IEP and Mood Disorders? Question...

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ShyChelle, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. ShyChelle

    ShyChelle New Member

    Today, difficult child finally decided that it would be okay to return to the school he has been going to. There have been several problems there with difficult child and some of the administration for a long time. Some are difficult child's stuff and some are the admins. Anyway we haven't been able to leave the school because of difficult child's IEP and behavor problems.

    I guess I give you that because today I went to enroll him (2 days late because he has been insisting we find some where else to go and wouldn't take no). We discussed his IEP and they said since he had an attendance issue last year he may not be able to get assistance anymore. He had an attendance issue partially because he had a seizure 2 weeks after leaving the facility and was taken off all his medications until a specialist could figure out what happened. We got the okay to get back on medications The first week of July and it has taken until the first of September to get into see a pediatric psychiatrist. (Sorry frustrated cause I am on both sides and neither :) ) So I asked if him having a Mood disorder makes a difference and I was informed that those factors aren't taken into consideration really and there are no special considerations that they are allowed by law to give. I was kind of shocked that people who struggle with mental illness have no assistance in getting an education. Am I incorrect. Is there something I can bring to them that could help. I feel kind of lost and am not sure how to be the best advocate for my son. When he is on medications he is tired alot... when he isn't he is up and down... He tends to have complications whenever they put him on medications so we have never reached a point where they have worked. HOw do I express this appropriately to the school and help my son be successful. Any suggestions.
     
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You might find a better response on the Special Education forum. We're kind of out of the school loop here...
     
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The doctors you've been involved with should be able to write a letter excusing your difficult child from school and explaining why he needs assistance now.

    A couple of organizations that might be able to help advocate for you:
    National Alliance for Mental Illness (www.nami.org)
    National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (www.ffcmh.org)

    You might also want to call your state Department of Education for help. Good luck.
     
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If he's ADHD, that isn't classified as a Mood Disorder and it does qualify him for an IEP. If it's a mood disorder, you need to either go for depression with a classification of emotional disturbance (which usually is taken as "behavior impedes learning of him or others", unfortunately), or Bipolar. If Bipolar, no matter what the school district tells you, that is considered a health impairment (classified as OHI- other health impaired) by the federal government. I found written proof of that.

    In either case, you'll either need a letter from a doctor or a psychologist or other mental helth professional or psychological test results attesting to one of these "disorders". That being said, if he was already on an IEP, they cannot take him off just because he had absences last year. You have to agree to take him off the IEP or they have to completely re-evaluate him and find him "not qualifying". I don't have a lot of faith in the school's psychologist in these matters and that will be the person to evaluate this. You can submit your own documents of testing, diagnosis, etc. from other professionals and by law, it has to be taken into consideration by the IEP team, which includes you. You can also asked for another evaluation to be done by a private psychologist, at the public's expense, if you don't agree with whatever the school psychologist comes up with.

    If he was on an IEP but had excessive absences last year, there should have been a Manifestation hearing to determine if it was a result of his disability and an IEP meeting to review accommodations and placement needs. I don't know why people in school systems seem to be so unknowledgable abbout this stuff. It sounds like they are the ones who didn't address things the way they should have last year and now they don't want to deal with it at all.
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    #1 - The existing IEP stands until a new IEP meeting is held and the student is either dismissed by the IEP Committee (which includes you) or a new IEP is written -- period.

    #2 - The fact that a student has a disorder does not entitle the student to an IEP. The problem(s), must adversely impact the educational environment, e.g., behavior wise OR academically.

    #3 - Input from private evaluators can be extremely helpful. However, the school district must only "consider" the information; they do not have to accept the findings.

    Mega misinformation. Unfortunately, they are aware that this information is untruthful.

    There's info in the Sp Ed Archives that will help educate you. Also, www.wrightslaw.com is a great parent friendly website for parents with special need kids.

    Welcome to the site!
     
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