IEP Question/Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by srl214, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. srl214

    srl214 New Member

    Hi there - I'm new to these forums and was hoping someone could give me a little advice. I have a 14-year old daughter who was born with a medical condition involving both physical and developmental delays. She is on an IEP. We are having issues this school year in her general ed classes (right now Social Studies and Phys Ed) because she is not receiving any paraprofessional help anymore. Her IEP appears to give conflicting descriptions of what she should be receiving. Under "Least Restrictive Environment Explanation" it clearly states that she "will receive support from a shared paraprofessional in the following classes: Physical Education for physical stability, and her core general education classes (Science and Social Studies) for organization and reading tests." Later in the IEP there is a page with no title but three areas asking for descriptions of supplemental aids and services, program modifications or supports and assistive technology. On this page it says nothing about paraprofessional support.

    Right now she is not receiving ANY support in these classes. I had a meeting yesterday with her case manager and the Special Education director and they stated that she needs to be more independent and the support she will be getting (future tense!) is going to be assistive technology, which they don't have up and running yet. My daughter is very upset because what she remembers from her IEP meeting last year is that they told her she would have a para, and now she doesn't and she does not understand why. So my questions is - do the schools follow the accommodations listed in only one area of the IEP and they don't have to follow what it says under LRE explanation? Which of the sections of the IEP is correct and has to be followed?

    Any advice is much appreciated - thank you!

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'd be getting an advocate... someone who knows how to work the system, what the rules are, and how to make schools sit up and listen.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you talked to the Dept. of Education in your state? If they want to use assistive technology and don't have it yet, they, from my understanding, either HAVE toget it (meaning buy it or get it from another school) or transfer her to a school that does have this. If not, what's the point of no para?

    I agree with IC on getting an advocate too. You can find out who your free advocate is by contacting the Dept. of Education in your state. The school districts never tell you. They don't like to deal with advocates because they know the state laws and what the school district HAS to do. Parents can be fooled, but not advocates.
  4. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So, SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK! Your local SELPA should be able to help you with an advocate. I'm an adapted PE teacher, and I can tell you, when an advocate shows up with parents, people pay more attention to dotting the i's and crossing the t's. Not all Special Education departments are created equal, so learn up, find a local chapter of something like Parents Helping Parents, and be politely insistent. Yes, I work with students that have what we call "learned helplessness," and this gets to be an issue as they kids get up to middle school and beyond and services tend to "go away." We are always looking for ways to increase independence. So, have an honest look at what your child can do for herself. If that's the school argument: that an aide would interfere with her LRE, then why is it in the IEP? If there is a recommendation for an aide in that legal document and contract with the school district (which is what your IEP is), they have to honor it. And if they aren't going to, they have to hold an addendum and get your signature to change it.
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I can see an aide for PE since she has physical issues. What is the reason for the aide in the other classes and what can be done in the alternative? For instance, my youngest son was given an aide to scribe for him. He was miserable with it and he's now been switched to extra time and use of Dragon. As his typing skills improve, we will move him to that from Dragon. He also gets copies of class notes. You should ask for an aide for science when they do labs if her physical issues make it difficult or unsafe.

    Good luck.
  6. srl214

    srl214 New Member

    The reason for the para in general ed classes (social studies & science) is because she is significantly behind grade/age level with her reading - so the material is WAY over her head. In the past the para has read text material, assignments, worksheets, etc and helped to explain them to my daughter and other Special Education students. But I'm still wondering about my original question - does one area of an IEP trump another if they do not state the same thing? If one area says she should get a para and another says nothing about a para - which one should be followed?
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There is no way technology can replace a para who is explaining materials. It simply doesn't exist. (Technology can READ materials, but that isn't the same thing).

    Is "developing independence" a specific goal on the IEP?
    If so, what were the agreed-on steps?
    If not... then in my opinion they have to stand by the original goals, and that probably includes the para which they don't want to pay for.

    Which means you have a fight on your hands... and you probably need a professional advocate.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I don't know the answer to your original question but my surmise would be that a filled in area with a directive should trump an area with nothing in it. It's not as if one part says she gets a para and the other says she doesn't, so it's not really inconsistent. I would argue that because they didn't specifically say she doesn't get a para that the IEP means that she does. Otherwise, it would have limited it in the other paragraph instead of being silent.

    How does your daughter feel about having a para read the work to her and help her with it? When this is done, does she grasp the concepts and can she do the work or does she still struggle? Has she ever been in a self-contained class? How about a Special Education school? I am not suggesting you do these but that you research them as options.
  9. srl214

    srl214 New Member

    I appreciate all the advice. I do have a call in to an advocate as well, so I am attempting to develop a plan of action based on what they can do as well. We will probably give the technology a try once they get it set up (I'm going to put a lot of pressure on them to get this done this week) but I am not going to agree to any changes to her IEP at this time and if she struggles with the technology I am going to press for the para help. I don't want her getting into trouble because of her mother, so I'm trying to be cooperative but I am very much running out of patience. Once again, thanks for the advice!