December 19, 2011
RE: IPRC Request
A # (DOB: # #, ####) was formally assessed and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Dec #, 2008. Since his diagnosis, he has been well supported by his parents, a team of renowned physicians, speech pathologists, early childhood educators and non-profit agencies. We have and continue to work hard to further develop his social and communication skills. We have accessed many age appropriate programs at places such as the Geneva Centre and Surrey Place that are available. Many of the few programs are waitlisted or require additional funding. I have written this letter to you to formally request an IPRC meeting, to summarize what has happened to date and address our concerns which have led up to this request. A’s physicians, teacher and parents are confident that A has and will function positively in a regular classroom environment and benefit from education with supports in his current classroom environment.
I consulted with your colleague, E. S on or before October 20th, 2011, three weeks before enrolling A at ##### Public School. A was transferred from ### Public School where there were approximately 19 children in the classroom and three supporting adults. The three supporting adults included his teacher, helper and Special Needs Assistant. At ### Public School, Miss. #, A’s teacher, expressed concern regarding behaviour which led to the development of the IEP. A was not sent to the office or sent home due to typical Autistic behaviours such as running out of the classroom, pinching, spitting, etc, as there was adequate support in the classroom and proper de-escalation tactics were used. At the time, I felt confident based on E.S.’s statements and meetings with A’s new teacher, Miss. ## that A would receive access to supports and an inclusive education. We were also promised that contact would be made with the “Autism/PDD team” during the three week period before A was enrolled. However, upon enrolling A at school and to date, I have expressed concern regarding a number of issues.
Upon meeting again in mid-November, we all discussed the best ways we can assist A. I gave a lot of useful tips based on what has been used in our home, public settings and pre-school daycare. The school has maintained that A try half-days or being brought home for Lunch although parents, physicians and those involved with his care have spoken strongly against it. A’s step-father, A.F., also mentioned sending home a ‘Communication Book’. Since, there have been days in which no communication was given and other days in which the appropriate parties could not give accurate accounts of safety and behavioural concerns, therefore leading to confusion when A was sent home. I have also phoned to speak specifically with you regarding a final date for an SST meeting but had my phone calls returned by another colleague. E.S. has still not given me a final date for SST meeting despite promising a meeting to occur in December. As of the date of this letter, E.S. has still not returned my phone call with an exact date and time for the SST meeting in January. To date, we have not been informed, contacted or given any permission forms from the “Autism/PDD team”. This all is a major concern to us given the forthcoming meetings where details are imperative in finding out how to best support A. Furthermore, it makes it difficult to discipline A when he behaves inappropriately (e.g. taking away toys, privileges, rewards, etc,.).
Dr. ##, A.F. and I have also expressed concern regarding rewarding undesirable behaviour and de-escalation. In particular, there have been incidents in which A was sent to the office due to inappropriate behaviour and was found playing with Lego. We discussed at the first teacher, principal meeting mid-November that we do not recommend A play with toys when being sent to the office for behavioural reasons. When asked subsequent to the meeting why A was playing with Lego rather than being disciplined, E.S. stated that there is not enough staff in the Office to supervise him. A has also been noted through the communication book as being given a train to play with when he refused to follow Lunchtime Routines. We have also noted that the Antecedent, Behaviour and Consequence model is not being used, both in general communication and official notes. We are deeply concerned that all the positive behavioural and social progress A has worked hard to achieve are starting to show signs of regression due to inconsistency at the school level compared to other environments.
As A’s primary caregiver, I am requesting that an Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) meeting be held to discuss A’s unique educational needs, challenges and how the Toronto District School Board can support A in receiving a positive learning experience in a regular classroom environment with supports (e.g. Special Needs Assistant). We believe given the challenges and needs of A, that he be identified as “Exceptional”. At ## Public School, A had an enriched experience in a regular classroom environment and benefitted from a Special Needs Assistant being present. Miss. ##, the team of physicians and specialists who work with A on an on-going basis also believe that A would gain the most from the Provincial Curriculum in a regular classroom with additional support. We wish to continue working with faculty at Queen Victoria Public School, Toronto District School Board and others involved in his education so that we can best support A in his educational endeavours.
cc: C.I, V.M , Dr. ##