IEP questions

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by sosotired, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. sosotired

    sosotired New Member

    I requested an IEP for my son a few months ago. We are due to reconvene next month.

    I had a full nueropsych evaluation done this past summer with a diagnosis of Aspie. difficult child's psychiatrist and therapist both agree on the diagnosis along with ADHD as a comorbid. The school district decided the evaluation was not acceptable because difficult child was medicated only part of the time (the npsych asked to specifically do it this way) so the school is doing their own evaluation.

    The social worker suggested that the team may be leaning towards an ED classification, of which, I don't think would be beneficial for my son. He primarily has a difficult time transitioning, following directions, staying on track, being organized, etc. He starts middle school next year and I'm very nervous about him being thrown into a multi-classroom, multi-teacher situation without some kind of engagement from a social worker or someone at the middle school helping him get and stay on track. He's already failing almost all of his classes this year however they will not hold him back so he'll go into middle regardless in the fall. His 504 is rarely followed and sometimes completely ignored.

    I'm not sure what exactly to ask for assistance on if the IEP is approved.
    If the IEP is recommended for ED, I was told I can decline it.
    If the IEP is denied, I was told we can continue with the 504, however do I have any avenue of disagreeing with the denial (and possibly engaging an advocate if necessary).
  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I guess the first thing I'd want to do is review the school's evaluation in comparison with the one you got. Apparently you don't really know that their evaluation will reach a different conclusion. If they agree, it would seem hurdle one is crossed. If they don't agree, look for common areas of need and see how much of the services and supports he needs can be tied to those common areas.

    From your post, there is nothing to suggest ED, so I wonder why the school is said to lean that way. Are they seeing different things, or the same behaviors you know about but in a different light? Some places seem to tie services offered to the classification, although that is not the way it should be. Classification is the "key to the door", while individual needs call for the services. Still, the classification ought to be realistic. I'd probably lean toward whatever it took to get the appropriate services and supports rather than say no to help because I didn't like the label.

    In any event, you are a fully participating member of the IEP team. Even though you can be outvoted by school personnel, most schools do try to reach agreement. You may find it worthwhile getting an advocate involved now, and prepared to join you at the next meeting. Just be sure the meeting is scheduled for some days after you get a copy of their evaluation report!

    There are different ways of dealing with a denial of eligibility. Clearly the best is to head it off, thus the recommendation for an advocate now. You can get help locating an advocate from your state's "Parent Training and Information Center". In some places, trained advocates are available free.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Something you need to remember is that the classification (ED, Learning Disability (LD), OHI whatever) is not what drives the services provided in the IEP. It's an *individual* education plan, so the supports that your child requires to obtain a "free and appropriate public education" (FAPE) are what should be documented in the IEP. Just as an example - my oldest's classification is "other health impaired". Pretty broad classification, no way can services be based on that alone. It's his individual needs that are specifically addressed in his IEP, which are substantially different than any other "OHI" kid in his class. I would never reject an IEP based on it's classification. The IEP and services within are enforceable (not always easily, but at least it's there in black and white). A 504 isn't really enforceable.

    What do you think he needs in order to have a better shot at succeeding in school this year? You say he's failing most of his classes. Do you know why? Some things can be relatively simple - an extra set of school books at home so there's no more "forgetting". Better communication (be specific) with teachers re: assignments if that's a problem area. It really depends. Were there any recommendations made in the evaluation you obtained?

    If for some reason they decline to provide an IEP, then you're looking at mediation and/or due process - definitely time to find at the very least a seasoned advocate, if not an attorney.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If you can get an MD to write a letter stating that your son has been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD, you will be able to push hard for an OHI classification as it is his medically diagnosed conditions that are causing the problems.

    If you turn down the IEP (because the school refuses to offer it except with an ED classification), then you will not have some key protections for your son. Your school may hope that you turn it down.
  5. sosotired

    sosotired New Member

    Thank you all for the feedback thus far!!

    I have already provided a copy of the Nueropsych's report diagnosing Aspergers as well as the pediatrician and Psychiatrist. Great point about them hoping I'll turn it down!

    First, I've had a heck of a time getting the teacher to follow the 504. Now that she's finally started working with me (communicating on assignments due and signing his assignment notebook), things are slightly improving. I'm primarily concerned about when he moves to middle school next year. They have much less support in place then what he's receiving now in elementary. I'm concerned that he's going to go from one class, one teacher, books in desk to a middle school three times the size, multiple classes, a very confusing schedule and a locker. He'll be lost. I would like to see them continue social work, provide him Occupational Therapist (OT) (he really needs manipulatives as he's continuing to shred anything he can get his hands on), permission to go to a "calm down" spot (today he goes to the principal's office), etc.

    I think they're leaning towards ED because they feel he's a behavior problem and all of the issues he has today are due to his own unwillingness to cooperate. He looks normal and is intelligent so obviously, there's nothing wrong. Seriously, some of the issues we've had have been ridiculous. The psychiatrist is attending with me thankfully.

    I'm pretty sure they had no intention of providing the evaluation prior to the meeting. I've now requested it so thank you all for the recommendation!! It's a week from today and they just did the evaluations today, the nurse called today and I talked to the social work last Friday so I bet I'll hear it won't be ready until Monday!
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Recheck your private reports. There should be a "Recommendation" section within them. If not, get some input from your private evaluators.

    You can ask for anything that you believe will help your child.
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