Had an IEP Meeting Today

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by iloveturtles, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    I had an IEP meeting today, and there were some people there that are higher than from local school site. My son's case manager, one of my new heroes, got the Behavorist Progam Manager to come to the meeting, plus the Program Specialist for his school.

    The Behavorist looked at his evaluation done in June of 2008 and pointed out several things that should have been looked into further. She will be doing that. Finally. I feel like someone hears me.

    The following assessments will be done ADOS - Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, they will do a deeper speech assessment more on the pragmatics of speech.

    I am trying not to be resentful of the school that it took this long. Or of myself for not being better informed, or keeping better records when he was little. I wasn't always the mother I am today. I have just figured ALL of his stuff that makes him him, was due to his environment. I have as of the last few years suspected there was something in the spectrum, but I wasn't sure if I was just trying to cut myself a break.

    Anyways, I should know something in a month or so.

    Just needed to share.
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Kudos to the pro on his toes and willing to dig deeper.

    Your attitude is good.

    It doesn't do a bit of good to lay blame, and I fight the delay resentment myself. These type of emotions just use up the energy one needs to go forward.

    Thanks for sharing.
  3. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    I was just reminded of a book my mother read to me as a child. Neither she nor I can remember the name of it, but all this stuff happened to this old guy. His cow got stuck on the roof, I think he put it up there to eat the grass that grew. He got stuck tied to a rope tied to the cow.

    Anyways, over and over again in this book he kept saying

    "What's done is done."

    I try to remember this instead of getting irritated.

    If anyone knows this book please let me know.
  4. gpsych

    gpsych New Member

    I'm not trying to dash any hopes here, but I just wanted to a make clarification about the ADOS. Most of the parents I work with are generally very impressed by this instrument as it's huge (it's a giant blue plastic tub filled with about 100 different toys) and it tends to provide a large amount of data to write up in reports. Many evaluators for AU consider the ADOS to be the gold standard when combined with the Autism Diagnostic Interview. However, the ADOS is overrated in many ways. First, it still relies upon the DSM-IV-TR criteria for Autism to a large degree as opposed to looking at the IDEA disability condition criteria. It's entirely possible to not meet the clinical criteria for Autism on the ADOS and yet still require an IEP under the AU eligibility category. Second, the ADOS has a very poor normative sample. For some age groups and types of Autism the sample was as low as 19 individuals. Considering you need at least 30 to get a standard curve (and many assessments use several thousand people in their sample), some of the objective/numerical data is suspect at best. Where the ADOS shines is in the qualitative data the evaluators get while observing the child. When the evaluator goes over his or her results, pay close attention to how they describe your child's behavior and don't put a whole lot of stock in the numbers.

    The most important thing to remember here is that the IDEA definition of Autism is, in no way, the same thing as a clinical definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The IDEA definition is educational in nature and is purposefully very broad. The crux of it is really only four criteria:
    1) Does the student have deficits in verbal communication?
    2) Does the student have deficits in nonverbal communication?
    3) Does the student have deficits in social interaction?
    4) If ALL THREE of the above are yes, do they adversely affect the student's educational performance.
    Overall, if the answer to all 4 questions is yes, the student meets the disability condition criteria for AU. If even a single one is no, the student does not meet the criteria. As you can see, the IDEA definition is very broad.

    The reason why I bring this up is that many parents are mistakenly lead to believe that their child is a person with Autism purely because their school has completed an assessment that reports eligibility. Once again, this is a legal definition for special education purposes only as defined by IDEA.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Some good points made.

    Also something to remember: A child's services under IDEA are not guided by a diagnosis, rather it's the unique needs of the child that drives the IEP.
  6. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    So where do you suggest I go from here? I guess I still don't understand this whole process.

    I just want to be able to parent my son better, and have the school teach to him better.:confused:
  7. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    Hi Turtles,
    I might go ahead and do the ADOS (although some very good points have come up that I never thought about) and see what happens. IF your school wants to be a stinker, then they will.

    I have never had an ADOS done on my kids but I had several priv evaluations to say they were on the spectrum. The school said no but I was able to prove that their evalutions weren't thorough enough and got an IEE. This is when you disagree with the school district's evaluations and can get an independent doctor to do an evaluation and they have to pay for it.

    If he has behaviors that affect his education you have more room to stand on. Because the school HAS to consider emotional/social behaviors.

    So go ahead and get it done. If it only shows a medical diagnosis (which they can't do) instead of a educational need, then you still have more to back you up in case you ever decide to hire an Atty. And if their still being weenies, you can still go and find another doctor (which I feel you should since he/she doesn't believe in labels) and pay for it yourself. IF you do that then they HAVE to consider it.

    by the way can't you explain that although labels don't matter, they DO matter when it comes to the school and your child needs help?
  8. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    Lots more to think about.

    I need to work on being more forceful/assertive with the doctors. I have always had a problem with that as long as I can remember. My mom used to want to strangle me at the doctors when I was growing up. I would be as sick as all get out, and when the doctor would come in the room and ask how I was my answer Fine!

    I need to definitely work on this.
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The best thing you can do for your child is to do what you are doing.

    Read and learn -- about special education law (IDEA), learn how to read reports (e.g., what the test scores mean), take time to decipher any reports you get (don't take anybody's word for what is in the report), etc.

    In other words, arm yourself with the tools you need to 'trust but verify.'

    in my humble opinion, in the end, appropriate testing can tell you lots of good things, HOWEVER, nobody, but nobody knows your child as well as you do. So always step back and ask yourself, "Based on what I know about difficult child, does this make sense?"

    If you haven't visited the Sp Ed 101 Archives on this site, you may find it helpful. Lots of good info there.
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