Third Tier - Intensive Interventions The Brennan Family - Experience with Mediation

 

This module opened with an excerpt from an interview with the Brennan family. In this particular experience, the inability of staff to collaborate and plan with the family almost landed the school and district in court, until a supervisor intervened and was able to effectively pull the situation back to a focus on the child's needs, which the family kept trying to focus on.

Below is the transcript from this part of their interview:

 

Jim:
You know as parents you feel very disempowered. It’s hard even, you know we’re relatively intelligent proactive people that are also really collaborative. But we still feel like in the end unless we want to court, they are going to do what they want. Because we don't get to see the IEP,

Veronica:
and that was a big thing, we were with all of the different sections because this year we had a triennial and with all the different sections, we were you know still we had what a 3 hour meeting, and one meeting was like 2 hours and another meeting was like another hour and a half or something like that and so we still hadn't resolved everything so it was ongoing. Our IEP still hasn't closed and it has been since February [it is now May]. So, yep school is almost out.

Jim:
And it’s our fault because we're trouble makers

Veronica:
But there are changes and we have had to go through emails and we tried to say okay can we have a face-to-face because this is just too cumbersome to do through email, etc. So as different sections of the IEP are updated, we don't get copies of them. We can't see it, we can view it.

Jim:
And we request it

Veronica:
They say they've made the changes but we don't even have access to viewing it to see that the changes have been made and they were made the way we had agreed to.

Jim:
Right and what's the response that you get when you say we'd like a copy of that? What do they say? What do you want that for?

Veronica:
You'll get it in a final draft and I'm like No I want a copy of what we just discussed. Before I leave this meeting, and I mean last year I had to request 3 times, from the special ed teacher even that we get a copy

Jim:
Now if the speech therapist says to the special ed teacher or vice versa, "Hey can I get a copy of that?" "Sure I'll make you a copy." It's a different point of you. It's like we are not treated equally, even and you know it's a philosophical cultural thing that we're not sure exactly how to change.