enough to understand

Keep on a schedule. Keeping things routine will help your child know what to expect and will reduce meltdowns

Help your child to stay organized. Look through their folder or binder nightly.

The ADHD female

Many males are diagnosed with ADHD at an early age. However, females are often overlooked.

Females with ADHD often exhibit different symptoms than males and go overlooked by parents, teachers and professionals.

SYMPTOMS:

Many times, the ADHD female find that they are often people pleasers. They are more withdraw and have the desire to be “perfect”. You may see ADHD females as loud talkers or talking a lot to friends, but not adults outside the home. They get frustrated because people won’t be able to understand their thinking. ADHD females tend toward seeing the bigger picture. They are not detail oriented and often daydream and seem to be miles away lost in thought. Teachers assume they have poorer academic skills than they do because even though they talk a lot, they have difficulty standing up for themselves and tend away from arguments.

80-85% of the diagnosis of ADHD is often presented as depression. Self-worth and self-esteem plummet due to inability to achieve their perceived need for perfection. This also results in a high level on anxiety.

YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE?

If you feel you are ADHD, take a few minutes per day to Breath, Move and Hydrate. Breathing helps us re-center and calm the brain. Moving helps us to feel like we are achieving our goals. And water helps the brain to achieve optimal functioning.

If you feel like this could be you or your child, contact a primary care doctor, therapist or psychiatrist for treatment options.

Medication breaks during holidays

During holidays many parents allow their  children to have “medication breaks” when it comes to ADHD medication.  There are numerous websites that encourage it and others that discourage it.    In my personal experience, it always seems harder to get students back on track after a holiday.

So here are some pros and cons to help you make the decision. .

According to WebMd:

Pros…

  • A medication break can ease side effects of the medication; loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and weight loss.
  • It MAY boost your child’s growth.
  • Gives child a chance to practice how to act without medication.

Cons…

  • Going without medication (even for a little break) can make your child’s symptoms reappear or get worst
  • It might take a while for the medication to work again.  For example, you take him/her off meds for Thanksgiving.  They go back to school the following Monday, but it takes 2 days for it to really become effective. Meanwhile, your child is missing out on instruction because they are having a difficult time concentrating.

Ultimately, it is your choice. However always consult with your pediatrician on the issue.  Some medications need to be reduced slowly.

Also, school personnel can NEVER tell you that your child needs medication. They are not doctors and many of the concerns for a child without ADHD meds can be alleviated with the correct goals and accommodations in their IEP or 504 plan. 

Contact me if you have questions and have a wonderful Thanksgiving break!

817-602-9677

Autism and Halloween

When trick – or – treating, remember that a child with Autism can be very sensitive to loud noises, crowds and changes in routines.

  • If you can, discuss with your child what to expect when trick -or-treating i.e. social norms.
  • Sometimes a set of headphones will block out the majority of the noise.  However, if you use this be cautious of cars not paying attention.
  • Try to stay away from large groups of people.
  • Give them warning before you stop trick-or-treating. For example, “We have _____ number of houses left before we go home.”
  • Remind your child that some of the things he/she sees are not real.
  • If needed, have him/her wear a weighted vest or blanket.

 

 

Dyslexia

As a parent of two children with Dyslexia we realize how much it has affected our life.  For  years I was a Special Education Teacher. I worked with students with Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbances, Hearing Impairment, Autism and more, but I had little chance to learn about Dyslexia. In Texas, Dyslexia falls under a 504 qualifying condition under the American Disabilities Act – not Special Education. When my own children began to struggle, I knew there was a problem and knew what to do in terms of Special Education. I didn’t understand how to get them into Special Education. I was faced with obstacle after obstacle. My first experience was the school wanting to hold my child back in pre-k, but they didn’t want to do anything with her for intervention. Then, they wanted to hold her back in Kindergarten, but again, no intervention. “She just has an early birthday.” “She needs to mature.” I finally requested Dyslexia testing and found out that there was a disconnect between letters and sounds.  She was referred into a specific program and received extensive phonological instruction.

So, we moved forward.  The second time we encounter dyslexia was with my third daughter. Her first grade teacher told her that “she didn’t have time to make sure that [my child] had time to write down her spelling words” “she needed to be more organized”  This was a child who seemed to be picking up on reading relatively well so I couldn’t understand what the problem was.  She failed every spelling test in 2nd grade before the school conceded to the fact that there might be a problem.   Again, we had her tested and she has one of the worse cases they had seen. To this day, she cannot spell adequately and uses a handheld spell check in 7th grade.

Since then, I have completed extensive research on Dyslexia and the brain and brain functions, signs of Dyslexia, treatments/interventions for Dyslexia and much more.  However, there is nothing like that first encounter with the school when your child starts to struggle.  Even as an educator I experienced push back and I let them push me back.  It was heartbreaking seeing my babies struggle so much – spending HOURS on spelling words and decodable readers. PLEASE contact me if you are seeing signs in your child that you think might be related to Dyslexia!

If you are having any concerns with your child’s reading skills, please contact me.

817-681-3250

For more information, visit my website and view the Dyslexia page for signs, symptoms and statistics.

 

Report cards

Most of you should have received your child’s report card by now. If not, most schools have an on-line parent portal where you can check grades.

If your child has a ’70’ or below- it is time to contact me or the school. Most schools will give a 70 or 50 for being there the first six weeks. Most WILL NOT give below a 50 because they feel the child can not “catch up” in order to be able to pass the semester.

On some report cards, you will also see “accommodations” listed beside the grades. This means that this is the grade the student received with accommodations.

You always have the right to see the “regular” assignment vs. the “accommodated” (what accommodations were used).

Please contact me if you notice that your child is taking an unusually long time completing homework. This can be a red flag for attention or learning problems.

Thanks for joining me!