Emotional and Behavioral Health

Share your love
Spread the love


IEP Help For Emotional/Behavioral Health

Typically, parents are the first ones to notice signs of emotional/behavioral issues but their concerns are often brushed off by the school district. This is not to insinuate that the school personnel do not care, rather they do not see the concerning behavior at school; therefore, it makes it difficult for them to act upon something they are not seeing.

It is very common for children to exhibit concerning behaviors in the home environment but not in the school environment. This is because behaviors typically start to appear where a child feels the safest. In order to understand this, think about your worst day at work. Maybe you were called into your boss’s office to hear that your work was below expectations. You probably wanted to cry, or yell, or even throw something at him but you knew this wasn’t acceptable.  Instead, you asked how you could improve and then you worked even harder throughout the rest of the day. But once that day ended, you went home and had a good cry or went to the gym and worked out like an NFL player. Now imagine how you might act if it literally took all your energy to control your behaviors at work on a daily basis. What would you do when you got home? Would you collapse in your bed for hours? Would you be so frustrated and unable to control your behaviors any longer that you lash out at your loved ones? This is what many children go through and the parents who experience it understand the connection with school. They see a happy, well rested child go off to school and then they see an exhausted and angry child return.

Common Signs of Concern that Parents See

●Meltdowns at home.
●No friends or unable to make friends.
●Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
●Withdrawn and quiet.
●Excessive time on simple homework.
●Disorganized and doesn’t turn in assignments.
●Headaches and/or stomachaches.
●Refusing to go to school.
●Unable to stay focused.
●Destructive behaviors.
●Aggression toward siblings.

Parents often have a very difficult time getting school personnel to believe what is happening at home. Many times, they are even told that their child is a model student. Even when parents are able to convince school personnel that they are not exaggerating, they often hear a variety of responses. These responses don’t address the issue and tend to make parents question their ability as parents.

Responses that Parents Hear From the Schools

●She interacts with other students in group activities.
●We aren’t seeing that at school.
●A child’s interest is changing at this age as they mature.
●She runs around on the playground.
●Homework is difficult for some students. If you can’t help, maybe you should consider a tutoring service.
●What are you doing about it? We don’t have the staff to monitor that.
●Have you consulted with a doctor?
●We just provide services in the school. It is the parent’s responsibility to get a child to school.
●Have you talked with her doctor about medications?
●Maybe some family counseling would help.
●Is she seeing a psychiatrist?

If you are hearing these type of responses in connection with your concerns, do not sway from what you know. As a parent, you are the true expert on your child. Just because the school personnel are unable to see the connection between the behaviors at home and the school environment, it does not mean that there isn’t a connection.

Possible Causes Of The Behaviors

●She has a disability that impacts her ability to communicate and make friends.
●Child is struggling all day internally to meet expectations. Once at home, she explodes.
●Too much homework.
●Result of a disability such as ADHD.
●Depression and/or Anxiety.
●Result of a disability such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
●Side effect of a medication.

There are a number of different factors that may be impacting your child’s behaviors. It may be temporary and/or circumstantial. Or, it might be medical or an undetected disabling condition. If you are detecting behaviors with your child that are concerning to you, you are doing your job as a parent. The next step is to get the professionals to do their job.

Getting the Needed Supports for Your Child

Since getting the district to recognize the connection between school and home is often challenging, the best approach to getting the support that your child needs is persistence. If you know something is wrong, trust your parental instinct and do not give up! All it takes is one other member of the school team to begin to hear your concerns. This may take more than a phone call, more than a meeting with the principal, and more than one meeting with the IEP team but don’t give up. Share what is happening at home and what you believe is causing it. If you are seeking outside assistance, inform the school of this  and ask the outside provider to attend an IEP meeting with you.

If you have tried this, and still feel that nothing is being put in place to support your child, you should contact a special education advocate. They will be able to review what you have done and make additional recommendations. They will also be able to review your child’s educational records and find proof that there is a connection between the behaviors at home and school. They can then present this information to the IEP team and work with them to put in the proper supports for your child. They will be able to advocate for the needs of your child and allow you to focus on the most important role — being a parent.

Spread the love
Share your love