Adverse Impact - ARD mtg tomorrow- can someone help me understand this?


New Member
This board has been so helpful in my "journey" thru the evaluation and upcoming ARD mtg for an IEP. I appreciate all your help in the past!
I did everything you said about sending letters, getting my son evaluated, etc. I even did the letter to request the testing results given to me before the ARD mtg. They gave me the test results (diagnotician and psychiatrist that were part of the evaluation were present at that mtg) and explained them to me.

The ARD mtg is tomorrow.
Basically the psychiatrist said he does not feel my son can be classified emotional disturbance. I'm not sure how he can decide that based on just one visit with my son but whatever.
And basically the diagnotician is telling me that my son is:
Very high IQ (that was expected)
Tested high on almost everything except he tested much lower in listening comprehension and something about mutliple tasks. (the paper she was showing me with all the scores on it isn't something I ended up with in my copies of stuff. It was easier to understand, that paper she showed me in the meeting, than this pages and pages of gobbleygook- in my eyes LOL)

I'm not sure I understand this standard mean and/or deviation thing. I've read and reread and REREAD all the links I've seen on this board and I'm still not getting it.

What the diagnotician told me is that even though he tested low in a few things -more than 30pts lower than the "average range" of where he should have tested based on his IQ and such, that he still doesn't qualify for an IEP or need of any help at all- because he didn't test below average on the chart. Is that right?

What I mean is he tested IQ of 138. They are saying the average range is 80-110 or something like that. Like I said I'm going by memory because that paper wasn't given to me- the chart one.
Anyway- on most of the tests he tested in the 110-140 range at 99 percentile rank. On a few tests- the two I can remember is listening comprehension and something to do with multiple tasks - he tested at 82 and 85. Clearly a big difference than his "range" BUT she said it was still within the 80-110 "range" of average so he doesn't qualify.

Is that true?
I don't see how that could be true.
I remember on a few other tests he scored in the 100-110 range as well. He was all over the chart. Most were high but some were lower and some were REALLY low- compared to the others. None were under 80 though- although some were close. If what she is saying is true- then why even bother testing for IQ or his capabilities? Clearly what she's saying is that no one receives any help, IEP, etc. unless they test below "average". So what's the point of finding out HIS "range" or IQ if that doesn't matter? she said both matters. She said that it had to be 16pts or more deviation from HIS range of scores/capabilities AND that score had to be below the average range as well (for instance let's say his range is 110-120- if he had a score of 75 it would qualify him because more than 16pts deviation AND below average. But if his score was 110-120 and he scored 80 on something he would not qualify because even though more than 16pts deviation he was still within the "average range".

So scores in some areas low enough to have extreme deviations (30+ points) mean nothing unless your child scores below the average?

So basically I'm going into an ARD meeting tomorrow knowing they plan on doing nothing. We talked during that mtg where they gave me the results/etc. and they basically said that my son (and I quote!) does not qualify for Special Education classes or for lack of a better way of putting it "to ride the short bus". I told them I never expected them to put him in Special Education- that I simply chose this route because I did feel he was having difficulties in some ways and could use some help, as well as a behavor/discipline plan that would work best for him.

For those that don't know the situation- my son is 8 and going into 3rd grade (almost 9yrs old). He was diagnosed ADHD years ago but my eldest is ADHD/ODD and I never really thought my son fit that mold at all. Last year the dr started saying he felt he might be bipolar (like his father/my husband) and suggested going to a psychotherapist. Which we did- and thru talking with him and more researching I came to the conclusion that he more fit the mold of either high functioning autism/aspergers. More recently in more researching I have done- really he fits the mold (in my opinion) of a specific learning disorder "nonverbal learning disorder". From what I have read that a child with an IQ such as his and such HIGH verbal language dependency that nonverbal learning disorders are not really going to cause major problems academically (ie: grades) until around 10yrs old or older.

He makes good grades overall- but there is a clear pattern of very low grades that just get averaged out with all the 100's he makes (for instance he will make 100's on everything then make 20's or 40's or even zeros on specific papers- for example papers that require him to give an answer that is guessing the person's mood after reading a sentence about them, putting sentences of actions in order to make sense, etc.)
His behavior shows clearly lacking in social skills, impulsivity, lack of conforming Occupational Therapist (OT) any change, not reacting appropriately in many situations, etc. Even the principal has noticed this. (ie: has no friends, doesn't understand nonverbal cues/emotions, lacks ability to understand others space, lacks ability to recognize when anyone else is busy/etc, lacks ability to use or interpret nonverbal communication whatsoever) His conduct grades are consistently very poor and getting worse with every 6wks period. He even had a FAILING grade in PE the last 6wks due to conduct -which also cost him a lot of detentions that 6wks as well as not getting the ABBIT card (get free stuff if you get the A B Because I Try card- he always makes A's and did that 6wks too besides pe due to conduct- so he didn't get it) His last 2 "behavior issues" one threatened to be put in AEP "the next time" (threatened another student verbally) and caused him no off campus activities (to miss their only field trip, end of school party at park, etc.- that one was due to made to sit on a curb for 30-45min according to pe teacher to wait for the rest of the students to finish the race- he tossed pebbles from a planter on that curb over his shoulder- totally bored and found something to do is what that was). His behavior has only progressed worse and worse thru the years- the last year the worst ofcourse.

Since he makes good grades when it's all averaged out and the school is acting like only academic grades matter- and the psychiatrist is going to say he has no emotional disturbance I need SOMETHING to get him the help he needs. And I thought with those test results it would help that it shows he has some major differences in how he tests -but since they are saying it has to be "below average"- that doesn't matter?

All I want is not going to cost them any money so that shouldn't be the reason they fight this. What my son needs is NOT a tutor, 1 on 1 or even in Special Education classes. What I think my son needs is:
1)A behavior/discipline plan that better suits his needs. More motivation rather than extreme punishment as they seem to do there. Behavior that is related to (what I think is) his disability should be handled differently rather than punishing even more than other children receive (for example that race/tossing pebbles thing? We were both told if they didn't behave during races with the running team that they wouldn't be allowed to run on the races the rest of that year. instead, since this happened in front of a restaurant where the principal KNEW the restaurant owner and he also coincidentally was the sponsor of that race- she admittedly was embarrassed by this and thus is why she felt his punishment was fair consequences and instead of just no more races that year like previous children received, according to the PE teacher, he received a failing PE grade- totally unfair because they don't even get credit for the races and I never knew it would have a thing to do with his PE grade it's totally seperate and voluntary outside of school time, he received no off campus activities for the rest of the year meaning he'd miss the ONLY times they had off campus activities the entire year, and no ABBIT card even though he made all A's academically because of the failing PE grade. I feel that was unfair, unjust and totally over the top for his behavior- especially since they all knew it would be impossible for him to sit 30-45min on a curb doing nothing!)

2) A teacher(s) that are more willing to VERBALLY teach him to understand nonverbal communication until he "gets it" (in other words- instead of just letting him annoy you constantly until you snap, make ugly faces, yell shut up at him and/or give him detention like his LAST teacher did- instead everytime he interrupts you VERBALLY tell him how he's interrupting/tell him what is going on so you are verbally helping him to see his surroundings and how he's interrupting, tell him you'll listen to him in a moment and then really do that. Anytime he's interrupting or behaving inappropriately with his nonverbal communication- verbally tell him what he's doing wrong. If they do that verbally he'll get it. Just "expecting him to know what I mean" or "he should know better" or expecting him to recognize nonverbal communication simply isn't going to work with him. This will help with his social skills as well. Simply put- he works verbally only, and has no clue of anything nonverbal... not how to recognize it or react appropriately with his own nonverbal communication. Even the diagnotician noted that he "verbally" worked thru every question/task given during his evaluation.

That's all I want.
I'm afraid if I go for a 504 instead none of it will ever happen. His behavior will get worse, his deficiencies academically will eventually bring his grades down overall, he'll never have friends &/or learn how to get along with peers, etc.

So someone please help. Is it true that the "deviations" thing of more than 15pts only matters if it also puts you in the below average range?


New Member
Ps. also I have already been told that at the ARD mtg tomorrow the psychiatrist won't be attending and I have a feeling neither will a general ed teacher (ie: either his teacher from last year or the one he has already been assigned for this upcoming year- starting on Wed).

Everything I read says that a regular teacher has to be in attendance. From what they told me it's going to be me, principal and the Special Education diagnotician. That's it. Is that right/legal?

In short they don't seem to be taking anything I have said (and I wrote them extensive reports on him, research I'd done that I think fits him, etc.) nor anything from his previous behavior, teachers, etc. It appears all they are going to go by is the testing done by the diagnotician and the report from the pschologist that visited my son once.

No neurological testing was done and I'm wondering if that really might be necessary- especially if his true diagnosis is either aspergers and/or nonverbal learning disorder.


The school district is giving you false information. The 15 point deviation/discrepancy to qualify for special education is no longer allowed per the new IDEA 2004 regs. The sd is well aware of this, so they've lost my trust.

I strongly recommend that you tell them that you do not agree with their report and request an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE). An IEE is a multidisciplinary evaluation done privately but at school district expense. They must either allow it, or go to a Hearing and present evidence as to why they will not allow it.

The school district must give you a copy of their evaluation report. If it doesn't include subtest scores, ask for them. Also, ask for the document that you didn't get. Put this request in writing and hand-deliver it to the meeting or you can send it via Certified Mail. If you deliver it, have someone sign as accepting it on the bottom of the letter.

I don't know what time your meeting is, and wanted to get this posted. I'll try to locate the citation about the 15 point discrepancy and post it for you.

by the way, if you decide to reqest the IEE, the school district will ask you what part of the evalation you do no agree with. You do not have to answer anything except "I don't agree with any of it." They ask this question in order to be able to limit the scope of the IEE.


This isn't the whole citation, but it'll give you enough to locate it in the regs

20 U.S.C. §1414 (SEC. 614)
A) IN GENERAL.--Notwithstanding section 607(b), when determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in section 602, a local educational agency shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning.

by the way, if you are in the general Houston area and need to find somewhere to get an IEE performed, let me know and I can PM you. (I wouldn't use anyone on the school district's list.)


Also from

Re: regular teacher attending IEP. They must have your permission in writing to excuse the regular classroom teacher or any other required member from the meeting.

See (B) INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM TEAM in the link above for additional specifics.

Required: (ii) not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or
may be, participating in the regular education environment);

(i) ATTENDANCE NOT NECESSARY.--A member of the IEP Team shall not be required
to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability
and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not
necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being
modified or discussed in the meeting.
(ii) EXCUSAL.--A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP
meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion
of the member's area of the curriculum or related services, if--
(I) the parent and the local educational agency consent to the excusal; and
(II) the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the
development of the IEP prior to the meeting.
under clause (i) and consent under clause (ii) shall be in writing.


Also,since this is an INITIAL meeting, there are requirements about who must be present. Since he is in regular class, it is ridiculous that the gen ed teacher would not be there.

The law does state that there has to be a "negative educational impact" but it is NOT OK to measure that only academically, particlarly by standardized test scores.

The preamble of most SD purpose statements say something about producing "good citizens" "productive members of society" etc. This type of social/emotional growth is likely to be in you state standards as well. Sheila would know since she is from TX. You need to demonstrate he is not making progress in those areas which are as important as academics (actually in my opinion, for a very bright child, they are MORE important.)

I would not believe their psychiatrist. He is paid to find nothing. My son was suicidal at 14 and the SD consulting psychiatrist found nothing wrong with him--which is just mind boggling because he had been on medications for major depression twice--and was kicked out of school for being "too suicidal" (no that is not legal.)

Anyway, follow Sheila's advice and ask for an IEE (by certified mail). You need an objective party to get to the bottom of what's going on with you very bright son.



New Member
Thank you Sheila.
I appreciate your help.
I think I've already messed this up (maybe? or maybe not) and not sure I can fix it.
From what you have posted it states they should not have to take a discrepency between achievement and intellectual ability- and that's basically what they said. They said even though there is a big discrepency between achievement (on the test) and intellectual ability that since he still scores within the normal range- he doesn't qualify for SpEd- period.

The diagnotician said in her evaluation while testing him he had attention issues- but she said she witnessed him in his general class and his G&T class and in both cases he was totally in his own world/zone ignoring everyone else even to the point of not wanting to stop and listen to the teacher. So she said she doesn't feel he has any problems with distractions in the class/etc. She sees that as very focused -she's totally ignoring that this is not a good thing. Zoning out on what he is doing is part of why he's probably testing so low on listening comprehension! It's probably why he gets some very low grades on things because he doesn't listen to instructions/etc. She even said that in G&T everyone will be having a class discussion and my son isn't involved at all and only doing some project in his own world. She sees this as a good thing??!!?? Whatever...

At first I signed "disagree" on the form but then they started talking about how it would be a 10 day recess and come back again (and I honestly didn't think they'd change their mind by then- so it would flat out just be wasting time) AND I'd already mentioned the neuro not done within the multi-disciplinary evaluation and they said they "don't do that"/I'd have to do it on my own, and they were about to discuss meeting for a 504 and see if he qualifies for that and she said if he did- they'd do an IEP and we discussed what I felt he needed/etc. So I changed it to agree, scribbled out disagree and initialed that.

So I basically SHOULD have said I disagree and asked for an IEE right? What can I do now? *sigh*
They said I had to get the neuro stuff done on my own. And I thought I had read that if I asked for an IEE I had to disagree specifically with something in the evaluation they did. they didn't do a neuro- so it's not like I could ask for an IEE simply to include a neuro. They didn't do it so I couldn't disagree with it. Is that not correct?

His teacher for THIS year was present- and so was the Special Education director. So it was the principal, future teacher starting wed (but she had him one day last year- the day his class went on a field trip and he wasn't allowed to go- he went to her 3rd grade class instead because she'd be the teacher he'd have this year- becuase she's the teacher that has the kids that are in dual language which he is in), SpEd director, diagnotician and myself. That's all legal on the people in attendance- right?

I didn't request a copy of the meeting- the mtg was already over by the time I read your posts. Can I request it in writing now?
The psychologist wasn't there but the diagnotician presented his report. She said she had a copy for me but then neglected to give it to me!

They did exactly what I thought they would. They basically say he doesn't qualify since he isn't failing academically.
After I signed disagree then changed it to agree the diagnotician had to leave for another appointment and the rest stayed. We discussed what I WANTED or felt he needed- help with social skills, verbally helping him understand nonverbal communication/social cues, facial expression, etc. and a BIP. The principal seemed receptive and said we could work that into his IEP "if" they decided he qualified for the 504 when we have the mtg next week.

I don't know what to think. The principal is saying that my son doesn't need IDEA or an IEP to get the type of help I'm wanting him to have BUT I am not stupid- I know enough to know that without it, I can't force the issue and she's already shown in the past that she will stand by what she's decided no matter how unfair it is or how unfair I think it is or how much I disagree/etc.
Personally I think he will do much better with the teacher he has this year for a variety of reasons- but that doesn't help the "issues" he has- it's only going to cloak them temporarily by having this teacher who he obviously is not going to have every year. I have a strong feeling that he may do well with her in 3rd grade and then in 4th grade (with different teacher AND because that is the grade at this elementary that they start having a different teacher for each class and without an IEP some or all of them may not be cooperative in teaching him in a way that works best for him and because the work will be harder/etc.) he'll start doing poorly again. I'm not psychic but I have a strong feeling that before the end of the 4th grade year we're going to be right back here fighting over whether he qualifies for an IEP again and at that point- I may just have to wait for him to make failing grades for them to finally get with the program and realize what he needs to succeed. And that might mean me not helping quite so much at home/etc. and just let it happen- then maybe they'll finally listen to me.
He's still going to have the same PE teacher which is where he had the MOST behavior issues and the most lack of control in that hyper/energetic atmosphere.
From what I have read- those with nonverbal learning disorders generally don't start hurting academically until later when their verbal skills can't compensate any longer. We'll see. Apparently they are saying we have to wait until they are failing or score below average before they'll qualify him.
Any suggestions on what to do now?
Anything I should do about signing changing my disagree to agree in order to get an IEE including neuro this time? Why do they keep saying they don't handle that portion of a multi-disciplinary evaluation and I have to do it on my own?
If I just go along with the 504 and assume they'll be more cooperative with an IEP with-504 (because it's their suggestion/etc.) what should I do if I get there next week and they say oh, he doesn't qualify for 504 either but "promise" to help in the ways I want anyway? The way I see it- they can agree till they are blue in the face that they'll help him in aspects he needs plus form a BIP but if he doesn't have an IEP I don't have a leg to stand on if they don't follow it. right?
I am getting a serious headache (ongoing for a couple of months now really) trying to figure all this out and try to figure out what to do.


New Member
Also,since this is an INITIAL meeting, there are requirements about who must be present. Since he is in regular class, it is ridiculous that the gen ed teacher would not be there.

The law does state that there has to be a "negative educational impact" but it is NOT OK to measure that only academically, particlarly by standardized test scores.

The preamble of most SD purpose statements say something about producing "good citizens" "productive members of society" etc. This type of social/emotional growth is likely to be in you state standards as well. Sheila would know since she is from TX. You need to demonstrate he is not making progress in those areas which are as important as academics (actually in my opinion, for a very bright child, they are MORE important.)

I would not believe their psychiatrist. He is paid to find nothing. My son was suicidal at 14 and the SD consulting psychiatrist found nothing wrong with him--which is just mind boggling because he had been on medications for major depression twice--and was kicked out of school for being "too suicidal" (no that is not legal.)

Anyway, follow Sheila's advice and ask for an IEE (by certified mail). You need an objective party to get to the bottom of what's going on with you very bright son.


I have mentioned this to them before but they really seems stuck on negative education impact being solely academic. I can't tell you how many times I have discussed this with the principal and even mentioned it again at the mtg today- they just skip right over that and say that he isn't showing an educational impact and is doing so well academically blah blah blah.
They seem to be of the mind that ONLY academics matter and they can ONLY qualify if they test below the normal/average range in specific tests- it doesn't matter that he scored well over 30+ points difference on the testing- long as he was in the normal range he doesn't qualify (according to them). They seem to be of the mind that it doesn't matter if he's having other social/etc. issues- that he's doing well academically and that's all that matters.

What can I do now?
how can I get them to understand that social/emotional growth is important too?
I'm in Texas but not near houston-forgot to mention that earlier. I'm near the DFW area (slightly southwest of Fort Worth).

I agree with you on the psychiatrist. When I questioned how he could find NO problems/issues with my son at all-the principal explained that he just doesn't see that my son qualifies or fits the mold of emotionally disturbed according to the outlines of the SCHOOL DISTRICT but that this is different than just flat out saying he is not emotionally disturbed. She said he can only say whether or not he is ED according to the rules of the school district and that it doesn't negatively impact him EDUCATIONALLY. Again with the educational/academic impact. It's all they seem worried about and if I'd known that- I wouldn't have bothered getting him evaluation'd in the first place. Because I would have known the answer, atleast at the present time- because he's making good grades overall when all grades are averaged- except for conduct and PE where conduct is the majority of the grade. *sigh*

can I still ask for an IEE even though I signed disagree then scratched that out and changed it to agree? Is there any way to get an IEE for neuro testing when they didn't include that originally and they say they don't do that period?


New Member
Oh and by the way- I also forgot to mention that one thing the psychologist did NOT tell me in our mtg we had back in May nor in the mtg with the diagnotician last week when he was present also- is that he "ruled out aspergers" as well as emotional disturbance/wrx. It was in his report that the diagnotician read today (the psychologists report) -at the end he also said that he rules out aspergers.

Is a school psychologist really qualified to make a diagnosis on aspergers, or to rule it out? Especially with just one mtg with the child? Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly but I thought that a school psychologist wasn't qualified to make a diagnosis such as this (or rule one out). I thought it was a neuropsychologist or neurologist or something like that, that could test and make a diagnosis (or rule it out) for that type of thing like aspergers?
I made a statement to the affect that I didn't think he was qualified to make that diagnosis or rule it out, during the mtg, and the principal said he unequivocally IS qualified to make or rule out aspergers diagnosis. Is that true? I'm inclined to believe she's full of it.

Also she read something at the beginning of the meeting that basically said none of us were to discuss anything outside of the mtg with anyone else. Is that legal? Does that mean discussing it here is going against what she said? I never said I agreed to it- she just said it and we started with the mtg. LOL Is that normal procedure?


I'm running short on time right now and will check back later.

Send a letter certified mail to the Special Education Director today.

Dear Sp Ed Director:

Yesterday I attended an IEP meeting for my son, difficult child. I didn’t agree with the school district’s report and I never understood the purpose of why the meeting would be rescheduled in 10 days. It was very confusing.

In any event, I do not agree with XISD’s evaluation and I am requesting an Independent Education Evaluation. It’s my understanding the IEE has to meet the IDEA 2004 requirements and that the qualifications of the evaluators must be at least equal to the evaluators that performed the school district’s evaluation.

I will be sending you contact information so that XISD can make the financial arrangements soon.




From TEA:
the parents must disagree with the agency's evaluation and request the public agency to pay for an independent educational evaluation. 34 C.F.R. §300.502(b). This disagreement and request places the public agency on notice of the parents' intention to invoke their right to a publicly funded independent education evaluation. The public agency must then make an election. It can either acquiesce and pay for the independent educational evaluation or it must request a due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate. 34 C.F.R. §300.502(b). Upon parental request for an independent educational evaluation, the public agency must provide the parents with information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained and the agency criteria applicable to independent educational evaluations. 34 C.F.R. §300.502(a)(2). The agency criteria under which the independent educational evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria the public agency uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent's right to an independent educational evaluation. 34 C.F.R. §300.052(e). Except for this criteria, the public agency is expressly prohibited from imposing conditions or timelines related to obtaining independent educational evaluations at public expense. 34 C.F.R. §300.502(e)(2).


Procedural Safeguards
1. Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).
The final regulations provide that
(1) upon request for an IEE, parents must be given information about where an IEE may be obtained, and "the agency criteria applicable for [IEEs]; and
(2) if a parent requests an IEE, a public agency may ask why the parent objects to the public evaluation, but may not require the explanation; and "the public agency may not unreasonably delay either providing the [IEE] at public expense or initiating a due process hearing to defend the public evaluation." (See §300.502.)


New Member
Okay it appears you are saying I can send a letter to say I disagree now, even though I eventually changed my signature to agree during the mtg. If I'm reading that correctly.

The question that I'm having still is if I can ask for an IEE on the basis that I disagree with their "findings" from the evaluation. I mean I'm not disagreeing with diagnotician's testing results. I don't disagree with his scores, I just disagree with how they READ the scores and deem him uneligible. I also disagree with the findings of the psychologist. BUT in addition that, I think he needs neuro to be part of his multi-disciplinary evaluation and they never did that and insist they "don't do that". They say that's something I have to do on my own. Is there going to be any way to not only disagree with their evaluation but in addition disagree that they did a FULL evaluation since they did not include any neuro in the evaluation and have that included in the IEE? Is that a possibility?

And WHAT can I do to get them to start paying attention to more than just his academic scores at this time? Everything they say boils down to they think since he's bright in most ways and making passing grades that he's fine. They even said the emotional disturbance qualifications the psychiatric did is not saying he's not emotionally disturbed but rather he doesn't qualify ED becaue it's "not affecting his academic scores". They think it's all about academics. Is there any specific laws or regulations with IDEA that I can show them that this is incorrect? That it is NOT supposed to have everything only based on academic achievement so far?

Also, I can't remember the exact wording of what I read but I read something about it's not supposed to be that a child has to be below normal range to qualify for help with his needs- that he's supposed to be helped to perform to his POTENTIAL. Something to that effect. In other words if he's showing a huge deviance in some areas he needs help with those even if he still falls within the low part of the "normal range". Maybe I can find that part again to explain it better. But I can't seem to find any thing stated in LAWS to this affect- just things I read in articles and websites online which won't mean a hill of beans to the school if I have to force the issue. Also on websites and articles it mentions how it's important to have social skills/etc. (that he's sorely lacking in) and how it can affect academics -but nothing to really show to them to get it thru their thick skulls. Apparently they are not inclined to do anything UNTIL this has already affected his academics (ie: either kicked out of school due to behavior or making poor grades) and everything I have read is saying that by that point it's pretty much too late- much harder to help them learn social skills once they are already to that point.
I don't know what to do or say to get them to understand that.


Okay it appears you are saying I can send a letter to say I disagree now, even though I eventually changed my signature to agree during the mtg. If I'm reading that correctly.

You are.

I just disagree with how they READ the scores and deem him uneligible. I also disagree with the findings of the psychologist.

Then you disagree. That's all you have to say, "I disagree."

BUT in addition that, I think he needs neuro to be part of his multi-disciplinary evaluation and they never did that and insist they "don't do that". They say that's something I have to do on my own. Is there going to be any way to not only disagree with their evaluation but in addition disagree that they did a FULL evaluation since they did not include any neuro in the evaluation and have that included in the IEE? Is that a possibility?

The sd must evaluate in all areas of suspected disability. See

(4) The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities;
(6) In evaluating each child with a disability under §§300.304 through 300.306, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414(b)(1)-(3), 1412(a)(6)(B))

The school district has completed their evaluation. I don't know whether a neruo evaluation is needed. What I do know is that based on what you've written, they told you "we don't do that." They are well aware that they are giving you misinformation.

What should happen here is that you get your IEE. If the neurologist you want to perform the IEE meets the minimum standards required of school district diagnostician, which he/she should, then so be it.

I'm not certain what a neurologist does, however, it's my understanding that those on your IEE team must evaluate per #4 above.

I forget the numbers, but your earlier posts indicate the school district said difficult child does not qualify for an IEP based on the 15 point discrepancy. #1, that criteria is out with the old regs, but more importantly, if you son's IQ is 138 and his listening ability is 82, that's a 56 point discrepancy -- almost 4 times what they say is required to qualify ! Based on their testing, difficult child has a specific learning disability in listening.

Perhaps a neuorologist and psychiatric can be your IEE team. If an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, or Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation, etc is needed, the team is expanded.

This school district has tried to mislead you in several ways. They know exactly what they are doing. With so many attempts to mislead you already, I strongly recommend that you pursue the IEE or pay for a private multidisciplinary evaluation on your own.

Another resource for you is TEA's Special Education web pages. Sometimes it helps if a school district knows a parent is aware of TEA's parent hotline for Special Education . ;)


New Member
What you said about the discrepency is correct except that I was remembering the #'s wrong. His IQ is 138 but they are saying the "average/normal range" is 85-110 so even if he has a discrepency/deviance of 15+ pts that as long as it falls within that 85-110 he doesn't qualify.
He scored 89 on listening comprehension, 99 on written expression and 121 on multiple tasks. Those were his lowest scores. the rest range 130 as high as 146. Those are the ones I am concerned with and if you think about it- those are pretty important ones! One would think they can't expect him to compensate FOREVER simply because he's bright and very verbal/etc. if he can't listen, has difficulties with writing and not doing quite as well on multiple tasks either. I mean gosh, he's only going into 3rd grade but eventually he's not going to be able to compensate for as much listening, writing and following multiple task/directions as they are going to require in future grades. My point is he needs help with this NOW. Their point is that they think since he's doing fine on his grades now that they won't help until he's failing/doing poorly. Everything I've read said once you get to that point- it's going to be a lot more difficult to help him with his weaknesses at that point.

They are saying that even though he has a 49 pt discrepency/deviance on listening comprehension- that because it still falls within the normal range of 85-110- he doesn't qualify. That even though he has a 39 pt deviance on written expression- it's still between the normal range of 85-110 so he doesn't qualify. And ofcourse the 121 is only 17pts and falls above the normal range so it's simply ludricrous (in their opinion) to even consider that an issue.

that's where I'm having difficulty finding information online such as laws/etc. that I can understand how it's explained. Because they are saying it's not ONLY the deviance points of 16+ that is needed but also for that score to fall below the normal range. That part doesn't make sense to me. It just doesn't. That would mean in order to qualify the deviance doesn't matter- only that they score below normal range. They are saying both must be present. IN other words they think he's fine even with those major differences in scores showing definiant weaknesses in some areas- because it still falls within the normal range. To me this is NOT helping him to perform to his ability- it's only helping him to perform to some "normal range" ability even though he probably could do much better if he had help with those weak areas. And those weak areas are going to become more and more important as he goes into higher grades, in my opinion.

That's what I can't get them to see.

I believe my son has a specific learning disability: nonverbal learning disorder and it appears to me that not only do the evaluation results show some weaknesses in that area but also that they should take into account other things such as things even the principal has brought up in the past last year- such as lack of social skills, inability to recognize and/or respond correctly to nonverbal communication, etc. They say it's not a problem because he's still making good grades (on report cards- he gets low low grades on specific types of homework/tests but his 100's on everything else bring those grades up when averaged for a report card) and because even though there is a huge deviance there it's still within the normal range with 100 as the mean/85-110 as the normal range.
They are completely disregarding the behavior issues/etc. solely by what the psychologist stated in his report.
From what I have been reading I believe he also has what is called "anger overload" which might be a direct result of his frustrations with the things he has trouble with and/or his lack of social skills and nonverbal learning disorder causing him to not understand nonverbal communication. This explains EXACTLY the type of behavior he exhibits at times:

In short- I believe my son has a high IQ and in some ways is quite gifted but by the same token he has a specific learning disorder, namely nonverbal learning disorder, (and possibly aspergers because he fits the criteria for that in many ways) and quite frankly I think his behavior issues are directly related to this and the frustration/depression/etc. it causes him. I can totally understand and empathize with how he feels. He's having difficulties dealing with his areas of weakness because he's bright and is used to everything being so easy for him. That's what it all boils down to. He's frustrated with any academic work that he can't seem to grasp or grasp quickly and he's also frustrated because of his lack of social skills and inability to understand nonverbal communication. The way his brain works this just frustrates him to no end and causes some depression as well.
But since he IS quite bright and verbal- he's been compensating in many ways and thus hasn't made failing grades yet (except for conduct and PE which is basically a conduct grade)- so they won't consider him eligible for help at all. From what I have read online this is not uncommon. Apparently it is usually difficult to get SD's to recognize learning disabilities in children that are gifted and aren't failing (at the time/yet). But what I've also read that is when the mistake is made to not recognize this at an early age- by the time they start making poor grades because of their learning disability, it's more difficult to help them with their weaknesses by that time. So the time to help is NOW, not waiting for him to fail first.

I'm so unsure of what I should do. I changed my signature to agree at the mtg and agreed to a 504 mtg on Thurs the 24th (which would be 7 days of school by then). The principal took notes of where I stated I thought my son needed help (verbally helped with learning nonverbal communication, as well as a BIP) and seemed like she's going to be "so" cooperative in getting him the help he needed even without him being eligible for SpEd. She even said if we decide he's eligible for the 504 we'll get him an IEP and such. That doesn't seem right. What I'm reading online you don't GET an IEP with a 504, you get "accomodations" or something like that. so I feel like I'm not sure if I should go along with as long as she's cooperating or if I should buck up and start fighting her because she's giving me all sorts of misinformation. I don't know if sending a letter now saying I disagree and asking for an IEE is just going to cause us to have a fight on our hands and get less cooperation in the future than is being offered now.
But I also have the concern about behavior and I know that if he doesn't qualify for 504 in their opinion or even if he DOES, that he won't be afforded the protections related to behavior as he would with an IEP. And I have a feeling he's going to need that protection- considering how quickly they talked about sending him to AEP the first time he did the least little thing at school last year (the first time he got in trouble and it was simply getting upset, growling in anger and verbally telling someone clear across the room he was going to kill him. Sure that was bad, I'm not excusing that behavior- but the kid antagonized him first, both were sitting in their seats clear across the room and he hadn't even said it loud enough for the boy to hear- another closer child told the teacher what my son had said. They punished him and on the discipline form said "next time will recommend AEP" which ofcourse is alternative education placement. So they are quick to jump on the AEP bandwagon... in other words. they aren't very fair about it either because he says something like that and they threaten AEP to him next time- yet he'd already been BEAT UP physically by 4th grade boys in recess not once, not twice, but THREE times and all 3 times it was investigated and found that he did not start the fight- atleast not physically- he did say things verbally that were misunderstood and instigated a fight- none of those kids were disciplined in this way... to my knowledge. They may have had some punishment but they obviously weren't sent to AEP even after the 3rd time. Yet my son can "say" something violent and they are about to kick his :censored2: out. See what I mean? Just unfair.)

I told her that I was under the impression that a multi-disciplinary evaluation MUST include neuro if it's necessary to diagnosis a suspected disability and she flat out repeated they do not do neuro. It's not something they do, it's not something they are qualified to do, and that's something I'd have to do on my own. Those were her exact words. And this is not a newbie principal that doesn't know what she's talking about or making things up- she's been around a LONG time. So if this is not true, she's flat out lying to my face. right? ugh


New Member
My attention span is very short- BUT- what I am getting from your posts is-yes your principal or your school do know what they are doing----and YES they are very likely doing exactly that- lying to your face, misrepresenting things, on purpose. There are some districts that do want to help and do try to help- but sadly there are too many districts who will (it seems to me) bend over backwards to be avoid helping at all, even when the help needed might not even cost any money upfront or maybe not even require very much effort of anyone.

From the sounds of your district, I would not want to have any evaluations done by them or anyone they know or pay.
I would also consider an advocate with at any meetings.

Yes, I am certain they know what they are doing, and they prolly know the law quite well and they are playing games with things becuz they know the law well enough to even twist it on you and try to confuse you.


Moderator is a policy letter from OSEP. It makes it clear that a student's performance is not to be measured against a general standard.

Children With High I.Q.'s Not Excluded From SLD Disability Category

There is no categorical exclusion for children with high IQs in Part B; therefore, if a student with a high I.Q. is not achieving at his expected performance standard for reasons other than those specified in 34 CFR 300.541(b), (the criteria for determining the existence of a specific learning disability (SLD)), and otherwise meets the criteria for that disability in accordance with that provision, the child can properly be identified within the meaning of that disability. Each child who is evaluated for a suspected learning disability must be measured against his own expected performance, and not against some arbitrary general standard. [emphasis added]

Your son's scatter scores are huge in my opinion. is in the archives. It's entitled One of the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Is . . . .

Dealing with-some school districts can be agonizing. Don't let the fact that the sd mislead you interfer with your decision. If you're concerned about letting them talk you into changing your "disagree" to an "agree," let it go. You didn't agree then and you don't agree now.

Set aside the thinking that you are going to be able to "...get them to see" because it ain't going to happen. Put your business hat on -- be polite, be professional, but be firm and go forward.

Your school district's eye is on their budget, not your son's best interest.

I'm so unsure of what I should do.

At this point your choices seem to be:
1) request the IEE
2) have your own evaluation(s) done or
3) do nothing.

This district is very difficult. Getting an advocate to help you is a very good idea.


New Member
Thanks for your post.
I think you are probably right. And that just makes me angry. I'm trying not to get angry but they are starting to tick me right off, for lack of a better way of putting it. Who do they think they are messing with? Well I'll tell you right now- they are messing with the wrong person. I'm not the type to just sit back and let people run over me, I will make informed decisions usually and now I'm just mad at myself that I've let them lie/mislead me and talk me into changing my disagree to agree. ugh

Thank you all for your posts. You have been so helpful.
Sheila what would I do without you?!?
Thank you so much.

I'm not sure what OSEP is but I'll look into that to understand it.
That's what I've been searching for- for a long time. Something in the laws or regulations or what have you with IDEA/etc that specifically says that what they are saying is incorrect. I knew it had to be. I knew that couldn't possibly make sense to ignore such differences and obvious weaknesses he has simply because he's not testing below some "norm" range.

At this point I still haven't quite made up my mind what to do but your help is sure appreciated! Let me run this by you and see what you think about it.

At this point I'm thinking perhaps I should wait until next Thursday and just SEE how this 504 thing goes. They haven't even said he for sure will get a 504- she just said he could still get the help he needs even if he doesn't qualify for anything but let's have a 504 mtg to decide if he qualifies yada yada. I'm thinking maybe I go to that mtg (which by the way they said it would also be good to give it some time in his new class- as if they think a new teacher is just going to solve all his problems?- so that the teacher can have some input. I don't know but honestly I think my son has it in him to behave quite well for the first week of school! we'll see though. He has a new teacher but I found out at meet the teacher time yesterday that his class is all the SAME STUDENTS. So this isn't a case of where almost all the kids are different in his class so he can have a fresh clean slate to start over and try to make friends/etc. It's all the same kids- because he's in dual language and apparently they keep those kids in the same class because of this. This might make a difference in how he does the first week. Meaning if he had new teacher/new kids he might do well the first week- but new teacher/same kids... maybe not. We'll see), see how things go, and if things don't seem JUST RIGHT to me -THEN perhaps I say look, I really didn't agree with the findings of the evaluation and shouldn't have changed my mind on that. Then send the letter to SpEd like you suggested.

But most likely even asking for an IEE I'm PROBABLY going to have to go thru a hearing because I can just see them fighting that. And even if they agree to pay for an IEE most likely I'm going to have to just either somehow fight hard for them to include the neuro or get that done on my own.

I honestly think it all starts with the principal. When I started calling around at her school for the counselor to find out who was the SpEd teacher/etc. so I could send the certified letter- she popped up all the sudden acting like it was HER idea to get the evaluation done and had me sign papers. I don't know if you recall or read about this back in May when it happened- but she started out with lies to me then and I didn't realize it until after the fact. She had me fill out papers for the evaluation and some of the things listed on there was "health" and "other health" and she didn't have that part chosen and when I asked about it- she said it was for physical disabilities like vision, hearing, etc.
I know now that isn't true. Other health could include ADHD/etc. and perhaps since those health issues weren't checked off on there- THAT'S how they are getting around not doing the neuro stuff because the evaluation is supposed to include everything that is "suspected" that could be related to his disability- right? So then I send the letter to SpEd and they did the evaluation without having me sign anything/etc. I'm assuming they used the paperwork the principal had already had me sign the week previous- and therefore didn't include health or other health.
(ps. the principal did say they'd do a vision/hearing testing but no one ever told me any results of that even in the ARD mtg- so I'm still unsure it was even done)

It sounds like to me from the get go the principal was making sure she was avoiding the neuro/other health issue probably because she KNEW that would be a way that I'd be able to get my son eligible for SpEd and get him an IEP. She knows my son. He's gone there 2yrs and we've already had lots of meetings and discussions about his previous diagnosis with the dr, later the therapist, etc. I've not only talked to her about it but printed out things I've researched online and gave it to her to read/etc. So she was already clearly warned about issues/diagnosis I thought he might have and it sounds like she was making sure to steer clear of the neuro/other health thing from the get go. Makes me so mad!

I guess I'm just wondering/trying to decide if it would be best to wait that week, have the 504 mtg and decide at that time whether I'm going to just go with the 504 BUT also just go ahead and have him evaluation'd on my own. OR go to the 504 mtg and tell her to her face that I'm going to be sending a letter saying I disagree and requesting an IEE (on their dime ofcourse). It's going to be one or the other though. I'm not just going to do nothing- and even if he gets the 504 and it "sounds" like they are going to help him in every way I want/etc. I'm still going to get him evaluation'd on my own.
If I decide not to ask for the IEE and get him evaluation'd again on my own, this time including neuro, what happens then? Will they have to take the info from that evaluation and readdress whether he's eligible for SpEd and an IEP and such? I'm not sure what I'd do at that point. I'm sure you can tell me though. You are such a blessing to be helping me so much - I hope you realize that!


You're welcome. Hope I'm not confusing you with too much information.

I'm not sure what OSEP is

OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) is the branch of the US Department of Education involved in IDEA/special education oversight and enforcement.

Just some things to factor into your decision:

IEP eligibility should be put to rest before embarking into 504 territory, in my opinion. It is a last resort and you have not exhausted yours or your child's rights under IDEA 2004.

Keep in mind that timelines work both ways -- parents have to abide by them also. The "10 days" you mentioned earlier is another timeline and it is applicable to the parent also. If you allow the 504 to go forward before exhausting options under 504, you can not request another evaluation for eligibility for at least one year with reasonable expectations of getting it done.

Parents have a lot of control with the IEP process. They have little to none with-504. If the sd is giving you this type flack with-IEP, what can you expect if you go for the 504 at this particular time?


Just so you know, the 10 day time frame you addressed earlier is for when parents and sds disagree on any number of things. It's another step in the IEP process, if needed. During the 10-day delay, the school district and/or parent is suppose to gather additional information for consideration to present at the next IEP meeting. After 10 days, the Committee reconvenes. If there is still disagreement, the parent can request Mediation. This is also at sd expense. TEA becomes involved at this point. (Just as OSEP is charged with ensuring State Education Agency compliance with-IDEA, the SEA is charged with ensuring their school districts are compliant.)

This type information should be in the Procedural Safeguards given to you by the school district. Without input from outside professionals, you had nothing to bring to the table after a 10-day reconvened meeting.

I've given all this information to you because your process sounds like a re-play of my experience almost verbatim. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that the people at your school district have attended the very same trainings and seminars that those in the sd from Hell (our sd).

Do they have these type trainings? You bet they do. They only have X dollars to work with. There are more kids that need extra help than there is money available. They are taught how to walk up to the line without crossing it, what to say, and what not to say. Then there are some school districts that cross the line and blantantly violate the law.

At difficult child's 1st IEP eligibility meeting, I disagreed also. They said we'd have to reconvene in 10 days. I asked what happened during the 10 days? They point blank told me, "we don't know." I even went so far as to tell them to "...get somebody in here that does." I didn't have a clue.....

Now I know. They had already made their decision and it was up to parents to exercise their rights under IDEA. They shed not one iota of help or understanding of the process to husband and me.

Technically, the sd could stand on a stack of bibles and swear that they didn't really lie to us. They could say with a straight fact that they didn't know what would happen because they had no idea what documentation, evaluations, etc., that we would have to present at a reconvened meeting. They didn't know if we would request Mediation. It would have all been parent driven.

The sd indicated that if we would sign as "agreeing" then we could proceed with-the 504 meeting. I thought some minor "accommodations" would do the trick at the time, so both husband and I signed as "agreeing" with the sd IEP committee members. It was a huge, huge, huge mistake. The diagnostician asked if the IEP meeting was closed. All said, "yes." (This is required -- can't mix meetings.)

The diagnostician packed up her little computer, the school counselor convened the 504 meeting. She immediately announced that difficult child was not eligible for a 504. Meeting over. Remaining options for mom and dad and child? None.


New Member
It does sound a lot like what you said.
In fact I even asked what happens in 10 days and they basically gave me a non answer. I can't remember the exact words they used but basically they said we reconvene in 10 days and I said what good is that going to do if you've already made up your mind and they just all kinda looked at me and each other and didn't really say anything.
After I changed to agree (after signing disagree first)- the principal only asked if I'd initialed where I'd changed it and after that- the diagnotician picked up her stuff and left because she said she had to go to another appointment within minutes. No one ever said the IEP meeting was closed though. Atleast not until much later (after diagnotician was long gone but SpEd director, teacher, principal and myself were still there ofcourse). That's when they said we'd reconvene next Thursday (and by the way- I'm just now noticing that's exactly 10 days later LOL I could have just kept the disagree and still met on the same day 10 days later!).

I don't know what to think about the 504. I have a strong feeling that the principal and teacher (that's who is coming to the 504 mtg) might still say he doesn't qualify for a 504 BUT that they'll still help him in the ways he needs it yada yada blah blah blah. Like the principal was telling me in that mtg that just because he didn't qualify for SpEd to get an IEP they could still help him in his areas that need help.

Okay on this:
Keep in mind that timelines work both ways -- parents have to abide by them also. The "10 days" you mentioned earlier is another timeline and it is applicable to the parent also. If you allow the 504 to go forward before exhausting options under 504, you can not request another evaluation for eligibility for at least one year with reasonable expectations of getting it done.

[/ QUOTE ]
Are you saying I have 10 days to get a letter in saying I really do disagree?
And did you mean if I allow the 504 mtg to go ahead before exhausting options under IDEA I cannot request another evaluation for eligibility for atleast one year?

Would that also mean that if I go thru with the 504 mtg I also lose the option of having my son evaluation'd on my OWN and then presenting them with the testing results/reports to determine eligibility for SpEd/IDEA again? This is important because if going ahead with the 504 shuts down all possibilities of the eligibility being reconsidered, even with my own evaluation done on my own dime, for an entire year- then forget that. I'm sending the letter tomorrow saying I disagree. Seriously. in fact, I think I'll type it up tonight and just be ready to send it after I hear back from you /you reply.

Thank you so much!

Just curious- what happened to you that you described... what did you do then? You said no options for you after that- so what happened after that?


New Member
Oh also on this part of the letter you wrote out for me (thanks so much for that too!)

I will be sending you contact information so that XISD can make the financial arrangements soon.
What exactly does that mean? Does that mean I need to go find the people to do the evaluation before I've even heard a response from them? Because I imagine that once I send that letter saying I disagree they are PROBABLY going to want to reconvene like we would have had I kept my disagree to begin with and PROBABLY they are going to end up making me force the issue- meaning don't they have a right to not just immediately agree to the IEE and I have to go thru some appeals hearing or something of that nature?

So should I really gather information about where I want his evaluation done/with whom and really send them that info to make financial arrangements when I'm not even sure they are going to agree with this anytime soon and I'm probably going to have to fight for it?

Should I write anywhere in the letter anything about a timeline to hear a response from them -in response to my letter? How long should I wait after I send it? Should I just send it to the SpEd director and not say a word to my principal- or should I call her and cancel the 504 mtg and let her know why I'm cancelling it?

And lastly- do I really have a leg to stand on even with sending that letter just a few days after the mtg happened? I'm asking because I'm pretty sure someone will end up contacting me or mailing me a letter basically saying sorry, you signed agree so you can't do anything now. I'm not sure if that's true or not- so that's why I'm asking you so I can be prepared for that and what to do/how to handle it. I guess what I'm asking is if I'm really going to be able to say I disagree now that I've already changed my disagree to agree during that mtg.

The reason I ask that is because if they really can deny anything further because I signed agree- then sending a letter saying I disagree will do NOTHING except possibly cause the principal/others at the school level to not be as cooperative as they "appear" to be -even without them finding him eligible. I guess I'm worried that if they can say so sorry, you signed agree... then sending this letter would serve no purpose except possibly pounding the nail in the coffin and then they'd for SURE not find him eligible for a 504 as my last resort?