Changes to SPED letter....

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by jcox, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. jcox

    jcox New Member

    Dear ,
    As I learn more about E’s disabilities and needs based on his new diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) several issues have become of increasing concern to me. Here is a list of my requests which I will go into more detail about in this letter:

    Overview of Requests and Concerns
    Possible change to statement in Appendix B of Elijah’s Positive Behavioral Intervention Planning Form 13b to include specific times when he is to see counselor, not when expecting him to request to see her.
    IEP Goals are not measurable chages requested in this area

    Slowly increasing the length of Elijah’s school day as he tolerates

    Parent Training and In Home Training of Elijah’s “Sensory Diet”

    Picture Schedule with simple broken down tasks to be followed

    Reference to Elijah’s diagnoses be added to IEP

    Speech evaluation Results

    Meeting to go over Speech Evaluation, Progress, and my requests

    Notice of intent to tape record future meetings
    Appendix B of Behavior Planning Form 13b changes​
    I have great concern with a statement in Appendix B of his Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan Planning Form Section 13 b states that “Staff will include a sensory component to help Elijah center himself and reduce his level of agitation. He will have a chance to talk to his counselor when he requests it…..”

    Based on the testing done, his age, executive functions weakness, and his Pervasive Development Disorder he would know when to determine to talk to somebody. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible. There should be clearer direction as to when he is to see his counselor because he will not know when to request it. It would be more appropriate to state something like “When he becomes agitated, when he shows signs of aggression, when he seems frustrated, when he seems to be ___________ he will have the opportunity to talk with his counselor”.

    Goals not measurable​
    As I continue to increase my knowledge of the federal and state IEP laws I have become concerned that the goals in his IEP are not “Measurable”. For example his sensory goal: “Measurable Goal…: Elijah will improve his sensory processing abilities and his sensory motor skills. How will we know that the student has reached this goal? Teacher and Specialist observations, formal assessments, progress reports. What will the student need to complete this goal? Elijah will actively participate in a sensory motor classroom group led by the physical therapist with 80%% accuracy. Elijah will participate in activities and tasks that are perceived as unfamiliar or challenging 80% of the time. Elijah will complete a three step obstacle course with only initial verbal directions with 80% accuracy. Elijah will demonstrate improved balance, bilateral motor coordination and hand-eye coordination as determined by the physical therapist with 80% accuracy.” These goals have no clear meaning of what he is doing such as the specific tasks and how the school personnel are going about teaching him how to do these things such as telling him, showing him, demonstrating it to him, etc. The school district seems to be expecting too much of him without giving him the correct tools to accomplish those things. He needs to clearly know the rules and expectations.

    Increasing length of school day​
    Elijah would benefit academically from having a full day of specialized instruction. I do not see how Elijah can get an equal education with a shortened school day. I understand why the shortened school day was implemented, but hope that we can slowly increase his amount of time at school as his behavior allows. I believe we should have goals and timelines about how to do this (For example: “When Elijah has shown X number of days without any severe behavioral incidents then his day will be increased by x amount of minutes. Then after another x amount of days without any incidences it will be increased by x amount of minutes etc. I hope that as he continues to show more stability we can gradually increase his learning time.

    Request for Sensory Diet parent and In Home Training
    I am requesting parent training and in home training on the sensory diet that is being implemented at school. I would also like written instruction on what exactly is included in his sensory diet. Some techniques be included in it such as brushing, or weight therapy, depending on which one he would tolerate better. Elijah has shown deep pressure needs (in example pushing hard on the pencil, using greater force then necessary when doing activities that would require minimal force etc.). At home he seems to do well with a weighted blanket that I recently purchased for him It seems to calm his body. Having weighted objects at school would be beneficial for him as well. Items that might be considered helpful would be a weighted vest, weighted stuffed animal, weighted lap pad, or a new kind of pressure belt.

    Picture Schedule
    A picture schedule at school that is broken down into simple tasks with step by step instruction as well as step by step assistance would be beneficial to him. We recently began using a Velcro picture schedule system at home which he seems to greatly benefit from. It keeps him more structured, reduces his anxiety level, and has improved his behavior. He would most likely do good with a similar system where he could put the completed tasks away in a bucket or container. I am requesting that a similar system be implemented for him.

    Reference to Elijah’s diagnoses be added into IEP
    I strongly suggest adding a statement to his IEP (maybe under the Student Strengths and Key Evaluation Results Summary would be the best fit) that states his diagnoses as documented (Bipolar, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, ADHD are the most current documented diagnoses from Anna Jaques, but also Cognitive Disorder with Executive Functions Weakness from his psychiatric Evaluation completed by _______, and Sensory Processing Disorder as documented by the school PT department). I believe it is extremely important to have these included and would be in Elijah’s best interest.

    Speech Evaluation Results and Meeting Request
    I signed the permission for his speech evaluation on January 23rd. It is my understanding that once the school district has a signed permission to evaluate the evaluation must be completed within thirty days, and we must have a meeting discussing the results within forty five days.

    According to my understanding those dates should have been February 22nd and March 9th. Because February 16-20th was vacation week and Elijah was hospitalized from February 16th through March 3rd I believe it would only be fair to move those dates up each by the sixteen days his absence totaled. That would bring the date that the evaluation is supposed to be completed to be March 10th, and the acceptable date of the meeting to discuss the results to be March 25th. I expect that a meeting will be scheduled in the near future to discuss the results of his Speech evaluation, my other concerns, and his progress.

    Notice of Intent to Tape Record Meetings​
    I am notifying the school district that unless anyone objects I plan to begin tape recording all IEP and Progress meetings in the future. I believe this would allow me to better participate in the meetings because I would not have to take notes during the meeting as I have in the past. I know that you and other members of the school district will continue to try your best to accommodate Elijah and provide him with the education he is entitled to. I look forward to continue working with you all to make sure my son’s educational and social-emotional needs are met at school.

    I know that we all want what is best for Elijah and that you will try your best to provide him with the best education possible. I have faith that the following state law will now be followed in regards to his new diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified: “In the year two thousand five An Act to Address The Special Education Needs of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder….. Section 1 Chapter 71B, Section 3 of the General Laws amendment to paragraph six” will now be followed closely.


  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    Your new draft is MUCH better in every respect, in my view. I still prefer to discuss things more than spell them out as you have done, but you have the experience with the staff at your son's school so I guess you've factored that in.

    On individual sections:
    Goals not measurable ... examples of the "80%" "goals" could be more limited as one or two should make the point.
    Notice of intent to tape record ... might be a separate document to separate from IEP content.
    Speech evaluation request etc ... also might be a separate document
    last paragraph ... I'd omit reference to the law cited, as well as your expectation that they will now follow it, as they are expected to follow the law. In discussion with them, you might note that law now applies given his new diagnosis - assuming they accept the diagnosis.
  3. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    I like how well thought out and organized this letter is compared to your previous thread.

    by the way, I most definitely agree with your full day request.