Tuesday, May 11, 2010

City of Asheville School System : Ignoring the Educational Rights of Exceptional Children?

This is correspondence between myself and Julie Ball, education reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, whom, I am hopeful, will report on the challenges of having an Exceptional Child (EC) whom is also very bright and in honors courses and whom, as re: diagnosis of ADHD, requires MORE structure not LESS structure, as re: learning and a school environment.

Thanks for your follow-up note, Julie Ball, education reporter of the Asheville Citizen Times.

I am hopeful that you can write an article about EC children whom are commonly perceived as of below average intelligence. This is not so and the dispelling of that matter would be of interest to readers, I believe.

Moreover, as a clinical psychologist, whom has not infrequently diagnosed ADHD and commonly overlapping learning disabilities in adults, there is a significant misunderstanding of the challenges that EC people in general, if you will, experience in carrying out everyday activities.

This is perhaps more detail that you want to know but I want to outline the problem of removing an EC child who is simultaneously advanced, from school, for having in his book-bag a pocket knife which was pointedly not bought to the IEP/determination manifestation meeting we had last week w/ Mr. Paretta, EC Director of City of Asheville School System; Mr. Greg Townsend, principal of SILSA; Linda Anderson, Special Education Teacher; Lisa Sessions, English teacher; Amy Cornett, also working w/ EC children for City of Asheville Schools; Les & his parents; and, a witness whom digitally recorded the meeting..

Both my husband and I were refused the viewing of the pocket knife, which we know well, and which Leslie has had for a couple of years; this is not an aberrant item for adolescent boys to have.

As parents, we certainly do support the school for creating a safe environment.

As the school well understands, there is no history of angry outbursts or violent behaviors as per Leslie.

I have asked NC Disability Rights for a summation of our rights as parents re: the rules of evidence which created a chain of events which we necessarily had to address or allow Leslie to fail the 9th grade.

Moreover, his diagnosis of ADHD, which was made in the 2nd grade, and which then caused the creation of an IEP, made absolutely no difference to the school system. We advised them that Leslie needs MORE structure not LESS and so as per their actions they created a situation which had to be addressed and so I hired the tutor(s) which I expect to be reimbursed for.

I am hopeful of speaking to you soon.
Sincerely, Marsha V. Hammond, PhD

cc: City of Asheville School System employees
Madame Defarge NC Mental Health Reform blogspot (which I maintain and which concerns itself w/ mental health matters of NC citizens).


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