A recent study commissioned by the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities finds that students with special needs who graduate from one of its member institutions perform better in the long run than their peers who are educated in the public school environment. MANSEF graduates are also less likely to have been inside a jail cell or a court room, and a higher percentage of them live independently from their parents or guardians. Deborah Carran of Johns Hopkins University, who authored the report, said that the results were “encouraging,” and proved that MANSEF schools were on the right track when it came to implementing the best approach to helping their students. MANSEF schools typically attract the most difficult cases referred to them by public schools who feel that they’re in no position to help further. In our school district, 6th grade is gloriously still in elementary school, so next year we make the move to the frightening world of junior high.
Today, however, as a meditation for myself as much as anything, I want to go through the past seven IEP's, and the biggest lessons I learned from each. Just because a school district determines that your child doesn't qualify for a specific service, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't look into pursuing that service outside of the school district.
An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, especially when that pound of cure involves hospitalization and IEP violations and antipsychotic drugs. The more I researched the side effects of the medications he took, the more I realized that his behaviors, too, could be caused by the medications as much as by the disorder I increasingly suspected he didn't have. By the end of third grade, my son was off of antipsychotics and had been reevaluated and found to have not bipolar disorder but alphabet soup: ADHD, PDD-NOS (which turned into Asperger Syndrome shortly thereafter). My son left fourth grade spending less than a quarter of his time in general ed classrooms.
I get the feeling that we're on the cusp of a period that is going to require more effort from him for success. Molly is a mom, erstwhile blogger, current insurance professional, and MS in Occupational Therapy student living in Colorado. Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow.
Researchers have consistently found that high levels of parental conflict during and after a divorce are associated with poorer adjustment in children. Taken together, the findings suggest that only a small percentage of young people experience divorce-related problems.
The experience of divorce can also create problems that do not appear until the late teenage years or adulthood. Yet scientific research does not support the view that problems in adulthood are prevalent; it instead demonstrates that most children of divorce become well-adjusted adults.
Even though children of divorce generally do well, a number of factors can reduce the problems they might experience. Other, more general facets of good parenting can also buffer against divorce-related difficulties in children.
The good news is that although divorce is hard and often extremely painful for children, long-term harm is not inevitable.
Reconciling Divergent Perspectives: Judith Wallerstein, Quantitative Family Research, and Children of Divorce. Image Details 6,459 views (18 from today) Uploaded Mar 17, 2014 at 05:20AM EDT Origin Entry Fairly Odd Parents The Fairly Odd Parents in an American animated children’s show which airs on Nickelodeon. MANSEF students are more likely to be either employed or working on a post-secondary degree, post-graduation, than students with disabilities who have not gone to MANSEF schools.
According to her, the outcomes of the study proved that many of the students considered to be lost causes by public schools could – in the right environment – learn to engage with their communities, achieve academic and professional success and live independent lives. Still, the post-graduation outcomes for them are much better with 53% finding employment within a year, compared to only 27% of special-ed students nationwide.
Department of Education called the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, which tracks a sample population of special-needs students who receive services in public schools as they transition to adulthood. I've been at this special ed thing since he was four, and here we are, in 6th grade, on the precipice of adolescence, with lockers and pimples and raging hormones. This year's IEP is complicated by the fact that not only are we writing a document that needs to be upheld by an entirely new team at an entirely new school in an entirely new environment, but we are moving this summer to a new county and a new school district.
This is an attempt to integrate and build my confidence: I know what I'm doing here, but every year there seems to be a new challenge and a new problem and a new set of circumstances that shocks you in to a new reality.
The questionnaire for sensory issues breaks them down into several categories, and I was told that he didn't qualify because he didn't score badly enough in all of the categories.
I grew up with them talking shop at the dinner table, about difficult parents, about newly imposed rules and standards, about the long hours on their feet with bathroom breaks few and far between, about how hard it was to create environments of learning when parents didn't support their efforts. My son's sensory issues and social skills, left untreated, led to the worst years of our lives.
With the autism diagnosis, came explanations for the difficulties that my son had had since birth; the sensory sensitivities, the inability to understand social cues to sit or to talk at the right times. With middle school looming, and what I am sure was a difficult schedule for the special ed staff to logistically work out, I was informed at the beginning of fifth grade that he would be (quite suddenly, I thought) fully mainstreamed (with push in support).

My son constantly amazes me with what he can accomplish, especially when properly supported. Our awesome team further devolved and my son's teacher might have been the second coming of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Researchers have found that only a relatively small percentage of children experience serious problems in the wake of divorce or, later, as adults. In 2000 in a book entitled The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, then at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues present detailed case studies suggesting that most adults who were children of divorce experience serious problems such as depression and relationship issues. For example, in a 2002 book, For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, Hetherington and her co-author, journalist John Kelly, describe a 25-year study in which Hetherington followed children of divorce and children of parents who stayed together.
Children fare better if parents can limit conflict associated with the divorce process or minimize the child's exposure to it. Parents should provide warmth and emotional support, and they should closely monitor their children's activities.
The show follows the life of Tim Turner, an elementary school student who has two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda. In addition, more than one in ten MANSEF graduates go on to college, compared to 4% of American special-ed public school students.
The MANSEF study represented students from 18 nonpublic institutions two years after they graduated in 2007 and 2008. While I've learned so much over the course of these years, both about the specific issues that we deal with at home and at school and about the "system" of educating and medically treating special needs kids, I still spend this IEP-eve with a sense of dread and anxiety. He did score on the extreme end in three of the five, but the school team told me this was not enough to qualify him for services.
I wanted so badly to let the teachers know that I supported them, and I still do at every opportunity. Conveniently, the psychiatrists that were touting pediatric bipolar swore that it was the same as the adult version, even though the diagnostic criteria didn't match up. This took more than a year, and I had virtually no support from professionals in this decision.
My fight with the self-contained school remained hard fought until I finally got all parties to agree he needed to be moved to a neighborhood school with behavioral support, and he was able to attend and learn and stay safe. Divorcing parents are usually very concerned about the welfare of their children during this troublesome process. In this column, we discuss these findings as well as factors that may protect children from the potentially harmful effects of divorce.
Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and her then graduate student Anne Mitchell Elmore found that many children experience short-term negative effects from divorce, especially anxiety, anger, shock and disbelief. Amato, then at Pennsylvania State University, examined the possible effects on children several years after a divorce. In a 1985 study Hetherington and her associates reported that some children who are exposed to high levels of marital discord prior to divorce adjust better than children who experience low levels. She found that 25 percent of the adults whose parents had divorced experienced serious social, emotional or psychological troubles compared with 10 percent of those whose parents remained together. Emery of the University of Virginia concluded that the relationships of adults whose parents' marriages failed do tend to be somewhat more problematic than those of children from stable homes.
Further, children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those whose primary parent is doing poorly.
Arkowitz is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, and Lilienfeld is a psychology professor at Emory University.
Carran said the longitudinal study, which served as a model for the MANSEF study, was the most comparable data available, though students in the MANSEF study often have more severe disabilities. This may have actually been true, this may have been their criteria for pre-school intervention.
We had largely extinguished the "flight" response from my son's repertoire, but his sensory issues and anxiety didn't extinguish his adrenal response to over-stimulation. Basically, children who were aggressive and irritable were given the diagnosis without having to meet the criteria of periods of mania followed by periods of depression. The school was furious with me, as each down-titration of the medications cause a surge in bad behavior. What these seven lessons teach me though, is that while we aren't out of the woods, he is resilient, I believe in him, and progress can be made in even the darkest times. Some parents are so worried that they remain in unhappy marriages, believing it will protect their offspring from the trauma of divorce.
The studies compared children of married parents with those who experienced divorce at different ages. Apparently when marital conflict is muted, children are often unprepared when told about the upcoming divorce. These findings suggest that only 15 percent of adult children of divorce experience problems over and above those from stable families.

For instance, people whose parents split when they were young experience more difficulty forming and sustaining intimate relationships as young adults, greater dissatisfaction with their marriages, a higher divorce rate and poorer relationships with the noncustodial father compared with adults from sustained marriages. In the latter situation, the maladjusted parent should seek professional help or consider limiting his or her time with the child. Other factors contributing to children's adjustment include postdivorce economic stability and social support from peers and other adults, such as teachers.
For example, children who are good problem solvers and who seek social support are more resilient than those who rely on distraction and avoidance. His fight or flight instincts leaned aggressively towards flight whenever things got overwhelming. When I heard this, I heard, falsely, "This is not the problem, then." I crossed it off of my mental list.
The doctor did as I asked, prescribing lower and lower doses but warned me about the dangers of unmedicated bipolar disorder.
He still had his good days and bad days, but the understanding between the team is that we'd all work together to help him succeed.
It hadn't been too long ago that he was regularly throwing chairs at his teachers, and they were just going to throw him in to the lions den? The investigators followed these kids into later childhood, adolescence or the teenage years, assessing their academic achievement, emotional and behavior problems, delinquency, self-concept and social relationships. Divorce frequently contributes to depression, anxiety or substance abuse in one or both parents and may bring about difficulties in balancing work and child rearing. No one knows whether this difference is caused by the divorce itself or by variables, such as poorer parenting, that often accompany a marriage's dissolution. Parents can also support their children during this difficult time by talking to them clearly about the divorce and its implications and answering their questions fully.
He was tested for sensory issues in that first IEP, and was deemed to not have significant-enough issues to qualify for school-based services. What I should have heard was, "You child is scoring with a definite difference in a number of categories on this questionnaire." He had sensory issues. My family and friends were the only people who saw what I saw: my beautiful son, blunted by drugs, flailing in the wrong environment, struggling.
The trust that we'd built in the awesome fourth grade was not lost on me though, and I didn't feel like this was the hill to die on before they got to test their hypothesis that he'd be "just fine" in gen ed fifth grade.
On average, the studies found only very small differences on all these measures between children of divorced parents and those from intact families, suggesting that the vast majority of children endure divorce well. In addition, children from high-discord families may experience the divorce as a welcome relief from their parents' fighting. These problems can impair a parent's ability to offer children stability and love when they are most in need.
But in his second grade year, as he was taught in a self-contained school for children with severe behavioral issues, it became very clear to me that the medicines that were supposed to be helping him were actually harming him.
He will have a locker and will be trusted to move from class to class during bustling passing periods. I don't know if our experience is normal, but he's never really received adequate interventions in the schools for sensory issues. They got away with a lot of, "I don't have time to communicate with you, you'll just have to live with that." I did it because I wanted them to understand that I understood. My desire to disqualify diagnoses (and I very competently kept my head in the sand, buried deep in denial for another year or so) kept us from seeking the help of an occupational therapist for the next three years. The year wasn't without challenges, and he still definitely needed a lot of support, but he left fifth grade spending all day in gen ed, with pull out time with therapists. My son left kindergarten having spent very little of the school year doing much in the realms of academics, but more importantly, he didn't learn how to go to school. He most definitely needed OT, and private OT at that, OT in a gym with someone who could work with him one on one.
The path of least resistance got us through Kindergarten, but it did not yield anything in lasting strategies or helpful behavioral interventions. A blood profile I insisted his psychiatrist order showed high cholesterol and the beginnings of diabetes. I wish I'd realized then how much work we'd have to do outside of what the school could provide.

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