Need help with IEP re-certification OHI vs. EI

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by jennifer1211, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. jennifer1211

    jennifer1211 New Member

    Hello all,

    I have been lurking here for awhile now and am finally ready to jump in and ask for some advice. I have three adopted children. My oldest seems to have all of the "issues." He has been diagnosed through my own private evaluations with psychiatrists and therapists as adhd, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and recently mood disorder not otherwise specified. He is currently on Focalin 5MG and recently added 2mg daily of Abilify. The abilify changed his life and ours which leads me to believe after 7 years of dealing with his "touchy and sensitive" nature that his issues are indeed linked to a mood disorder and potentially pediatric bipolar.

    So here is the deal; essentially he has had an IEP for three years pertaining to his speech and language delays as well as his fine motor skill delays. His IEP is up for review and the social workert at the school wants to change his certification to EI because of his mood swings and his behavior challenges. I am fighting for OHI because of the biological basis for his problems. My question is this; so far the school has been wonderful with accomodations. He gets help all day long with different individuals (speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), Sp. Ed., social worker,etc.) and they have helped him immensely as he transitions into 1st grade. My fear is that this EI certification allows them to intervene in potentially innappropriate ways. I have tons of documentation from two leading psychologists and one psychiatrist that he is indeed, adhd, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and mood disoredr. Doesn't this automatically include him in OHI? I am confused and concerned.

    I have a meeting on Friday with the psychiatrist and Saturday with his therapist. I am going to ask for their advice. But everyone here is so knowledgeable from the parent perspective. I really need help!

    Also, they are fighting an Learning Disability (LD) label because they have not had enough timt to appropriately test him. They also conveniently have not completed any of the tests that they promised to administer last Spring. Could they be trying to slap an EI just to move things along or is there a more malicious intent behind it. Is there any benefit for my son at all to an EI certification over an OHI.

    Help and Thank you!!!!
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    What do you mean by this?

    EI vs OHI is a long-standing debate. See The IDEA Classification Debate: ED "Emotionally Disturbed" or OHI "Otherwise Health Impaired" at

    Technically, the eligibility category should not limit or expand the services a child needs. A child's IEP should be designed to meet the student's unique needs regardless of the classification as Learning Disability (LD), ED, OHI, etc.

    Any type requests for testing should be put in writing and sent via Certified Mail.

    Even without the Learning Disability (LD) classification, if your child needs supports and services in specific subjects, his IEP should address the issues. The only problem I have with this is without appropriate testing to identify the problem, "treating" an Learning Disability (LD) is just a wild guess.

    Always keep in mind that as a part of the IEP team (parent), you can call an IEP meeting at any time. So, for instance, something like accommodations for reading can be put into place now and when the testing is completed, another IEP meeting can be held to more specifically address the problem(s).

    by the way, welcome to the site.
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    It can be important to have the "correct" label but not usually for a first graders. As Sheila says, services are individual and do not follow the label.

    I WANTED my ex-difficult child to be classified as EI because that was his correct diagnosis although I could have argued that major depression has a biologic basis since it does. He is not Learning Disability (LD) and my gut reaction to avoid that label was confirmed by him last year (when he was 19 and doing well in college.) He told me that it made him feel very badly that everyone said he was Learning Disability (LD) except me! He thought that there must be something wrong with him I was not telling him about because the teachers kept talking about Learning Disability (LD) in front of him. He KNEW he had emotional issues---but he was very relieved to figure out that the school just wanted him to be Learning Disability (LD) because it was "convenient" for them --they had a tried and true "one size fits all" Learning Disability (LD) program. So I think this is why "the correct" label is important--not for the reasons you are concerned about: services should meet the child's needs regardless of label. How the child feels about the label may matter however. It did to my son.