Evaluation - IEP ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vja4Him, May 23, 2010.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I just printed out a letter requesting an evaluation for my son. Should I wait until they actually do the evaluation before I request an IEP?

    I will deliver four copies to the school tomorrow (principal, assistant principal, school psychologist, and learning director).

    My son already has a 504 Plan, but the school he is attending has not been very cooperative with me, and now my son will fail 7th grade. He is taking Concerta (for several years now), which helps, but he still has issues (ADHD, hypoglycemia, physical limitations, and suffers from serious emotional trauma).

    I have repeatedly asked the teachers and the principal to help my son get caught up with his missing assignments. My son is very forgetful, loses stuff everyday (literally!), scatter-brained, daydreaming, messy, disorganized, can't find anything, has serious problems focusing, paying attention, staying on task, easily distracted ....

    I've informed all of his teachers that he has a 504 Plan, and have asked them to give us the missing assignments, or alternate assignments, but they keep blaming my son.

    I am very disappointed, frustrated, angry .... I've tried to remain calm and diplomatic, but have just about gotten to the end of the rope!

    The vice-principal told me that she will set up an appointment to revise the 504 Plan, but not until after the new school year has already started, which is not until August!

    I know that it would be good to connect with his new teachers in 8th grade, and I will do that, but I don't want to wait until he has already started 8th grade in August to begin this process.

    I want him evaluated sooner than August. And I want to make some revisions to my son's 504 Plan, and also to have an IEP.

    My son is not an F and D student. He is highly intelligent and has had some very high scores on his various tests. He communicates with adults on a very high level, is very sophisticated for his age (13), loves to read, is interested in science and history, and wants to be successful in school.

    Help ... !!!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi vja,

    We understand.

    First and foremost, welcome to the site!

    Insofar as requesting and IEP, your son will have to have all the testing that you have requested in order to see if he meets the federal guidelines for and IEP (and it sounds like he does). Your letters will start the ball rolling. Word of wisdom here - send those letters certified mail rather than hand delivering them. The school has so many days to respond (you should go to your state dept of ed website) and schedule a meeting for you sign off on all the testing. Sending them certified holds them to the fire as far as required timing and starts a paper trail that is "provable". Now the testing itself can take a couple months. I know from the first child study meeting to the actual writing of my son's IEP was about 3.5 months. We actually wrote the IEP on the last day of school in the second grade and it was implemented on the first day of school in the third grade. So, it definitely takes some time.

    The disorganization, missing assignments, etc. are so familiar! Those of our kids that suffer from poor executive functioning skills have a hard time getting it together. Unfortunately, with a 504 you are at the liberty of the teachers since it is not a legal instrument like and IEP is. There is no incentive for the teachers to follow that 504. There are many teachers who want to help their students succeed and will go that extra mile - sounds like that's not the case for your son.

    The great thing about the testing is that they will test his aptitude vs his academic performance. You say your son is very intelligent, which is the case with most of our kids. It's the translation between what they know and sharing what they know that the problem exists.

    In regards to the principal denying you a 504 revisions this year, that's iffy. I would think the same law applies to timing as an IEP meeting request but I'm just not sure.

    Before you send those letters for school today, I would go over to our Special Education Forum. We have sample letters of every sort over there/and on the archives for that forum. It's a good idea to make sure your wording is exactly what it should be.

    Good luck.

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome to the board!

    Here's an article on the website www.wrightslaw.com (a very helpful website about Special Education) that describes the differences between a 504 and IEP and may explain why your school is dragging its feet about implementing your son's 504 plan:


    In general, a 504 plan will provide accommodations (for example, extended time or reduced homework). An IEP will provide accommodations AND services (for example, speech therapy, counseling or reading remediation) based on needs that are uncovered in the evaluation you are requesting in the letters you are sending out. An IEP is generally not written unless the child has a disability that impacts his ability to access his education, and without direct services, he will not be able to access his education.

    Sharon has given you good advice about certified mail, timelines and wording of the letters.

    Good luck!
  4. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I don't want to be too quick to blame teachers, but I feel that we have been ignored for too long. Some of the teachers are blaming my son for his problems with not turning in assignments, or losing his assignments. One of the teachers actually found one of my son's assignments that she has told me my son never turned in! She had misplaced it, and apologized. But still that is not enough.

    Thanks so much for your response! I wish that I had found this forum (and several others) several years ago .... I just got off the phone with one of the district administrators, and I explained to him in a nutshell what is really going on with my son, and a brief overview of our past history. Both of my boys and I have suffered terrible trauma from abuse by their mother and some of her terrible friends. Our story was so extreme, that the court psychologist told me that my case was the most bizarre case she had worked with in many years!

    The administrator told me that he was taking notes and that he would do everything he could to proceed as quickly as possible. I dropped off the four letters this morning at the school. Time is running out (Next Thursday is the last day of school), so I didn't want to wait any longer.

    The administrator told me that the staff is off work for the summer, so they may not be able to do the testing until the new school year begins. I hope they can work something out to take care of this issue sooner though.

    I checked some sample letters requesting testing for an IEP, and think I condensed my concerns down the main points. I tried to be firm, but still respectful.

    My youngest son has been through so much trauma, it is a real miracle that he is still alive. I forgot to mention that my boys have suicidal thoughts, which is extremely stressful for me, and very depressing. I am not suicidal, and never have been, so I find it somewhat difficult to relate to suicide.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Don't worry about wishing you had found us years ago. You are here now and we are here to help you navigate the system. Interesting that the admin says the staff is off all summer. Our Special Education folks, with the exception of teachers, are considered 11-month employees but I guess every district is different. I've attended a number of IEP meetings over the years in the summer. At this point, my only advice would be, don't push - you don't want any testing rushed here at the end of the year. You want your son to have good, comprehensive academic, social, and psychological testing. A quality, purposeful IEP depends upon it.

    One thing that was very helpful during the process for my son was to share information with the team from his therapist and his psychologist. Very often they can help lend an air of "professionalism" to the meeting and any of your requests for services or accoms/mods. If there are any issues you feel comfortable his docs sharing with the team, do so. It is a personal decision. My son's therapist actually attending our first IEP meeting and was extremely helpful.

    When you get a chance, make a profile signature of your situation (the kids, diagnosis's, medications, ect.) like you see at the bottom of our posts. We look forward to getting to know you on the board.

    Do check out the wrightslaw link that Smallworld gave you. They have tons of information on writing a good IEP.

  6. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I notice in the signatures things like difficult child and easy child. What does that mean?
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you go to the main forum page, there is a forum entitled "FAQ/Board Help" that will familiarize you will all the acronyms and abbreviations and such.

    To set up your signature profile, click on "settings" in the upper right corner.

    difficult child is an acronym we use for the children who brought us here (our more challenging charges) and easy child is the acronym used for our "typical" children. But, all that information is contained in a thread on the FAQ board.

  8. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member