Another cry for IEP help--


I read the post below asking for IEP help, and it was useful, but my situation is slightly different and I wanted to run it by you all. As I reported last year, my difficult child got a 504 plan based on a private neuropsychologist exam that diagnosis'd him with ADHD-not otherwise specified. His teachers have been fairly cooperative with accommodations, but it hasn't been enough. We just haven't been seeing any progress with task initiation and completion; spent over $1k on a private ADHD coach and haven't seen any results. Finally the school said hey, why don't we do a child study? Yay! So they did it, and we met, and they decided he qualified for an IEP not for ADHD but for ED (he is depressed, and that is part of the reason he never gets his work done). I don't give a hoot about the stigma and am just thrilled they qualified him. But now they're asking me what services he should get. And darned if I know! Can I ask for CBT provided by the school system? Daily assistance with staying on task? Exemption from all homework? (He does well on standardized tests and has a high IQ; participates well in class, has friends, is liked by most really his life would be a thousand times better if only he didn't have to do homework. Not that I don't see the value of homework, but it just makes him, and thus our family, crazy.) I'd love to hear others' experiences, ideas, solutions! Thanks so much,


Active Member
Hello Ranny,
I am following along on this as I would have described my son in the exact same way in terms of school behavior. Yet, he only ever qualified for a 504(diagnosed adhd and anxiety) and the accommodations have done nothing for him. I always said if they could exempt him from homework,life would be very different for him. They refused. I asked for assistance for staying on task. Since we didn't have an IEP only a 504, they told me they could not provide services. Now over the course of 2 1/2 years he has completely slipped from an A/B student to failing 2 classes. And he no longer engages at all in class. He will not graduate in June unless someone makes an exception to his need to do outside work. I am gearing up for a big fight with the school so would love advice too.


Oh, Up, I'm so sorry to hear about your son's difficulties. Have you tried to get an IEP? If so, what was the response? Honestly, no one seems to know how to deal with sons like ours. I'm reading this book, Smart but Scattered Teens, and it's really good at describing my son's behavior, but its suggestions are virtually worthless! Like duh, don't they realize I've already tried breaking down tasks? No homework task component ever seems to be small enough for my difficult child to face getting started on it. I am really hoping the experienced parents on here can help, since the professionals seem hopelessly stumped. I was truly lucky that my son's school was open to giving him an IEP, but that victory will be worthless if we can't come up with any meaningful services now.


Roll With It
The worst they could do is say no. I am no expert, but I would DEMAND no homework. I would say that it negatively impacts him, not only his grades but his self esteem, it makes his depression worse, and he is simply not capable of starting it or completing it right now. You are not willing to make your home a battleground for the very few hours you have as a family. Family time is also important to his development and to his mental health, in fact it may be MORE important to his development than those homework assignments. School can figure out a way for him to do any assignments during school hours or they can exempt him from the assignments. Period. It is considered an accommodation for his illness.

I know other parents have gotten such exemptions, but I don't know what arguments they used. You might try googling 'homework exemption for high school IEP' to see if that helps if you don't get answers that are helpful here. You also might try wrightslaw forums for help, though I haven't ever used them.

I would ask for any and every thing you think would help. I would google the types of things you think would help, or "IEP services to help with task initiation" and "IEP services to help with turning in homework" and "IEP services to help with task completion" and "measurable IEP goals for high school".

Make SURE you do not sign that IEP right away. Bring it here and let some of the others look at the goals etc... They will have a better idea of how good it is. Lots of schools use goals that are not measurable and then say the child made progress and doesn't need the IEP long before the child is actually able to function without the IEP. It leaves the parent with little to fight with because the goals are so unmeasurable that no one can say anything about them one way or the other. I don't have examples, but I know it happens frequently. I drove our school system crazy with insisting on measurable goals and not "will be on grade level". What grade level? Kindergarten? Fifth grade? Junior in college? If you mean a certain grade, put it in there, why is that difficult? I really thought one teacher was going to hit me when I asked her that for the third time. But it was the third time that she wrote the same goal "will be on grade level" and I had just asked her what grade level and made her rewrite it twice in the 2 sentences before that. So how did she think I would ignore sentence 3? Talk about someone who needed an IEP, and I do NOT mean my child!

I also learned to go back about 2-3 months after the IEP meeting and ask for a copy of the IEP. I usually said I lost mine and needed another copy. Why? When my son ended up in the psychiatric hospital in 6th grade, I hand delivered the IEP to the hospital. His special education teacher never thought I would read the IEP before I gave it to the hospital. I did read it. She altered it and forged my initials in several places and my signature. She was a bad forger, but she never expected me to look at it, or for anyone else to question it. She wanted to cover herself for letting Wiz go online when all of his computer privileges had been revoked at school. She also let him have access to some things that helped drive him to psychosis and she was trying to hide it. The hiding actually showed us what she did and proved it. Ever since then, I go back and ask for a copy of any IEP or 504 a couple of months later to see if it is actually the same as what I signed way back when.

I hope some little bit of what I replied helped. I wish you the best with this. If you have problems with the IEP meeting, get an advocate. You can usually find out were to get one on the state board of ed website.


Well-Known Member
I got my son's doctor to recommend no homework. He was out on a special study hall to finish his homework at school.

I also called the Dept. Of Public Educatinand got a free advocate who was very scary to the district. They listened to her, not me.


Thank you both so much, Susiestar and Somewhere. I will definitely take your excellent advice on Google searches and looking into free advocacy (though I'm not sure my state has that -- at least, I haven't been able to find it before). When Odin had the 504 and I asked for no homework as an accommodation, the school said he couldn't get AP credit for his AP classes unless he did homework, because the homework was fundamental to the AP curriculum. Since Odin's high intelligence makes it inappropriate for him to take general ed classes (at least where AP versions are available), we settled for flexible due dates on homework. Of course, then Odin didn't manage to turn in very much even belatedly and even with his lovely teachers (he had a couple of great ones this semester) bending over backwards for him. Nor did we see improvement after he dropped a class to give himself more time to do homework in school. In fact, this is how we came to be able to get him a child study and to qualify for an IEP -- clearly the 504 wasn't enough. I just think they're going to say again that he can only get regular credit, not AP credit, if he doesn't do homework. That sounds bogus to me, so now I guess I'd better get in gear and do some research to find out if that's true. I think maybe there's always some level on which the IEP committee thinks the kid is faking (when it's this kind of cognitive and emotional disability). Intellectually they know executive function problems exist, but emotionally they feel the kid is trying to pull a fast one.

Susie, that is a horrendous story about the falsified IEP. I hope that sped teacher lost her job. I know Wiz is doing well now, but it makes me so sad that he and you had to go through that.