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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD9 attends the LRE class in the elementary school. LRE (least restrive environment) is a special needs class where the children are pretty involved. As most of you know,my daughter is developmentally delayed, wheelchair bound, no speech.

The teacher is awesome. We love her dearly. As well as her two aides who have worked in this class for years. My problem is that every year the school year starts and they don't have enough staff.

Here's the breakdown. There are 11 children. Of those 11, 6 of the children are wheelchair bound, and low functioning. Meaning they all need one on one at all times. My DD is one of these children. The other five children are high functioning, with 2 Downs Syndrome, 1 who is ADHD, and the other 3 I don't know what thier diagnose is. But they can walk, talk, and at least are potty trained. The six children in wheelchairs, obviously are still in diapers.
One w/c child hasn't started yet, but will very soon and he'll be coming with his own nurse. So that means the teacher two aides, along with a new aide will have to work with the other 10 children. That's a ratio of one adult per 2.3 children. If half of them are one on one, how is creation is that going to work????

I've called the Principal of the school up and requested a meeting with her along with the superintendant of schools. I left her a message and stated that "this is ridicolous I have to do this every year, perhaps we need the Board of Education to step in."

At different times of the day, my DD like the other children are pulled to spend time with either the speech, ot or physical therapist to work on certain goals. Whether it be feeding, choice making (communication skills) or working on physical therapy. But when the therapists are not there, I think the staff is overwhelmed. I have discussed this with the teacher, who agrees with me wholeheartedly, but she said they never listen to staff. But will when a parent starts squeaking.

My other issue is this, and I plan on using this as my trump card. Over summer, which we refused to put DD in because the teacher in that class was a bit unfit. There was the teacher and 5 aides!! But only six children!! Yet they still managed to have a child escape from the room, and wander down to the front of the school by himself!! And they never knew it until the temp. summer principal and another parent found him!!

Sorry, I just needed a vent. I would appreciate any input from those who have special needs children/grandchildren.
 

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Take a look at the school sports budget/coaching salaries and administrative salaries as a percentage of the total school budget. Publish it in the local paper, then threaten so sue the school board over the disparity. That'll get the aids for special education just to shut you up. No kidding!
 

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Are you saying that each wheelchair bound child is supposed to have their very own teacher? Is that in the federal or state guidelines somewhere? If so, you could call the state board of Ed, or isn't there a federal agency that deals with disability equality?

What, exactly, is a typical day like at school for your DD, if you don't mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RG, no not each wheelchair child would have thier very own teacher. The class has one teacher, and currently three aides. Two of which have been there for years and know the kids quite well.

A typical day starts at 9 am for her. Usually its 7:30, as they do breakfast. But I cut her out of that since often it ended up being one adult with five kids. And feeding for DD is still a learning experience. She can handle a sippy cup and drink by herself, but grasping a spoon, scooping food and bringing it to her mouth is still a challenge.
But since I keep her home and feed her breakfast just to make sure she actually gets fed I bring her in at 9. They have circle time, where the teacher reads a book and then does other activities like singing. Which she is usually doing sign langauge. Then she might be taken out for speech therapy, or occupational therapy, or phyiscal therapy. If not, either the teacher or aide needs to be with her, like most of the other children doing hands on type of things. Whether its playing with a toy to activate, or choice making. Alot of what they do in a class in not typical of a "neuro-typical" child since their learning abilities are different. Our children are there to learn life skills. Since most of them cannot read and write. But some of the other kids, like the Downs and AHDH kids can be moved over to another class they call CDC, which is more inclusive and where the kids learn more "educational" stuff like writing thier names, etc.
She does have lunch there. And again, its not just a feeding time, but its also a educational lesson for her. She is also pulled out twice a week for music and art. Music she enjoys. And sometimes they have adapted gym. Where they take the kids to the gym and bounce a balloon back and forth to each other, or other adapted activitities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Westwood, I actually mentioned the Board of Educ. on my message I left with the principal.
When we went to pick DD up at school I went in to see if she was available and they said she was in a meeting. But DD's school said they already came in looking for DD's file, and that they are probably "meeting" with central office to find out what they should do next. Since I mentioned the BOE already, they are probably running scared.
Now I have another parent who wants to attend the meeting as well, because her son who's also in DD's class is also concerned about the lack of staff.
 
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