Pine Valley - I WOULD---------ABSOLUTELY........POSITIVELY....GO with your son to his IEP meeting on MONDAY and yes, they are right - at 18 you have no LEGAL recourse to be invited to ANY of these meetings - HOWEVER you can REQUEST IN WRITING signed by both you and your husband and son- sent registered mail and hand delivered (DO both) that you are to be included in ANY and ALL formal and informal meetings, gatherings, IEP, and non-IEP meetings or any talks regarding your sons education from (date it) this day forward. Name you and husband as your sons representatives and make it as if your son WROTE the letter to the school district and copy the principal and the school district and send registered letters to both and copy both (sound redundant here but been a while to think back) also at the bottom if you do have a counselor or a lawyer for the sake of being cautious - CC: that name or firm. And send THEM a copy or if you do not? CC: a local Federation of Families representative, and the name of your NEW psychiatrist, and send him a copy. Eventually you get the psychiatric to send a letter stating he is working with the family....sign their HIPPA letter to be able to receive it. And let them know this is being worked on from an outside source. This does a few things - 1.) tells the district that you and husband ARE to be present at all future meetings regarding your sons education process and are NOT under any circumstances to be unincluded. 2.) keeps you and husband in the loop and prevents the school/district teachers from pulling fast ones - what amazed us was that here we have a child with EMOTIONAL problems ENOUGH to gain him an IEP -----knowing that he has "issues" and "problems" and mental health issues that create immaturity in him WHICH INCLUDE the fact that he is NOT ABLE TO PROCESS INFORMATION ON AN ADULT LEVEL NOR MAKE ADULT DECISIONS FOR HIMSELF AND NEED family guidance for damn near everything else ------so please by all means -------brush him under the rug and rush him through his educaitonal decisions without his parents you sly weasles. GOSH -----wish I had seen that one coming five years ago - but I wasn't that savy so long ago - hope it helps your son. Mind didn't get an educaiton. (insert growl) Educators my foot. Pushers out the door onto the next person who didn't need a problem then complain about him NOT having an educaiton and NOT doing anything with his live - expletive expletive adjective adjective and I bet mine are way wordier than theirs. I HAD a great education. I just didn't ever think educators were snakes in the grass -------but when it came to kids like mine - WOW. (so now you know and yes you are right) they want rid of him. 3.) When you put the lawyer name /firm on the letter? It's letting them know - you've talked to someone - not sure who - but you have checked into HIS rights. Awwwww isn't that special - now tread lightly. 4.) When you put the doctor name on the letter? It's letting them know - YOU are and have applied for help - so you aren't some namby pamby parents floating aimlessly out in space wondering what to do - YOU HAVE and are receiving help and WILL BE BACK WITH AN OUTILINE OF HELP/A PLAN / a BATTLE PLAN ------a GUIDE of sorts a.....GAME PLAN......and a CONTINGENCY PLAN......you are now getting professional quality level of care. So you have in essence told them - YOU CAN NOT toss him out -----he has PROBLEMS we are identifying these problems and not only is he a Typical Teen (typical teen) -----he is a boy and making really dumb decisions at the moment because he he has mental health issues but......not SO severe as to warrant ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL......but by sending him to ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL......LOOK WHAT HABITS he is picking up on????? OMG where did that come from. HOLY MOLY. Perhaps some of the list of things you can go over with the (oh yea when you see the shrink MAKE A LIST) do not just go in without a notebook and a list with dates.........write it down ------take a note book and keep a ledger with dates........it helps tremendously. 1.) STEALS CREDIT CARDS........why? Has no money -------Why? Does he get an allowance? NO.......does he do chores? Yes......is he paid......YES......where is his money going? NEEDS A BUDGET. SAVINGS ACCOUNT. 2.) HAS HE PAID ANY OF THE MONEY BACK? WHY? WE never asked........HE NEEDS TO -----GET A JOB - pay a portion back........how much? WILL HE -----no. WHY? Can't get school work done.....WHY? Too hard....WHY - DOesn't get it.....WOULD A SHADOW OR TUTOR HELP?????? MAYBE......IN SCHOOL? (KID SAYS H NO) after school or in a study hall situation........MAYBE......OKAY ----- HELP WITH A JOB.......POSSIBLE BIG BROTHER?????? MAYBE........twice a weeek -------(Ask counselor for help) find someone cool........ THis is a flow chart you want to theorize with the school to let them know --------WE ARE WORKING ON SOLUTIONS --------at present we have things in the works ----TALKING TO SEVERAL PEOPLE -----will come back in a week with some solid answers and hopefully it will keep SON out of alternative school and fast track to graduation...... In the mean time -------you get SON -------to write out things like ------ WHAT he needs to stay in schoollllllllll WHAT he needs to stay at home...... WHAT he needs to be happy.........(do that one first) Go from there with his therapist..........BUT with this information? IT is unlikely a school with dump him----------first chance. THEY HAVE to amend his IEP ........They can also offer him 1/2 days at school and 1/2 days at home with a tutor (they pay) if alternative school is not working and it is too stressful. Bet you didn't know that. If something is BOTHERING him and causing him undue stress to the point he can NOT funcition at alternative or HS........he can request this. I know because we did. Son went 1/2 days to HS and 1/2 days home school with a tutor. It worked better than anything. The district paid for a teacher. Good luck.