want to make sure i get this straight

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by lordhelpme, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    i have been reading up on things but with-so much info i want to make sure i am understanding things.

    difficult child is currently being evaluated at our(parents)initiative through private means.

    do you also suggest that i send a cert letter requesting the school do their own mde also?

    i want an additional iep in place for him to address his behaviour problems(has iep for speech in place already). things are escalating with-him and i can see his lack of interest in practicing reading and such at home. i know this will eventually hurt him academically.


    so i beg your patience as i try to sort out all the great info this site has to offer. :smile:
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Well, the school won't modify the IEP without doing their own evaluation so yes, I'd send the certified letter and get that ball rolling. I'm confused why you are doing it on the side first??? Is it covered by your insurance?

    You wouldn't get a 2nd IEP -- his IEP would be written to include all services (speech, behavior, etc). Is he a behaviour problem at school? They won't help if he is fine at school and meltsdown at home.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    JJJ is absolutely correct about the current IEP being expanded rather than a second one being written. However, an IEP can be changed without another evaluation, especially a full evaluation. Changes can be based on CBAs, observations, anecdotal notes, or just consensus (all decisions are supposed to be data-based but we know that this is not so.)

    As far as getting your own evaluation first or after theirs: it depends upon your objectives in my opinion. If you want to REFUTE their evaluation, then it is always better for your IE to be second. If, however, you want an "unbiased" (as in the evaluators have no financial stake in the outcome) or you want to "steer" the school district evaluation to certain areas, then it can be a good idea to have your own done first.

    If you go first, it will be at your expense--which is a downside of this approach.

    I always had ex-difficult child evaluated first because I wanted to know what MY experts were saying because of the bias issue--the school district had every reason to find "nothing" because, as is often the case with bright kids, ex-difficult child's standardized testing was within normal limits. Normal standardized testing does not mean there is no negative educational impact because testing is not the totality of educational impact.

    Another hint: I never turned over my private evaluations in their entirety. Many contained information I did not want the school district to have because it would have been used against us. I always asked for a "Summary of Findings" that could be presented to the school (I told the evaluators that I wanted this and would not be releasing their whole report--this sometimes frees an evaluator to be more candid.) However, in a spirit of cooperation, I would respond to school requests: for example, my independent psychologist indicated that ex-difficult child was neither ADHD nor Learning Disability (LD). The public school psychologist wanted the WISC subscales instead of just the FSIQ. I released them. I NEVER released any projective testing NOR did I consent to the school conducting projective testing. If projective testing is done by a highly qualified examiner, the results can be helpful. Trust me: I train school psychologists and you do not want them interpreting projective tests on your child; it will always come back negatively on the family, whether there are problems or not. I did allow a Bender on ex-difficult child and it was used as a projective and it was a crock: Ex-difficult child has a "constricted" personality due to his adoption and punitive parenting because his (perfectly) copied figures were smaller than the models. Hello??? Ex-difficult child was in his "small" phase and EVERYTHING from handwriting to illustrations were small. Overall, this might have had some meaning, (I think he might have been making himself 'disappear' to avoid bullies) but that, of course, was not considered on the
    Bender interpretation because 1) the school psychologist did not have handwriting samples bec. there was no issue with handwriting and 2) subconsciously making everything small to avoid bullies would have put responsibility on the school to control bullying whereas his interpretation of the Bender blamed the parents.

    You didn't really need this example to know that the outcome of subjective testing almost always blames the parent, did you :wink:

    Martie
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    [ QUOTE ]
    You didn't really need this example to know that the outcome of subjective testing almost always blames the parent, did you

    [/ QUOTE ]

    So true. Don't know why I burst out laughing when I read that.

    School districts can elect to use the findings of a private evaluation and not perform their own. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

    From http://idea.ed.gov/explore/search:

    Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.303 / a
    (a) General. A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with Sec. 300.304 through 300.311--
    (1) If the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or
    (2) If the child's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

    Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.303 / b
    (B) Limitation.--A reevaluation conducted under subparagraph (A) shall occur--
    (i) not more frequently than once a year, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree otherwise; and
    (ii) at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

    At various points in time, I have asked for a Full and Initial Evaluations (multidisciplinary evaluation) or a specific evaluation such as speech language. If I didn't agree with the school districts report, I asked for IEEs. As the Sp Ed Director said, "You have a history of asking for IEEs." Guilty as charged. I refrained from saying, "And this school district has a history of putting their own spin on their own test findings and trying to feed me a line of bunk."
     
  5. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    see the reason i am asking is because the school told us that we had to see our family doctor first. when i told them that we didn't have office visit coverage they said we are sorry but that is where you need to start. not at ANY time did they mention that they could do an evaluation of him, something i asked upfront!

    so our family doctor gave us the referal to the pediatrician mental health team at the local hospital and that is where we are right now.


    this feedback has helped me clear up some confusion. we will continue to see the private sw and difficult child has an appointment with-a psychologist feb 6.

    difficult child has meltdowns at home and school before xmas it was mostly at school, since we went back after break so far only at home.

    ok i guess i will get that letter printed out.

    thanks again!
     
  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    If that is what your school district told you, then they violated the law. IF you send that letter certified, they must evaluate or take you to Due Process to shwo they they do not need to. With meltdowns at school, that is not a fight they will take on in my opinion.

    It is still up to you what you want to do, but you should not be FORCED to go first.

    Martie
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Unfortunately, this type "misinformation" being given to parents is all to common.

    FYI: Anyone with the school district could have referred your child for the evaluation.

    Statute: TITLE I / B / 614 / a / 1 / B
    (B) Request for initial evaluation.--Consistent with subparagraph (D), either a parent of a child, or a State educational agency, other State agency, or local educational agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability.

    Also:
    Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.301 / b
    (b) Request for initial evaluation. Consistent with the consent requirements in Sec. 300.300, either a parent of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability.

    If you had written a follow up letter regarding "the school told us that we had to see our family doctor first," I'd recommend that you present the bill to the school district for the private evaluation currently underway. But if you don't have anything in writing, you'll never get it paid.

    If you've read many of the threads in this forum or in the sp ed archived, you've likely noted that Marti and I mention Certified Mail and follow-up conversations (phone or in person) with letters of understanding often. This practice helps safeguard your's and your child's rights. Without it, it's a he said/she said situation.

    You're making good progress learning. Hang in
     
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