Annual IEP - How much Time does School have after Meeting to Write up?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by WearyWoman, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Hello all,

    Our 9yo son's (Bubby's) annual IEP meeting was on December 16th of last year. He is in 3rd grade and has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, as well as apraxia of speech, ADHD, and some occupational therapy issues as well. We requested some minor modifications, including help with his math facts and reduced homework. We also asked that he be permitted to use a portable word processor for assignments requiring sentence writing, as writing is extremely difficult for him and getting in the way of showing what he knows.

    At the meeting we learned that his classroom teacher was not using a visual schedule, providing sensory breaks, or some other things that were in the IEP in effect from the prior year. We had requested the portable word processor the previous year, and the school autism therapist was supposed to check into it and never got back to us. It turns out she never spoke with his new classroom teacher for this year, and thus, this year's teacher was not informed about our son's specific autism needs. We did talk with Bubby's classroom teacher at the start of the school year, but we didn't go line-by-line through the IEP with her.

    And . . . we weren't notified before the most recent IEP meeting that the school autism specialist would not be present at the meeting. Apparently she didn't come to school because her daughter was sick that day. Since the IEP meeting, we have not heard anything at all from the school. We haven't received an updated written IEP or notification of whether or not the portable word processor will be used, etc. While I don't think the autism specialist is required to attend the IEP meetings, it sure would be helpful!

    Question 1: How long does the school have after the annual IEP meeting to provide an updated written IEP and to implement it?
    I have tried to look up the rules regarding the time period in which the school must provide us a copy of the new written IEP, but so far, I've been unsuccessful.

    Question 2: What is the role of the school autism specialist? Shouldn't she be contacting Bubby's classroom teacher at least at the beginning of the school year to help the teacher understand the impact of autism and necessary accommodations? Shouldn't she also contact us at some point? So far, she was only involved in the initial school evaluation for the IEP.
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I cannot find a specific timeline re: how long they have to get you a copy after it's been written, but I've never left an IEP mtg without a copy of the new IEP. There is wording that the copy of the IEP must be provided to you at no cost. You should send a certified letter requesting a copy of the 12/16/2010 IEP - there's a timeline on that, I'm thinking 10 days once they receive request.

    As far as implementing IEP, only reference I could find is annoyingly vague - "as soon as possible". Once you get the copy of the IEP, you can do a couple things if you feel it's not being implemented: A) Request an IEP mtg to review your areas of concern, or B) Send another certified letter to school district stating that items X, Y, and Z on IEP are not being implemented and asking them to provide those services/modifications as specified on the 12/16/2010 IEP.

    The role of the autism specialist should be documented on the IEP very specifically, i.e. 30 minutes consultation to classroom teacher per month, or whatever. If her services are not documented on the IEP as a related service, she's not involved. I know you can get the specifics of what amt of time, if any, she's spent working on behalf of your son. When I felt my son was not receiving the specified amt of services from Occupational Therapist (OT)/ST/Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), I requested the actual logs (via sped director) from those therapists, documenting dates and times spent with- him or in classroom on his behalf.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you are going to have monitor them more closely, with documentation. I'd avoid phone conversations - send certified letters. If you do end up having a phone conversation, document that conversation in a letter of understanding (certified) to the individual you spoke with, with a copy to sped director, and request that your letter of understanding be placed in your son's permanent file. If the word processor was included in last year's IEP, it should have been provided last year. In my experience, you cannot wait for them to contact you. You are going to have to be an advocate for your son and stay on the school district until the services as specified in the IEP are provided. But the best place to start is getting a copy of current IEP so that you can make sure that things like the autism specialist's services and the word processor were included in the plan.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    In our school district, they have 10 days to have the new IEP written and signed by me. They must implement it immediately once I sign it. I agree with slsh, it sounds like you are going to have to be the one to check up on them frequently. Because the communication in my school district is terrible, I provide all difficult child's teacher's with a copy of the current IEP and BIP and make a point of following up with them after a week or so to "answer any questions you may have". Our autism consultant is only a resource for evaluations, recommendations, and staff training if necessary. She does not provide any direct services to my difficult child. Not sure if that is the case in your school district or not but I would definitely be asking.

    Keep them on their toes and call an IEP meeting any time you find something is not being followed. Check on them frequently so they know you are keeping tabs on the situation.

    Good luck.
  4. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    slsh - Yes, I searched high and low for a timeline, but couldn't find anything. We signed something at the IEP, but I thought that was just to state that we had both attended. Maybe I misunderstood. It was not officially written into last year's IEP that Bubby have a word processor. We agreed to investigate that option for this current year. But, nothing was done, and when the autism specialist did not show up for our IEP, the rest of the team didn't know what to do about that really. They acted like they had never used such a thing. We're in a very small, rural school district, so I'm sure there isn't a whole lot of experience with this, but still. The autism specialist does not work directly with Bubby, but I thought she would at least advise and discuss the situation with his classroom teacher.

    TeDo - While at the IEP, the Special Education person was handwriting notes on the IEP form, but I kinow it is supposed to be formally typed afterward. We signed something while there, but we assumed we'd receive the official typewritten copy at some point. We need to be more on top of this stuff. It's been a challenge for us. On a good note, our in-home autism counseling agency is willing to attend IEP and other related meetings with us going forward. That should be a big help.

    I'm going to look into all this, and I'll keep you posted.


  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    In the future, I would insist on a copy of the IEP before you leave. Even if they just give you the handwritten version and send you a typed one later. (I'm shocked that they aren't using a program like EasyIEP...everything is typed in as the meeting goes along and it prints all the relevant pages at the end of the meeting.)