Need direction re school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by quiltmama22boys, May 11, 2008.

  1. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    Hi All:
    I'm new at this and posted this on the "general board" and received a few responses but they advised I also post here. Folks on the general board advised I let the school know about his diagnosis, I agree. The unsettling part for me is will they request doing their own evaluations? How long will this take? Do we have to wait until Sept for that to start? In the ideal world, on his 1st day of school, I'd like all the players in place. Am I trying to achieve something that isn't achieveable?

    Here's the scoop:
    1. My son has done well academically in kindergarten and receives Occupational Therapist (OT) under the 504 plan.
    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. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Hi,

    You need to "get on board" with learning Special Education Law. Granted, it is a major PITA to do that, but it is the only way to protect your VERY YOUNG difficult child.

    I would suggest you go to the Archives of this board and read some of the "Getting Started" threads there.

    After that, you might want to check out www.wrightslaw.com. It is a parent advocacy and education site maintained by the country's best know parent oriented Special Education attorney and his wife. He argued and won the Shannon Carter case before the Supreme Court. He maintains this site for our use for FREE, although his useful books are not free.

    Here are the answers to your specific questions:

    1. My son has done well academically in kindergarten and receives Occupational Therapist (OT) under the 504 plan. There is a two pronged test for Special Education eligibility: having a qualifying disability (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified is one) AND having a negative impact on the child's progress in the Gen Ed curriculum. the second prong leads to a lot of "waiting to fail" especially for bright kids. You may have to let your child start school without support to show negative educational impact. for this, and many reasons, it is improtant to STAY OFF THE PHONE and document everything that happens IN WRITING.
    2. Home life is a nightmare; he uses all of his energy to hold it together for school.
    I understand, been there done that, but the school will not care in most cases. Sometimes we make this problem worse by sacrificing our home life with the child for the sake of school. For example, I stopped trying to get my son to do homework because it was damaging my relationship with him PLUS it was preventing negative educational impact from "showing."
    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).
    I am drawing a blank on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)..."developmental communication disorder"? I would NOT turn your evaluations over to the school just yet. You can legally use them as Independent Evaluations later in the process. Another reason to not turn them over, is private hospital based evaluations often contain information that you do not want floating around the school. One way to handle this is to ask for a redacted evaluation from your team later with all parts not relating to school removed. What SDs do with private information (besides gossip if the staff is unprofessional) is attribute the child's problems to the family as though that makes a difference in their obligation to provide FAPE. It doesn't but having too much information may create a side show you do not want or need.
    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.
    As I said, read the final report and think VERY CAREFULLY how it will be viewed by others before you release it
    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. Generally 504 plans are not worth the time it takes to get them; there is no enforcement mechanism. in my opinion you should NOT meet and disclose a lot of information to them next week. You should request a FULL CASE STUDY EVALUATION of ALL of your son's areas of suspected disability NOW. This at a MINIMUM would include cognitive, academic, and social/emotional/behavioral assessments. There are also many components required by law for every child, i.e., vision and hearing screening, developmental Hx, classroom observation, etc. Some states require "prereferral intervention" but they better get going if they want that because school is almost out. They have 60 calendar days to complete the evaluation AND summers "count." They will almost certainly try to tell you that is not true, but it is true.

    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.
    The school district personnel will not take kindly to this...I am a parent advocate, a parent of an ex-difficult child, and a Ph.D. level psychologist. SDs do not want to hear from me (at all) but especially they want me to confine myself to advocacy. An outside evaluator cannot dictate what a school district must do except under very special circumstances that you are not close to being in.
    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?
    This is most definitely NOT correct. A child must be found "in need of special education services" usually referred to on this board as "sp ed qualified" and THEN the child has an IEP written. There are MANY children on this board who have valid DSM Dxs, but no IEPs. Some don't need them, some parents don't want them, but the vast majority are being denied because of the two-pronged test not being met or they are being told that "behavior" is a family problem. Behavior is a school learning problem...children need to be taught how to behave as much as taught how to read. This would be especially true with a child who has been labeled Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified.
    8. Will the school need to do their own evaluations? MUST they by law?
    Yes, and you need to request what I indicated above IN WRITING and SEND IT CERTIFIED...there is not other way to establish a paper trail that you may need later. If you do not have a very organized filing system now, you should start one. By law, they must evaluate OR accept your outside evaluation as their own ---in my opinion they won't do that---so in that case, yes by law they must evaluate very specific things.

    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.
    See all of my comments...You need to write the letter and send it certified TODAY...That gives them until July 12th. There are model letters in the archives. I would delete the part about the "Parent Report" which should be called "parent input" anyway because, by law, parent input must be considered.

    You need to self-educate really fast in my opinion...do not let your school district waste these precious years of your son's life. You are his first and best advocate, BUT there are many rules to follow and procedures to learn before you can do that effectively.

    Best to you,

    Martie
     
  3. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    Martie,

    THANK YOU for your reply. You gave me a lot to think about and direction. I already have a huge plastic filing tub filled with files and am almost too organized so paperwork isn't a problem for me. It's so hard to read and understand some of this stuff. I'll review the archives as you suggested.

    Janet
     
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