School wants to move daughter into IEP, please help!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by nellomsnatal, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. nellomsnatal

    nellomsnatal New Member

    This year, my daughter, a 7th grdr, changed to a high performing school district in a smaller population. Prior to that, she was never identified as having a math problem, but has always struggled. She did successfully pass testing from 5-6, but when the old school district was faced with a number of problems, we decided to switch. After, her initial first round of test results revealved she was below grade level, she was placed in a Title 1 class, and is performing well in that environment, in addition to her regular math class. However, her regular math teacher has seen no growth, and now believes that it warrants moving towards an IEP. Her other class grades have been A & B, so they are suggesting that she has a math specific disability. While I am concerned that additional support is needed, I am concerned that she is going to be adversely effected by the label of Special Education. I understand that she could be in a LRE, but that cant be determined until an assessment is conducted.

    As a parent that is new to all of this, I have to say that I am quite confused about how to go forward. At this point, I have hired a private certified teacher that tutors my daughter on Saturdays for 2 hours, but that has only been for the last month. She does seem to do a lot of forgetting, but once she does it, she is able to recall.

    My question is... has anyone experienced their child being stigmitized by the IEP, and if its been more of a henderance than a help, or would my continuing a long range relationship.. twice a week, with the certified teacher would be nothing less than what the school district IEP would offer? She is already dealing with self esteem problems, but I do want her to be afforded all the supporting she can get.

    I hate to say this, but I wonder if this high performing school district would be more interested in having her on IEP status for them, than for her.

  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Let them do the assessments. If she is found to have a math specific learning disability, the school district would give her the additional supports your tutor is now doing and it would be during the normal school day. I have found there is little, if any, stigma for kids with a subject-specific IEP. Also, she may have been doing well at the other school but I would question how she could be doing so well there and be so behind here. Typically, it is because the school district wasn't "up to par" with their standards. If that is the case, they did your daughter a great disservice. Let this new school district give her the help she needs. That is their job, not yours. If you don't agree with the assessments or the plan they come up with, it is your right to refuse. It won't hurt anything to let them do the assessments. Just remember, the final say is yours.
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I can't speak to the motives of the school district. I will say that generally speaking the higher the expectations (to a point) the better for the child in the long run.

    I have never had one of my kids stigmatized by having an IEP. Except that a couple of times we have encountered ignorant teachers who believe there are no "learning disabilities" just kids who won't try hard. These are the exception not the rule.

    Many kids "grow into" their disabilities. At the elementary level she could do OK but as she progresses through the grades her ability to perform at grade level will get worse and worse. That's assuming she actually has an Learning Disability (LD) that affects her math abilities. Which has not yet been established.

    Is she now in Pre-Algebra or Algebra? Typically kids have trouble with this if they have trouble with abstract concepts/language and/or symbols. For example, the idea that you can add to one side and subtract from the other side and the result is equivalent to the original equation can make no sense at all to a child who is very concrete. Or they may be uncertain about which sign represents greater than and less than, etc.

    I suggest you ask them some questions about what kinds of interventions they usually use with kids who are struggling with math if they have an IEP. Do they pull them out of class or do push in services where the Special Education person comes into the classroom?

    If she is struggling now with extra help at school and now with the boost of extra help at home, I think you need to accept she needs to be evaluated for Learning Disability (LD)'s and given more structured help geared toward teaching her to compensate for any disability and to learn the things she needs to know.

    You would not want her to be failing in 9th grade when help now would have prevented that. And that is the usual pattern - as you have discovered. The big transitions (3rd to 4th, 6th to 7th, 8th to 9th) are times when the academic expectations take a big leap. And that is when kids who were able to scrape by before find they can no longer keep up or pass.

    You could also consider doing private testing with a psychologist to identify Learning Disability (LD)'s. Then you could decide based on the psychologists recommendations and the test results how to proceed.

  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I don't believe there is a stigma and it might get her some help.

    My 9th grader is dyslexic but very bright. However, he was failing math, even though he's been on an IEP since K, until we added a math scribe for him. She doesn't DO the work but does make sure it's written where it should be and how it should be. He also has math resource room.

    My 6th grader has a full-time scribe and gets extra time. Ironically, most of his friends go for math specific resource but he has regular RR daily.

    It's best to get an Learning Disability (LD) identified asap and deal with it by learning compensatory strategies. I have dealt with sped teachers for over 15 years and many are very good, dedicated people who genuinely want to help.

    I would suggest taking the school up on their offer.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My Kiddo has an IEP for emotional disorders that are expressed in some pretty nasty behavior. She's a smart kid overall, some issues with taking things literally that adds to her emotional response and also shows up in writing/reading comprehension type things. In a lot of ways, she's a mini-me. Does it sting that she has a harder time "keeping it together" to the point that she has an IEP? Yes, yes indeed it does. Me more so than her, for sure. Does her IEP help her? Undeniably, so I swallow that sting and look for more ways to help her, because it's about her, not me.

    Does she get picked on more because she has the IEP? I'm not certain, but I think if that was the case I'd be getting a lot more phone calls from school because I know how well she doesn't take being picked on.

    Now, if your kid broke her ankle, and the doctor said she needs crutches until its back up to par, would you say "No, she's just got to tough it out and learn to manage at school, but she can use them at home"?
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    In general, having the school district ask to do the assessment is a very positive sign. Some kids only need an IEP for a short while to address specific concerns, others need them for their entire schooling.

    A couple things to keep in mind....

    (1) IEP is not a place. IEP is a list of goals, objectives and services. Some kids with IEPs never leave the regular classroom; others are in self-contained Special Education classrooms and every % in between.

    (2)An IEP can give extended time and other accomodations on the ACT and SAT. If your daughter is college-bound, this extra time could be crucial in her being successful on the ACT. No IEP/504 = no ACT/SAT accomodations
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I would let them do the testing. They have nothing to gain-trust me. It is time and money costly to do these assessments. I'm impressed that a Jr. High school would even follow- through with this because it is also work for the regular math teacher to make the referral and do interventions before the referral (that is the law now).

    Stigma... usually the stigma comes when the child shows differences-namely behaviors. But Jr. High is cruel ( I know I teach at one!). You could ask that they give service within the regular class so she isnt pulled out.

    Here are some things to be aware of:
    Many girls show signs of math phobia starting around 5th grade when things become more abstract. It's partially social- many of us have no problem saying "I'm not very good at math", but none of us would admit outloud, "I can't read".

    How is math being taught? Even algebra can be made concrete-there are many models and methods for teaching this concretely. The truth is very few math teachers do this. I would ask about their methods. And ask about the special educations methods for supporting kids with math disabilities. By the way, many teachers believe that prealgebra is nothing more than a holding pen for kids that have not mastered their basic arithmetic skills with fluency. Sometimes kids do better when these are solidified (tutor can do this).

    And rslnights is very right-9th grade is the kiss of death for kids. On the top five list for why kids drop out of high schoolor blow their freshman year-math issues magnified in 9th grade. The Sp. Ed.label offers a measure of security which says, "We will support her through this"

    Finially, I wonder what will happen to her self-esteem when she continues to struggle with and even fail math? Self-esteem comes from within-she knows she is struggling. Get all the testing, question heavily, and see where it leads. It could be a blessing (which is my guess). Hugs!
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to update and find out how things are going.

    My son got an A the third quarter of math - from a D in the first quarter. I attribute it in large part to the sped teacher and his having a scribe for his math work. I think he will actually do pretty well on the state test. Without the assistance from sped, I am not sure that this child (who has a 133 verbal IQ) would be able to function at all in math class.