Knowledge is power

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by flutterbee, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    First I wanted to let you all know of the progress I've made.

    I sent out the letters yesterday (certified and copies via regular mail) requesting an Intial and Full Evaluation. I've been told by several sources that under state law interventions have to be done before any evaluations. However, I could not find where any timeframes for evaluations have been defined in the Ohio Administrative Code. IDEA Sec. 300.301 states that evaluations must be done within 60 days of the request - or - within the timeframe set by the state if the state has set timeframes. I talked with my local Rep's office and asked if the State of Ohio had set timeframes and they are researching and will get back to me. They got back to me within 2 minutes of my initial phone call/message, so I am confident they will be prompt. Let me add that my local Rep is on all the right committees. He is the sponser and lead advocate of a bill to force insurance companies in Ohio to cover mental illness the same as physical illness and he's on the Education Committee. I have to tell you that feeling like a :warrior: is such a better feeling than wanting to just curl up in bed.

    Ok, now for my question. The school district has reported difficult child for truancy. We have a meeting tomorrow AM (I was just received the notification yesterday) with the Court Liaision Officer of Juvenile Court and the reps from the school district. A mediation I guess. Do you think it would be accpetable for me to tape the meeting if I make everyone aware and put the recorder on the table in plain sight? Of course I would ask permission, but I don't want to come across as...I don't know how to put it...hysterical, or adversarial. I mean, I am fighting for my daughter and will do whatever it takes, but I want to at least keep the *impression* that I'm not being adversarial.

    Any ideas, advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    The issue you raise just came up in a class I am teaching yesterday: What happens when SDs "mandate" intervention prior to referral and the parent has triggered a referral?

    The reg you cite is to IDEA 97. The new statute is clear: time allowed for evaluation is no longer left up to the states. It is uniformly 60 days across the U.S. now. Fed law always supercedes state law.

    I do not know the answer to your question, what happens whenabout timelines for evaluation and times line for "flex serve interventions" conflict or are running simultaneously? This will be litigated I am sure. That is what happens all the time in Sp Ed law.

    I always advise parents to trigger the time line for a full evaluation if they feel an evaluation at this point is in the best interest of the child. You have done that with the certified letter. If they ask for a waiver of timelines from you, you can say no. (Most time lines can be waived by mutual consent of the parties.)

    As far as taping goes, it never happens in IL but laws vary from state to stae. However, if this is a legal proceeding, where you could lose right or your child could suffer negative consequences, then a court reporter should be present. If it is informal, you could ask to tape, but don't be surprised if someone objects. In IL you need consent of all parties to tape and school district personnel are trained like Pavlov's dogs to object.

    Be sure to have your medical records regarding why your difficult child is missing school. I still think your school district is harrassing you but you don't want to take any chances.

    Save the rep for later--you still might need him.

  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Thanks, Martie. My research skills must be off. I got the information about IDEA from and thought I was reading IDEA 2004. I've included the link to what I was reading. Could you tell me what I'm doing wrong?

    I want to be able to pull this information up and be able to come back to the school district with correct information. As my post title states, knowledge is power and they will only push you around if they think they can get away with it, and, well, I've had enough of that.

    I would also think that if a child hasn't been evaluated to determine if that child is a child with a disability, in other words is only going through the intervention process, then there is no way to ensure that the child is being protected under FAPE. What are your thoughts on that?

    I agree with you that the school district is harassing me. I told the guidance counselor yesterday that she was talking out of both sides of her mouth and she didn't like that. :biggrin: I'm going to look into the legality of recording the meeting - I'm pretty sure it's informal - because we did this once when difficult child was in the 2nd grade and what was written up is not what was discussed in the meeting. Fortunately, the mediator agreed with me and it was changed.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Martie, she's still waiting for a neuropsychologist report and there have been a number of telephone converstations between a therapist and the school guidance counselor. Is she going to need anything beyond this for medical proof of reason(s) for absence? When we were in a similar situation (even with the IEP) I had letters from whoever saw difficult child over the course of the problem time (first pediatrician, then temporary child psychiatrist, and then developmental pediatrician). Given that it's a medical reason, would she need MD backing?
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Just to chime in, I agree with the need for medical backing. Every time we've had to prove something to the school district (even something as small as authorizing snacks at school for my easy child who has a feeding disorder), it's had to come from a doctor with an MD. A therapist (licensed counselor, psychologist, social worker) has not been good enough. Our pediatrician has stepped in a few times when I've needed it, but that's because he's followed our kids since birth.
  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    What am I missing here?

    I certainly think that it is necessary to take the medical records. However, I do think that the charge is bogus and will not stick--but I would not blow it off--I'd go very well prepared.

    As far as the 60 days go, the way it was worded made it sound (to me---in a hurry) like the 97 regs. What the 2004 regs (you have the correct ones) mean is that the states that had 45 days limits can still enforce them if they want to. The states with 90 or 120 days are now required to use 60.

    Federal law often works this way setting minimums that must be met but can also be more stringent if states so choose.

    I guess how you protect a child not yet eligible is write a letter, sending it certifed, to cover that contingency. There is a sample letter and a legal citation in the
    ARchives of Sp Ed 101

    I hope this clarifies.

  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Well, I was mentally, physically, and intelluctually prepared for a battle this morning. It was quite the opposite in fact. It appears that this truancy issue has been the best thing that's happened.

    The Assistant Principal was not aware of what was going on with difficult child until this week (I guess I made some noise LOL). And she didn't know the full extent of what has transpired. I filled her in. She is friends with the school pyschologist. The Assistant Principal also seems to have considerably more knowledge of these kinds of diagnosis's than I would expect one in her position to have. The school pyschologist couldn't be there this morning, but is meeting me tomorrow AM at 7:30 - they told me to pick the time, if I needed early in the morning or late in the evening they would make themselves available. They want to start the evaluations immediately. By the way, they had not yet received my letters requesting the evaluation for an IEP. So it appears that finally the right people have gotten involved.

    The neuropsychologist office called today and the report is finally ready. The school psychologist said she won't repeat any of the testing the neuropsch has already done so as to not overwhelm and overstress difficult child.

    The mediation officer said, I think, only two sentences the entire meeting. This was completely me and the Assistant Principal. I do have to say that she (the Assistant Principal) did seem pretty surprised by some of the "information" I had been given.

    Woo hoo!!! Good day!!
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Way To Go, warrior mom!

    So I assume the "truancy" charges were dropped?

    You're on your way. Hang in there.
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I'm glad you got such a positive outcome. Way To Go!!!
    Not to rain on your parade: sometimes administrators take an "I didn't know until yesterday," stance to protect the school district from liability. However, it is also possible that she REALLY did not know because no one was giving her information. I hope that is the case.

  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    smallworld - This was an informal meeting to try to stop things from escalating to actual charges. However, truancy was never even mentioned. In fact, after the Assistant Principal and I had talked for quite a while the mediation officer (in her two sentences) said, "This is why we get involved. In order to start these conversations." And the Assistant Principal stated that she knew I was doing a good job in getting difficult child to school. :hammer:

    Martie - One of my thoughts today was, how much did the Assistant Principal really know before today? I did ask her what made her finally get involved and she did dance a little around that issue. Actually, I think it's because I contacted the Student Services Director and told them that they wouldn't even sit down for intervention and that I was sending the letter requesting evaluations in order to force their hand. However, I do not think she was aware of the extent of conversations between guidance counselor and myself and therapist. She had not seen a lot of the information that had already been provided and she was obviously annoyed at some of the "information" I had been given.

    As parents of a difficult child we understand that a lot of times these kids break down after school not during school because they are maintaining during school and it takes so much emotional energy to do so. Before I had a chance to explain that to the Assistant Principal she made that statement herself. Bonus points for her! Everyone else just says - well she's fine at school, I don't think there's any problem.

    Thanks to all of you for your ideas, advice and support. I'll update again tomorrow and let you know how the meeting with the school pyschologist goes. :warrior:
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I bet so.

    So glad things went well!!!!