Qualifying for IEP??? Need Help!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Aquagirl33, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Aquagirl33

    Aquagirl33 New Member

    My son is 9 yrs old, diagnosed with ADHD in 2nd grade. He takes Adderall XR 15mg and is also seeing a psychologist. While his grades are good, he is having problems socially in school. Many of the kids pick on him and he also has issues with impulse control (hitting others, etc). His school now has these new anti-bullying rules and EVERYTHING is now considered bullying which is terrible since he can't control his impulses even on medications.
    He was suspended for one day for fighting with a boy in his class who pushed him and he pushed back. During this time, I received a call from the Asst. Principal who told me that if he has two more incidents like this, he will be kicked out of school for bullying. I told her that he has ADHD and is on medications and seeing a psychologist and asked if he would qualify for IEP evaluation. She said very condescendingly "Oh no, his grades are too good for him to be considered".....Is this true? can a child not even be considered due to grades being "too good"?
    So, what should my next step be? I asked if the school counselor could help him and she said "Well, she is booked up" WHAT????? I just am not getting ANY help from this school!!!
    Should I still request in writing an IEP evaluation or should I ask the district for an evaluation since I am getting resistance from the principal?
  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    You should ask by certified letter for an evaluation. My difficult child is classified for ED and he takes all honors and AP classes, scored over 200 on his PSAT and has an IQ of 139. Grades are one aspect and only one, they are not the end all and be all of qualifying. The test is if there is a disability that is significantly impairing his functioning in school. Have such poor impulse control that he is in danger of expulsion for being a bully is, to me, a disability that significantly impairs his ability to function in school.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Ask for it in writing by mail return receipt requested. Grades alone are not enough to say no. My Kiddo is gifted, her grades are reasonable, but her behavior (similar) creates an environment that is not conducive for her (or her classmates) to learn. I just got the finalized version of the IEP to sign on Wednesday.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Be prepared for continuing resistance from the school even if you get him qualified for an IEP (which he should absolutely qualify, grades are not the only criteria as others have said). In our experience, the principal sets the tone for the school. If the principal's attitude is that only kids who are failing need Special Education then, in this day and age, that is a matter of prejudice on his/her part because there is certainly enough information out there to the contrary that there really is no excuse for a principal to take that line with you.

    I agree with the others. You should send a formal request for your son to be evaluated for special education services. In your letter, you should say why you believe him to be a child with a disability and the ways that is interfering with his ability to benefit from school.

    While you can deliver it to the school, when there is disagreement already like this I would instead deliver it to the school district Special Education dept. However you send or deliver it, you want proof that it was received. If you hand deliver it to the district offices, have them date/time stamp the letter and make a copy for you. If you fax it, do it from a machine that allows you to print a report showing it was received. If you mail it use a means that gets you proof of receipt with a signature. You can combine these methods if you like - mail and fax it for example. I would cc the principal to put her on notice that you are proceeding with a request for Special Education.

    Once they have received your letter they must respond by either agreeing to assess him or refusing to do so. Any refusal must be in writing stating the reasons they believe that your child is not a child with a disability that might qualify him for special education.

    Assuming they agree to assess your son, I suggest you insist that they do an FBA (functional behavioral assessment). If done well, this can really help when the IEP team sits down to design interventions. And it gives a solid base for evaluation of progress in the future when behavioral issues are the central problem.

    Keep us posted.


    I suggest you visit the Wright's Law website and dive right in. Their website is all things Special Education. www.wrightslaw.com
  5. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Guest

    Oh boy, can I relate to your post. Right now I'm in the same situation with my 10 year old difficult child, who has a 504 plan which might as well be written in dust. I haven't sent the certified letter requesting an evaluation yet because we just met a week or so ago with the principal and his main teachers and beefed up his 504 plan a bit. Or rather, took out what wasn't working and re-emphasized to the teachers the need to follow the plan (which they really haven't been doing, just picking & choosing what was easy and they were already doing anyway). Nothing new was really added because, surprise, no one has any idea how to handle difficult child since we aren't special educators or psychologists. But I agreed to try this "new" plan for a month to see if it helps.

    Since I had called the meeting to discuss a possible IEP, principal did address it long enough to say the same thing you heard- he isn't failing, his grades are good, he doesn't qualify. We got the same run-around about seeing the counselor too- there are 800 students in the school and she doesn't have time for intensive meetings with one student. We are welcome to visit her a couple times a year for a "friendship group." Principal actually went so far as to say "We are not responsible for helping him with his friendships." Our state has had education cuts recently and her mantra is that the school can only do what they have the resources for. I don't want to create an adversary out of her because I have another child in this same school and don't want to create problems for her either. I also feel its likely that our request for an evaluation will be turned down.

    I think the worst part is, at age 9 & 10, our difficult child's are become more aware of their social differences. A few years ago, difficult child had no friends but he was sure that everyone WAS his friend- he was in total ignorance. Today, he is painfully aware that he's got no friends but he still doesn't get why.
  6. jal

    jal Member

    Send a request for an evaluation to your Director of Special Education for your district by registered mail. The principal has no say as to who is evaluated. Sometimes a form can be found on your school's website (ours has it). The receipt of the registered mail kicks off a time period in which they have to respond and proceed by law.

    A 504 is usually offered 1st. Although it can help,most schools do not follow it and it doesn't give you a lot of legal protection if they don't. The best way to arm yourself is with an IEP. Legally, they have to follow this as written.

    Just because your child has great grades doesn't mean he can't qualify for an IEP. Anything that hinders your child from learning in the classroom or hinders others around him from learning falls under this category. My difficult child is very bright, high IQ, excels at math, but could not function in a regular classroom. We had to move him to more of a therapeutic school, where he gets specilaized supports. He is primarily ADHD, some mood but poor impulse control. We've had major support from the school district and have gotten all the testing that we've requested, plus we private tested, etc. He does well there as his class is very small. He is not classified as ED but as OHI with the ADHD evaluation, but this move was best for him.

    Definately send the request for an evaluation by certified mail to get the ball rolling. With that they have to respond.

    Also a note that the IEP costs the school district money, which is very tight everywhere, that is why your initial conversation was poo-pooed. IEP's can call for testing, special school placements and supports that school district's don't want to really dish out at this time. Don't let the principal's initial reaction hinder you from going forward.

    Good luck to you.