I need IEP info

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by minkymom, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    Hi-I have not been here in sooo long. I used to visit quite frequently, then life took over. :biggrin:

    Here is my dilemma and I'm hoping for some advice. My difficult child is now 14 and a freshman in HS. Middle school was the pits. Suspensions and detentions mostly because he can't keep his mouth shut. :mad: Just blurting out and talking back. No swearing or physical problems. Because he had the diagnosis of ADHD at the time, we didn't qualify for an IEP. We could have gotten a 504 in place, but the school made alot of adjustments without the official 504. I suppose it was better for them.

    In the last few months of 8th grade, his MD changed his diagnosis to possible Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He is being treated with Lithium and Zyprexa. He has no learning disabilities that have been noted. He just doesn't do his homework or try to do good. He basically doesn't care. "It's my life." :mad:

    Well, this year is now going down the tubes, too, and the school is ticking me off. :mad: We had the initial testing done to move towards an IEP. Well, their diagnosis from the testing was he had ODD, not Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This is from the school psychologist, not an MD. Well, my husband went to the meeting because I couldn't make it. He just accepted it.

    So difficult child has failed the first semester of English, French and History. :smile: However, he has a B+ in math. :redface: They had put him in a study hall right after lunch, thinking he would study and do homework. :hammer: The teacher would not let him get up and go to the bathroom or anything. This kid has ADHD, he CANNOT sit still for 50 minutes. So they kick him out of study hall. Well, no place to put him, so they readjust his schedule. They took him out of French, since he failed 1st semester and moved his English class to right after lunch. So now he doesn't have a 6th and 7th period. He gets out at 1:15. I am livid that they did this. It is just going to make his next 3 yrs horrible.

    I made a call to the psychologist tonight and left a message ranting.

    We are in California. Can anyone help me with the IEP stuff? Can the school just "decide" that he has ODD and refuse an IEP? If he doesn't have learning disabilities just behavior problems, does he still qualify for an IEP?

    I think it would be a great thing for him to go to the learning center and have someone check him and keep him on track.

    TIA for any info you can share with me. :princess:
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    [ QUOTE ]
    Because he had the diagnosis of ADHD at the time, we didn't qualify for an IEP.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    ADHD is a qualifying disability under IDEA, so I unsure of what you mean. However, there is not a diagnosis that automatically qualifies a student for an IEP.

    Children with behavorial problems OR academic problems are eligible for IEPs.

    The school district should have given you or husband Procedural Safeguards. Among other things, Procedural Safeguards outlines what steps the parents can take if they do not agree with-the school district.

    How long has it been since the IEP meeting wherein eligibility was denied?
  3. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    [ QUOTE ]

    How long has it been since the IEP meeting wherein eligibility was denied?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It was in mid November.

    It's hard to get to the gist of the paperwork they gave us. There's a lot of "blah, blah" in it. I guess I need to sit down with a highlighter and highlight the "important" stuff.

    I didn't feel like fighting with them at the time. Which is what happened in middle school. It just seems like when you meet with them, everything they say makes sense. Then when you get home, you're like, huh, what did I just agree to? They are very persuasive when you are face to face.

    I just feel foolish because they talk me down every time. :confused:
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    The only thing you need to guard against is allowing them to call your difficult child "socially maladjusted."

    The IDEA classification is SED--everything goes under that--if it isn't something else such as ADHD or Learning Disability (LD). So it does not matter what the DSM diagnosis is. Your son is taking medications to treat emotional disturbance. He is failing. Those are the two criteria: eligible category and negative ed. impact--he has both.

    You have got to stop believing them. They have lie to you and are 1/3 of the way to pushing your difficult child out of school, which is probably their plan.

    You have to put on your :warrior: suit and fight for your son's rights.

  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    https://web.archive.org/web/2009040...d/modelform3_Procedural_Safeguards_Notice.pdf is a model for Procedural Safeguards published by the US Department of Education. Although all States have laws that parallel the federal regs, Federal regs supercede State law. Because there are areas of the Fed regs that are silent, it's important to review them both side-by-side.

    My recommendation is that you get an experienced Special Education advocate or Special Education attorney to help you. www.yellowpagesforkids.com might be a good place to start searching for one.
  6. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    sorry but sounds like they are either ignorant or feeding you a line of bull.

    from the research i have done if "the behavior affects the childs learning or the learning of others around him" then he qualifies as emotionally disabled and entitled to an iep hearing.

    good luck i too am running into the school district run around!
  7. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    I just looked more closely at the paperwork my husband had brought home. I should have checked it better, but I guess I keep trusting what the school is telling me is the truth. Now I need to find out if it is the truth or not.

    I can't come up with a clear answer as to what diagnosis is covered under IEP's or 504 plans.

    My son's summary from the report written by the school psychologist says that his cognitive ability was assessed within the average to high average range.

    The emotional condition was assessed using the MACI, the BASC-2 and the Sentence Completion Form and inverviews with various people. It says that his "dominant presentation appears to be one of oppositional behavior (social maladjustment)."

    "Oppositional behavior and social maladjustment are explicity excluded from the qualifying criteria for Emotional Disturbance as defined by SEL."

    It goes on to explain what the characteristics of Emotional disturbance.

    The letter from his psychiatrist that we provided to them, has his diagnosis as: ADHD;ODD;Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPDII);Anxiety disorder (I don't see much of this.)

    Now, my question is, are they pigeon holing him into a classification so they don't have to do anything? It just so happens that he has behaviors that are "explicity excluded."

    I mean the bottom line is I have an intelligent kid that has something going on. His MD says possible/probable Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He has behavior problems at school, disruptive and talking out in class frequently. What are they going to do, keep sending him home when he doesn't behave? How is he going to get educated. My hope is some day that he will finally get his act together somewhat, but what happens in the mean time?
  8. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    Thanks for the links. I have bookmarked them for future reference.

    We don't really have the money right now to get an advocate. I'll see what I can manage on my own, but I bookmarked that page, too.
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    This is what I warned you of. I TEACH the use of the BASC-2 to graduate students and it does not produce a diagnosis of social maladjustment. YOUR school district has decided to equate oppositional behavior with social maladjustment.

    That they should do this is absolute proof in my mind that what they intend to do is NOT serve your son and then force him out via expulsion.

    Your son is SED for the purposes of school because he has the problems you have noted. A fair IEP team would qualify him. In addtion, there is a parallel diagnosis system using the DSM-IV-TR. Having a DSM diagnosis does not automatically guarantee qualification under IDEA but it does establish the presence of mental disorders. Do not discount the anxiety; it is "covered" by IDEA.

    It is true that IDEA explicitly excludes "social maladjustment," but most professionals believe this non-diagnosis is just a school district dodge to avoid serving poor and minority youth.

    It is really unfair because when I deal with SDs such as my own (very well-financed suburban district), no professional would DARE utter the words "socially maladjusted." When I am in Chicago, I hear the words all the time. CPS are over 85% minority--no surprise that the school district is using the social mal excuse.

    I teach my students that there is no professionally responsible reason to use this label. Your school district is lying to you in my opinion and you need to advocate strongly.

    First you need an IEE and second, you need to IMMEDIATELY by certified mail dispute the use of the words "social maladjustment," and indicate that your difficult child's treating psychiatrist has diagnosed ADHD, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder, all of which strongly support the notion that difficult child has "serious emotional disturbance" that is interfering with his educational progress. Send this letter by CERTIFIED MAIL and ask for an IEE at public expense. It is important that you closely parallel how I wrote the above. It is the correct way to defeat a social mal argument.

    Martie :warrior:
  10. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    Thank you, Martie.

    I sent an email off to the psychologist yesterday. I'm ticked because the VP totally changed my son's schedule which has him being dismissed at 1:15 PM. They never notified me personally. I have learned this through my son. I have received messages from the attendance office several times this week that he has not been in period 6 or 7. Well, duh, it's because YOU changed his schedule.

    I admit that I have dropped the ball. I have my own issues with depression and I am now working part time, so I feel so pulled in all directions. Our daughter just needs lots of attention and she just sucks it out of me. She's a good kid, just Drama Queen to the max. I guess I need to pick up the ball and start running now.

    We live in a "well to do" town, even though we are not so well to do. We moved to this town because of the excellent school system. It is in one of the top 5 of the state. Which is great if you have kids that care. Mine don't. My husband was always an honor student and went to one of best schools, so education is very important to him. That's why we are here.

    Do I request the IEE now, or try to talk to them first to see if they back down at all? I'm just concerned that in the meantime my son is not getting the education he should. The new semester just started, so any changes won't happen til next year.

    One of the things that I said in my email is that by decreasing his class load by this much now will just make the next 3 yrs worse. If he can't handle 6 classes now, how is he going to handle 7 for the next 3 yrs?

    They try to say that they are trying to make his feel successful, but I say they are setting him up for failure.
  11. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    Is it a bad thing to have my son classified as SED? Those words are very scary to me, because he's not like that. He's not a horrible kid, he just can't control his mouth. Do these terms follow them anywhere, or is it just a bunch of words?

    I have to say, people either love him or hate him. He has teachers that really like him, but he is just too disruptive for their class and they have to make him leave. He's a fun loving kid for the most part. I just hate to see him leading down this path that he is going. He is too smart for this. What happens in high school in what is going to have a lot of bearing on where his life goes.
  12. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    We have had this discussion over and over. The ONLY thing your son will qualify for is SED or ADHD. Both have negative connotations in society. However, dropping out of h.s. or being expelled has very negative connotations (and potential bad effects), too.

    Special Education is imperfect and not a cure-all but it does offer significant legal protection to a boy of your son's age in a high school. My son was SED--and I was repeatedly "offered" Learning Disability (LD) because it is supposedly less stigmatizing. Recently, ex-difficult child told me how upsetting it was to hear teachers say he was Learning Disability (LD) because he then had something else to worry about himself being "wrong or defective." He is neither Learning Disability (LD) nor ADHD--just differently motivated and not into school achievement in certain subjects. As you may have noticed from my signature, his SED background did not stop the Juilliard School (and two other conservatories) from accepting him. In fact, SED might not "stick" well enough! TWICE ex-difficult child asked for accommodation under a 504 due to major depression (in remission.) Twice Juilliard found him to be just fine--and yes, the reason he wanted a 504 was to get a single room. So in order for me to worry about negative effects a label will have 7 or 8 years after the fact (he was "labelled" at 11 and is now 19), you have to HAVE A LIFE to be stigmatized. Since this was very much in question, I am glad I stuck with his correct label and got him help for what he had, not for what might have been less stigmatizing to someone else.

    Do NOT talk to anyone from the school district on the phone. They will just lie some more. Put it all in writing and SEND IT CERTIFIED. If you don't, it will "get lost." You have to have proof that you are requesting the IEE at public expense.

    Your son is 14 and the school is turning him loose without your knowledge at 1:15??? I would check your state education code for minimum hours of school attendance. YOU did not authorize this. What if they start letting him go at 11:15 without telling you? These same people will then criticize your failure to supervise your child.

  13. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member


    I only want to bring up one point, and that is the SED label will be less stigmatizing than the label they seem to be trying to put on him..."bad kid". Trust me, if your school district is going to label your child, they will do so, and you would rather have the correct label. Far better to have the SED label and get the services needed so he stays in school and has a chance. Do as Martie says and make sure you send everything CM, and as she says stay off the phone. I would be concerned that they just decide when they can let him go too. Hang in there, and don't be as concerned about the SED label as whether your son is even able to continue to be in school. I don't know why the SED label seems to scare parents. If a child is having anxiety or other behaviors that keep them from being in class to get an education, then unless it is a completely medical reason, the SED is most likely appropriate.

  14. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    Thank you, Mistmouse. I appreciate people responding to me. I guess I don't like labeling my son. He definitely does march to the beat of a different drummer, though.

    I have one other vent about the school. They made him sign a contract several months ago that if he gets kicked out of study hall, he will have to go with the janitor during that period. Sort of like a TA. He didn't want to do that, so that was sort of a consequence for him. Well, when he did get kicked out of study hall, the VP didn't know what to do with him because the Superintendent had sent around some sort of notice that students had to be in 11th or 12th grade to be in any kind of TA position.

    So this is why the schedule change happened, because he couldn't go with the janitor. So difficult child mentions to me tonight that it's not right that the school said that he couldn't go with the janitor and changed his schedule because that's not what he agreed to and signed.

    So now what? I am sending the VP an email tonight stating just that. I also want his schedule changed back. There has to be some course or something he can do during 5th period.

    I am going to get a letter together to request an IEE and we will go from there.

    Tomorrow should be interesting since I sent off a couple emails this weekend.

    You are a great bunch of people here with a lot on knowledge. Thanks.
  15. minkymom

    minkymom New Member

    I am really bad at doing a search on here. I'm sorry if I am being too dense about things, but I am very new to this and there is so much to know.

    Anyway, my question is, who do I get to do an IEE?
  16. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I think making a kid the TA of the janitor is the HEIGHT of low expectations.

    Also, it is much more important that you IMMEDIATELY contest the finding that he is socially maladjusted!!!! This is how they are now denying services and will continue to. But first, put them on notice that the mental disorders that difficult child has are NOT social maladjustment.