Need direction re school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by quiltmama22boys, May 10, 2008.

  1. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    I'm new at this and need to know what's going to happen in the school world.
    Here's the scoop:
    1. My son has done well academically in kindergarten and receives Occupational Therapist (OT).
    2. Home life is a nightmare; he uses all of his energy to hold it together for school.
    3. We just spent 2 days having a team evaluation him and he finally was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).
    4. We now qualify for a case manager and a behavioral specialist but I can't proceed with that until we receive the final report which will take about 3 weeks.
    5. This Wed I happen to already have a mtg with-the school re what will happen with-Occupational Therapist (OT) in September. I've already been told he doesn't qualify for summer services plus the Occupational Therapist (OT) is leaving.
    6. The PhD doctor from evaluations suggested I let the school know at this mtg that he's been diagnosed and will need various helps put in place in September.
    7. Will the school simply agree to these recommendations? Such as he'll need a scribe, adjustments to gym class, etc. This will constitute an IEP, correct?
    8. Will the school need to do their own evaluations? MUST they by law?
    9. Once I get a case manager I'm assuming that person can go to bat for me but unfortunately that won't happen until school has ended. I want September to start out right and not have things drag on.

    Advice? Thanks.
     
  2. looking4hope

    looking4hope New Member

    Welcome! I understand your concerns, as many of us, including myself, have been there. You may want to post this on the Special Education board, as the moderators there are excellent.

    Here are my experiences, though, which might help. My school district did NOT accept the outside evaluations, but they did put it into his file. I would ask the Asst. Sup. for Special Education in your district what their policy is, but I would also cover all bases and ask the school to evaluate as well. To do this you need to write a letter to the school (I addressed mine to the principal) telling them why you think your child qualifies for Special Education (out of classroom due to behavior, medication/psychiatric evaluations, etc.) and ask them to test for disgraphia (his writing issue) and a full psychiatric profile. There are some good examples in the Special Education archives section.

    If your school district says that he is qualified, then he can get the types of services you've requested. An IEP is mutually drafted by the parents and the support team, and since he's already on Occupational Therapist (OT) there should be an IEP in place. A rule I learned here and have found extremely helpful is to NOT sign an IEP at the meeting. Wait for the typed, final draft, take it home and discuss it with your husband, and then sign it.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The school said he didn't qualify, but this was based on their knowledge of diagnosis at that point. That has now changed.

    I'd be letting them know NOW about the diagnosis, but make it clear you haven't got the report yet. Let them know you're giving them a heads up, they will appreciate it.

    Two possibilities once they know the diagnosis - they may try to weasel out of meeting his needs (because it could be expensive) or they could jump on board and bend over backwards to help.
    The sooner you know which it is, the sooner you will know where to stand.

    If the school tries to abdicate responsibility, i think that will put them on shaky legal ground. However, a lot of schools may not know this; other schools may know this but hope you do not. Also, there is a natural tendency for all people but especially institutions, to fight change. I have my own pet theory, that institutions and administrations are themselves autistic - they don't cope with change, they need to feel they are in control, they are often very socially inappropriate and have major problems with efficient and clear communication. And they don't learn to change very easily either. They keep saying the same thing over and over, as if it reassures them.

    But underneath it all, they are basically good, honest people. You need to work with them, to "go with the flow", to get them to do what you want.

    I'd be working with them at least to begin with. Give them a chance to do the right thing. But in the meantime, acquaint yourself with your rights and the way to keep safe.

    Your son has a right to a fair education. Because of his disability, he has more trouble getting access to a good education and it is up to the school to put strategies in place to level the playing field for him. Don't feel you have to go cap in hand - they aren't helping your son just to be nice, but because it is their duty and your son's right.

    Hold that thought.

    Marg
     
  4. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi and welcome. Can't give you any advice re school as I'm not U.S. You should post this in the Special Education forum as well, to make sure they see it. They can give you lots of advice there.
     
  5. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    Thanks, everyone for your direction and I'll post this on the Special Education board also. Currently, my son does not have an IEP as he's only receiving Occupational Therapist (OT) so that falls under the 504 program.

    Marg, l laughed at your description of school staff -- how true, how true!

    Janet
     
  6. Christy

    Christy New Member

    In my opinion, as a mom of a child with an iep and as a former teacher, the school will probably be more that willing to offer accomadations such as the scribe and modifications in phys. ed. but the special services like Occupational Therapist (OT)/PT or the need for an aide if this becomes necessary will be more of a struggle because there services come at a cost for the school system. It is certainly not impossible but will require more meetings and convincing. In general, out of the school system evaluations, suggest a more intense level of service that the school system is willing to provide. For an example, if the evaluations suggests 4 hours a week of individual speech therapy, the school might provide 1 hour individual therapy and one hour group speech therapy. The outside evaluators are going to develop a plan to provide the best possible learning outcome. The school system is required to provide "free and appropriate" education to each student. There is a quote in the transcript of Brown vs. the Board of Education (the hearing responsible for IDEA laws) that says "the school system is not required to provided a cadillac when a sensible chevy will do" meaning that they must provide an adequate not excellent educational program. That being said, it is not impossible to get the services your child needs but it will require you to jump through hoops at times. Having as much documentation and advocacy as you can manage will better your chances. It sounds like you are on top of things and this will help!

    Good Luck!
    Christy
     
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