Advice with my sons annual iep and meeting

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Poochokid, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Poochokid

    Poochokid New Member

    My son is in the 7th grade. This is the first year in this school and we are to have the annual IEP meeting. Our son has been diagnosed with-ADHD at age 5. He has had an IEP since the 1st grade. We would like to get some advice on questions we should ask, how we can find out that our son is getting all the help he needs and deserves, etc. We fear that our son might not be getting all of the help he should and we need to know what kinds of things we should be looking for. We aren't sure if the teachers are doing all we think they should be doing according to the IEP. How do we get the teachers to do what they are supposed to do?
    We are located in St. Paul,MN. How do we ask for the things we want? What is the correct way to phrase things? We would appreciate any advice that we can get.
    Debi & Scott
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Hi & welcome! Hopefully someone will be along to answer your questions shortly. What kinds of services are listed in his IEP currently? How are his grades? Does he complete his homework? Any behavior problems at school? Is this the first year in junior high or is it middle school?
  3. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I am also in MN. I have questions for you before I give any advice so I hope you bear with me. When was the last comprehensive evaluation they did? It's supposed to be done every 3 years. What "deficits" did they find? What services are they supposed to be providing? What types of academic and organizational struggles does he have? What kinds of goals have they set for him most recently? Has he been meeting those goals? Jules questions are also very important to know. What does the IEP say they are supposed to be doing that you don't know if they are? What kinds of things have you noticed at home that work/don't work? The more information you can give us will help us give you more accurate advice on how to proceed.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. You will find a lot of support, encouragement, and help here. I know I have!

    Addition: HaoZi brought up a good point. You can always call the PACER Center in the Cities and ask them for help. They even attend the meetings with you if you want them involved. Here in MN, they tend to carry a lot of weight.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Is your son currently in therapy? My daughter goes to a therapist every week and her therapist not only helps us with IEP goals for socializing and behavior but also (given enough notice) attends the IEP meeting as well. We've found most homework to be "busy work" and since my daughter has proven she can do the work (can, not will, BIG difference) one thing I got on her IEP was a lightened homework load. This led to MUCH less fighting at home. Her school also has a "resource room" class where homework is done and help is available to them, so even less homework comes home to be fought over. If these are issues for your family, these might be worth looking into for you, too.

    Also, if no one has mentioned it yet, get an advocate for your son to guide you through the process. Much easier to get the IEP done right the first time than try to go back and change it (though it's always your option to call a case conference if it's obvious it needs changing).
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Im in the cities too. PACER is a great option. Their website alone offers much support.

    A challenge in mid. School thru high-school is that if the student doesn't need a constant 1:1 and is mostly in general ed, they get lost in the shuffle. The kids frequently are not organized enough to turn work in even if they do complete it.

    The gen ed teachers are hit/miss as to whether they even read the IEP or know what accommodations are to be offered.

    I'd include a formal way to document that the info has been presented to each teacher, each semester, so you know that has happened. When I case managed I had a folder with the IEP and a brief summary of big points relevant to general ed along with what accommodations they legally had to provide.
    I also listed my email and exchange so they knew who to call if they needed support.

    I checked in weekly.

    As a parent my friends in this situation (my son is not in any general ed anymore) have found that they must take more initiative for making sure the teacher understands the disability and what methods and accommodations help. Some teachers are clueless but willing others are worthless. Many are fabulous.

    Online grading systems sometimes are not used well so find out from each teacher if they keep it up.

    This is time when we start to want our kids to begin to self advocate. But not time to put it all on them without being taught how.(don't just say if you ever need more time, you have to ask....start with prompting them maybe even giving them the exact wording)....make it clear who is teaching those kinds of skills and how. Make them into goals if needed (rather than accommodations)

    Same for who helps with organization of lockers, notebooks and folders, planners, turning things in, etc. If its a problem, don't say he will have support in the accommodation area, make it a goal with objectives. Then someone must be responsible for training and data keeping on it.

    If you share his challenges we can throw more ideas out.

    Welcome. Feel free to pm me.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh, and closer to the cities, Pacer generally will not attend meetings because they have too many calls. Even when serious problems hit they wouldn't. They did call and advise, but even that was done thru interns.
    They will, but only in very specific situations . They were excellent with advice though.

    I have had ARC advocates and they did attend every time. They were excellent.

    The best (should you run into serious issues ) has been the MN Disability Law Center. They do attend if needed. And they have a lot of clout.

    I think TeDo had great experience with PACER actually attending.