Asking school for specialist

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I want to send a letter to director of Special Education asking for a specialist in mood disorders (third party) be brought in to do an FBA, evaluate difficult child's assessments from private psychiatrists, private neuropsychologist results, my experience with difficult child's signs/triggers and what works, what the school has tried to weazle out of the past 2-3 years, and make recommendations for the IEP and BIP, make the school actually implement what is written in the IEP without making difficult child's life h*** to pay us back for it, and educate those at school.

    Is it reasonable to ask for them to bring one person in who can/will do all this? I don't really jusst want to ask for them to do a full evaluation, because then it goes back to diagnosis and IEP qualifications. I want them to use what has already been done and get the school issue straightened out. Is there any chance I'll get that? What exactly should I ask for? Can the specialist for the FBA be expected/qualified to cover these other portions of the IEP? How should I word things that won't cause more friction with the school?

  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I'm sorry no one responded to this but the reason why may be it is a murky area. school district are given wide latitude in their "professional expertise" and it is been granted "due deference" in law.

    What this means is the steps you are asking for are reasonable, the school district is unlikely to respond without being order to do so, either because you won a DP hearing or because your state dep't of ed intervened. If you call an IEP meeting, the school district only has to "consider" you expert's input, they do not have to follow it.

    The is a very difficult situation for parents to be in. I think your best avenue of approach is to get a "data driven" IEP and then follow up relentlessly on whether or not progress is being made. Currently, the best pressure point is failure to perform on measurable goals in the IEP. The operative word is "measurable." If a school district cannot deliver, then they are denying FAPE. THIS is what triggers the need to bring in outside experts because the child's failure to progress calls the school's competence into question.

    Reasons why this might not work:
    school district won't write a data driven IEP
    school district will advance a "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" argument about your child

    The other problem with this approach is that it takes a lot of time and misery for the child to suffer through enough iterations of IEPs with bad outcomes, that waiting to show the school district cannot deliver FAPE may not be feasible. been there done that

    Best to you,
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    in my opinion, yes.

    I agree with-Martie that the school district can select their own professionals. But your school district appears to me to struggle with-knowing how to provide appropriate services for your difficult child. As such, I'd put the request in writing and send it via CM to the Sp Ed Director. They will probably deny your request, however, you'll have a documented paper trail that will stand up at a Hearing or in Court if you ever need it.
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Sheila's suggestion is a good one. I leaves a paper trail that as early as NOW you thought difficult child needed a different approach and that the school district does not ahve the expertise.


  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I sent the letter out today- actually I guess it will go out tomorrow. Anyway, I had scanned through the IDEA and our state regs and believe I was justified in asking for- 1) a private specialist in mood disorders to come to the school and do an FBA (I hope this means they will sit in and observe classes- since difficult child is struggling in 4 but only 1 teacher complains about behavior and implementing IEP and another complains about him forgetting supplies and homework- so how does this mean it's all "intentional" and in his control?); and 2) a specialist to be a member of the IEP team who can assess neuropsychologist testing from 2 years ago, 2 psychiatrist evaluations, medications difficult child takes, IEP; and help school district understand the impact of the disability on the educational component, and help school district implement the IEP. (The only time we had a "psychologist" on board was during the qualification meeting in elementary school, and he wasn't really a psychologist.)

    I copied the principal- she'll go through the roof I'm sure and difficult child will end up getting written up for something- I can see it coming. But based on the things these people have told me and tried to pull before, I can't sit by and do nothing and count on them to do what is in his besst interest. been there done that and learned my lesson.

    Just like you ladies have said, I probably won't get this, but it appeared to be the correct process before complaining to the state doe.