Friday, September 3, 2010

MPC: Real Stories From Real Parents

Transfer to District 75 Stopped Using Mediation

Daniel was an 8th grade student in a 12:1:1 program in a community school when his parents contacted Sinergia's Metropolitan Parent Center (MPC). They needed our help because their son was being recommended for a more restrictive 8:1:1 program in District 75 with a classification of emotional disturbance (ED).  The parents did not know 8:1:1 programs are intended to serve students with autism, but were told that the smaller class would provide Daniel with more assistance.

Daniel’s parents, now represented by the MPC, rejected both the program recommendation and the classification of ED. However, soo after that Daniel was suspended by the school, in what looked like retaliation. Undeterred, the parents requested a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), which they had learned was a document required by law before an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team can consider a more restrictive placement for behavioral reasons. As previous meetings had been very heated, and the FBA and Behavior Plan would halt any school transfer, getting the school to support Daniel in his current program was going to be a challenge.

The MPC suggested the parents consider mediation as a voluntary dispute resolution process and after some convincing both parties agreed to it. Although not a smooth process, mediation allowed both parties to express their concerns and resulted in a redirection of efforts from pushing Daniel from his current school to providing him with the support and services he needed. He received counseling from a school psychologist with whom Daniel was able to develop a trusting relationship with, and was also assisted by his tireless, dedicated teacher. Within months progress was evident. Today Daniel is in a high school for the arts and is doing fantastic work!

No comments: