IEP/504 without academic problems, learning disability?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by geekparent, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    I am strongly considering asking the school for a MFE for my difficult child. I have spoken to a friend who works in Special Education, and she stated that my difficult child might possibly get one for ED (emotionally disturbed).

    For those unfamiliar, TG has big time issues with anger/frustration/panic/anxiety/embarrassment. She will lash out verbally and physically, sometimes (often lately) hitting other children and even her teacher. She will throw things (pencils, crayons, papers, light weight books) and scream and have meltdowns. This is disruptive to her learning process and those of the other students. Her actual diagnosis is ADHD/anxiety.

    My concern is that she would not fit the criteria for IEP or 504 and by requesting such, I would make matters worse. The school is being helpful and working with me, but they do tend to see it as behavioral first and "disability" second, not the other way around. I'm starting to think that the only way to have them recognize the disability being the cause of the behavior is through the MFE.

    Could I get some thoughts or advice? Maybe some more questions to ask myself or observations to make regarding my daughter in order to know if this would be a good idea going in?

    Also, I've heard that "labeling is bad" and "she'll have that label for her whole school career." How much of a stigma is the "label" and does anyone have any thoughts on that?
  2. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    Oh yeah, I meant to add that she doesn't have any learning problems or disability. Academically she excels. She's equal to ahead of her peers in reading and math. We don't know what TG's IQ is, but she did score at the 97th percentile on her IOWA tests, and most of her Grade Level Equivalents were at 4th or higher (she's in 3rd grade). And that's my other big hesitation; without some academic problem would she even have a chance at an IEP?
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I cannot address the former....but as to the latter?

    My son had an IEP for ADHD and hand-eye coordination issues for several years and was in the special education program. He made such progress that he was "mainstreamed" and the IEP was dropped in fifth grade. He did great! No regrets.
  4. jal

    jal Member

    We got our difficult child on an IEP plan in K, because we knew behaviorally he had issues. Academically he does well and has a high IQ (tested). He had a FBA done and a BIP in place. As long as the behaviors cause a hinderance to the childs learning or interfers with the learning his peers are doing an IEP can be written for behavioral issues. Our school did not have all in place to assist with our difficult child's issues and we did opt to move him to a therapeutic setting, which has done him very well. There he also participates in mainstream classes.

    As to the "label". I don't give it much thought as my child needs more assistance than others, but just think, if she's melting down in class etc. the others are already giving her a label. Forget the label and go and get her the assistance she needs to succeed.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Onyxx has an IEP for her emotional/behavioral issues.

    It IS possible. You need to get with the school ASAP.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My son has an IEP for ED and has since grade 3; he had one for speech and language prior to that.

    I "found" an Learning Disability (LD) for him called "Disorder of Written Expression" which is an actual bona fide DSM IV diagnosis. In difficult child's case, his anxiety and ODD made it tough for him to relax enough to put anything on paper. I had that added during a horrific 6th grade year.

    He has no other Learning Disability (LD)'s and has an IQ that is (at low estimate) 137. He's in 11th grade now, still classified, and is taking Honors math, science and law plus 2 AP classes. His grades are not great so I keep him classified because it lets me keep him in the high level classes he wants to be in; he would do great if he did HW. He does well on standardized tests (SAT cold in grade 9 was almost 1300, 5 on AP test, 700's on SAT 2's).

    I know that school district's don't like to give IEPs for kids who are not failing, but my argument is that that is relative. If a child with an IQ of 137 is getting C's, ask why.

    I would pursue it if I was you.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would agree, you should be able to get an IEP for behavior relating to her disability. Clearly hitting her teacher interferes with her ability to participate in class. Was she diagnosed by an M.D.?? If so, get something in writing from the MD listing the diagnosis and probable issues it will present in school. Then you can pursue an IEP under the OHI (other health impairment) category.

    Yes, the "label" will be in her file at school. However, very few people at the school are allowed access to that file (it is suppose to be on a need to know basis); she's very young and if she gets supports now, she may not need to still be on an IEP in older grades; her whole file does not follow her to high school, so unless you are with a unit school district, the high school will not have most of the paperwork; none of it follows her to college unless she took modified classes in high school (and then it would just indicate 'modified' on her transcripts, it shouldn't detail anything).

    "Not wanting to label" is code for "not wanting to fund services". There really is almost all pluses and almost no negatives to getting her appropriate services--which require a label.
  8. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    She was diagnosed by a pediatric psychiatrist. She was actually tentatively diagnosed by a psychologist, and later diagnosed by a crack!psychiatrist (pill pusher type who never really talked to her or me). I can get her current psychiatrist to submit a letter for her file.

    As for the not labeling, that wasn't stated by the school. That's been stated by family and friends.
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    here's my two cents in very simple terms. Special education allows a child to have an individual education plan (IEP) when the child's disability interferes with the student's education and performance. That is it in a nutshell.

  10. agee

    agee Guest

    I'm interested in seeing how this works out for you. We requested an IEP last year (1st grade) but were denied since difficult child was not failing.
    This year he seems to be failing. Am I supposed to be happy about that? At least it might get him services.
  11. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    This sounds exactly like how my son's Kindergarten year was. We sent the certified letter asking for a MDE and the school district initially denied it (I think because they wanted to try interventions first). We pushed it further and supplied letters from the psychologist who diagnosis'd him as well as his pediatrician recommending he be evaluated. He was evaluated and did not have any academic issues (high IQ, at or above grade level, etc). They qualified him under "Health Impaired". He receives services under social/emotional/behavioral.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Geekparent - how is it going?
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Keep in mind that when dealing with-a school district, IEPs, 504s, a diagnosis doesn't qualify a child for services. Whatever the problem is, if the behaviors exhibited adversely impact learning, the student should qualify.

    An exception to this is if the school district tries to hang a "malajustment" label on the child. In other words, no special problems -- often coined by the school district as "just willfulness and lack of structure in the home." Words to that effect.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wow Geek, I thought you describing my kid. Mine is 9 and was diagnosis with ADHD and anxiety disorder. She's presently in the hospital after reacting to Celexa and then Risperdal with suicidal thoughts and violence. The doctor there is presently calling her bi-polar with ODD and she had some severe meltdowns yesterday. I've got the ball rolling at her school to see about getting an IEP and screening and apparently it has to go through some committee or something to get approved first. School has to show that many interventions have already been tried with no effect (or no lasting effect). Not entirely certain how it all works, but the principal and school counselor both want it to go through though they worry it might impede her learning (she is also gifted). We're not ruling out Asperger's yet, either, still struggling to find a way to get her a full evaluation. Hospital is trying her out on Zyprexa now and removing her Straterra and Clonidine.
  15. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    I'm resurrecting this thread just to say that we're getting an IEP. difficult child has already been moved to a special "Behavioral Unit" at another school in district as "at-risk." We had a mtg to discuss the evaluation and everyone agrees that she needs the help and has a disability as ED. All the kids in this particular program (6 including difficult child have an ED diagnosis). We have our IEP mtg on Jan 21. It was a rough road, but finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That's some fast work. Our school district has been very supportive of getting mine an IEP on the ED basis and we're still waiting for the screening to be done (their deadline is later this month).
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Great job!!

    One thing to be aware of is that she may be the only girl or one of a very few girls at her placement. If that is so, you will need to be sure that she gets invloved in other activities with girls -- girl scouts, church groups, even just play dates.

    You did a great job getting her help so quickly!!!!!!