Need advice - 9th grader with IEP

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Khable, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Khable

    Khable New Member

    Hi all,

    I am new here. My daughter who is currently 14 and in 9th grade has been classified since 3rd grade and has had an IEP all that time. Mostly dyslexia / reading / spelling and writing. She gets things like extended test time, special location, use of word processor and calculator, resource room etc. It is noted in her IEP that she is easily distracted and has trouble focusing on school work when stressed with outside stressors.

    She started high school this year and has been having a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the new school. The high school here is HUGE. 3 middle schools filter into one high school with an approximate student body of close to 4,000 students. There is a lot of social adjustments, loosing friends, drama etc that have been blind siding her. Not to mention that this has been a tough year in her personal life as well.

    She went from passing all classes last year to now failing almost everything! She is definitely overwhelmed and in over her head. I have had meetings with all of her teacher and guidance counselor. All of them say that she isn't trying hard enough. That her homework is OK and for the main part turned in on time. But that she looses focus during class time and tests.

    She is in all main stream classes, and I recently had a discussion of dropping her down a level in math. This was suggested by the guidance counselor and resource room teacher. This would give her a better chance in math and the change would also mean a period change for Social Studies to a class that has half the number of students in it. All sounds great, however the math teacher wouldn't agree to it and is not allowing the change. She said that my daughter isn't trying hard enough... that if she tries harder for the next 2 - 3 weeks and is still failing then she would consider the change. But then we would be almost finished with the 3rd quarter and 3 failing marking periods would ensure that no switch could help her pass for the year. Why wait?? This just really ticked me off... This change would effect her on a global scale... a better suited math class... smaller Social Studies class, this would mean a little less pressure and hopefully ease her mind a bit which would then help bring up the other grades.

    I have had numerous calls into the school and just walked in on Friday to meet with the Guidance Counselor. I had a nice chat with him and he is on board with the changes as is the resource room teacher, but said it is up to the math teacher. I just don't' understand that. She isn't seeing the global impact. He said that if I didn't get the answer I wanted to hear tomorrow that I could then meet with the principal. Which I am fully prepared to do!

    My daughter is in over her head and needs a life ring!

    What other options could be available for my daughter given her situation. I have never had to fight with the school before to get her what she needs until now.

    Our annual review meeting is in a few weeks or I may request an emergency meeting to get her help for the remainer of this year. I wanted to pick your brains as to what I can ask for at the meeting. I want her to be set up for success. But feel like I am clueless on what can be done for her.

    Any and all help, opinions, etc would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's sounds as if her IEP consists of accommodations with-no special education or services.

    Couple of links for you:

    Making Sense of Adolescent's Ascent

    The Myth of Laziness

    When is the last time the school district did a full evaluation on your daughter?

    I don't know why school districts are not proactive when they see that a child is struggling. But as a member of the IEP committee you can call an IEP meeting at any time. I'd do just that.
  3. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    The IEP is to help the student, not to label the student so that the school can then neglect them in a crowd.
    If the school is unable, and failing suggests, implies and demonstrates that the teaching staff, IEP specialist ect are unable, unwilling, or unequipt to provide the appropriate accomidations for your daughter.
    Gee, would it be so nice is all an adult parent or "teacher" was required to do was to say "TRY HARDER" perhaps with an adiquate degree of volume and the learning issues would dissipate.
    Look outside your school right now, today, and see who has what that is for the learning support your daughter does require.
    She deserves to be challenged and learn and if the problem is the overwhelm of a large school setting, or the lack of structure or the oversymulation of all the activity and the constant changing people around her plus or minus what challenges her academicly...she needs the IEP services and if the school has neglected to help her, take it out the school and when you do the school will have to reinburse you for the money you outlay. So do not delay.
    Get an education attorney and have someone evaluation her outside the school now for the types of supports available for her learning issues . Those folks will also know her school ect. and then you get her the supports she needs, the DOE pays, and your daughter gets her free education and academic excellance.
    This is my opinion. I felt that teachers were and are wonderful people and some are so talented. And when a child has a learning issue it has been to that childs learning detriment that the very things that they do need are neglected. Hense the disability act compels the schools and yet, as these are mere mortals in control with all their narrow minded and superstitious nonscence( i will cast a spell on you
    "try harder")
    Get your daughter the help that she needs. it is her self esteem .

    I am cyper slapping the nit wit teachers who are belittling her for her needs at this time.

    Yes it is a form of violence and I am ashamed. However I am thinking of the old wake up slapping and not the sort of flogging type. And purely cyber..not real.

    Take heart, take action. What your daughter will learn is that she is worth the effort. Her learning needs are important. She is important.

    The free public education system is,like all things American, an experiment. That all are created equal. And we are offered the motivation that right to life includes the means to live life prepared to contribute, educated and flexible enough to be at liberty.
  4. Khable

    Khable New Member

    Her last testing was done Feb 08... they are scheduled to do some again this year.

    In Feb 08 they did the WIAT-II and she scored:

    Word Reading ss100;50%
    Reading Comprehension ss95;37%
    Pseudoword Decoding ss101;39%
    Reading Composite ss96;39%
    Speling ss86;18%

    I am not sure what the above test results actually mean tho. I assume that the % number is where she ranks with other children her age. She has the WIAT-II in 3/07 and 2/06 and the Woodcock Reading Matery Test in 07.

    What do you think about this? What would you reccomend I ask for? She is struggling so much this year, I just can't imagine repeating it next year too.

    Thanks for responding!

  5. Khable

    Khable New Member

    Hi Ropefree,

    Thank you for responding as well. I totally agree... the "try harder" approach just isn't working.

    Where do you start when looking outside the school to figure out what she needs? I feel lost. Not knowing exactly where to go.... what she needs... what's available to her and what to ask for.

    I guess I have been assuming all along that the school knew best, but obviously that isn't the case right now, or she wouldn't be failing.

    Thanks again... and if you can help direct me with where to bring her for testing outside the school that would be great.


  6. SkunkMomma

    SkunkMomma New Member

    I am not understanding why it is up to the teacher. She has an IEP so call a meeting and tell them you want her changed immediately. The placement they have currently is not working and they are setting your child up for failure. Pass up the school and call the system special education director.

    I feel your stress.....I work in a school system, my difficult child is in spec. ed. His IEP states some of the same things your child's IEP stated and I have to fight the regular ed teachers to abide by the IEP. I make sure I have my parent rights in front of me when I meet with the team, but the regular ed. teachers are the ones that don't get that this is a Federal Mandate and THEY are required to do what it says.
  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    K:Look in the phone book or on line for anyone offering educational therapy or the evaluations for he condition. If you do not find one just call the business that is offering educational therapy.

    It is confusing and I am writing a thread today about what I am so frustrated with in my county.
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    A WIAT II is not a full evaluation. I'd request for a full reevaluation. The WIAT II alone is not going to give you the full picture. There may be other things going on that haven't been picked-up on.

    Based on the scores you reflect, her only "problem" is spelling.

    If you do not agree with the reevaluation, you can ask for an IEE. Just make sure it is a true IEE. The school district is required to tell you where you can have the evaluation(s) performed, however, I would never personally use any individual or entity on a school district's recommendation handout.
  9. Khable

    Khable New Member

    Thanks... I was told that she will be getting the full evaluation this year - prior to the meeting. So, that is good.

    Also, got word from the school and they are making the changes in class that we discussed.


    What other types of services are available?
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    There are all types of services available to kids with IEPs. And frankly, by law, it doesn't matter if your child needs something specific which the school district doesn't offer.

    I mention this because parents are often told "we don't do that here."

    IEP = Individual Education Program

    The Supreme Court has defined it to mean "Required that the program that was developed would be "individualized," "personalized," "tailored," and "specially designed" to meet the "unique needs" of that one child. "The purpose of the IEP is to tailor the education to the child; not tailor the child to the education. If the child could fit into the school's without assistance, special education would not be necessary." [House Report 105-95 at p. 104]."

    You might check your State Education Agency website and also your school district's website. At one time I thought our son may have dyslexia and we were getting no help from the school district. Our school district's website didn't have anything on dyslexia, but TEA had a lot of information about the Dyslexia program. I wouldn't have known it existed if I hadn't camped out at the TEA website for a good while. lol

    But even with that, if the program that's in place is not what a student needs, they are entitled to "unique" placement.
  11. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I'm glad that the school has agreed to the changes you've requested.

    Did I overlook the part where the math teacher said, "I know your child is struggling in my class, and if she'd like some extra assistance, I meet with kids before and after school on Tuesdays. I have also found this resource on line, she might try that." LOL!