IEP any use at private school?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Rannveig, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Hi, folks - It's my youngest who brought me here (and I've been a lurker for years even though this is my first post), but this is a question with respect to my easy child Odin. I worked hard at his old public school to get him an IEP for his articulation issues, and he used to get speech therapy there, but to no avail by the end of 1st grade. Then we moved overseas, and my employer pays over $20k/yr. for him to attend an English-language private school, but after almost refusing to admit him because he had an IEP the school then refused to honor the IEP. The (unnecessarily nasty -- she actually reduced me to tears) speech therapist told me she didn't have time to treat Odin, and the school refuses to hire additional Special Education staff (though they have plenty of money for their drop-dead gorgeous campus/facilities). The school recommended a private speech therapist to me, which I thought was seriously unethical (I'm not saying they receive kickbacks from her, but certainly the appearance of an improper relationship is there). I ignored the suggestion, and a year later (by which time the school suggested the speech problem might resolve on its own), nothing has changed.

    What I'm wondering is, have any of you been able to use arguments to convince a private school to honor a public school IEP? What works to get a cheapskate administration to do the right thing? The private school principal told me I should count my blessings that my kid didn't have worse problems, but Odin is still my kid, and I want to do the best for him I can.

    In case it's relevant, I should mention that I get no support from husband on this. He thinks I shouldn't be doing anything that could risk labeling Odin as defective. I think that's very short-sighted, but we're at an impasse, so I've just stopped including him in discussions of what to do.

  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Ranny. Glad you decided to join us.

    Wish I could be more optomistic, but private schools in the US are not governed by IDEA unless they accept funding from the US government.

    I don't know what argument you could use to persuade the school to provide the service. Whether in the US or overseas, it's an expense they don't have to incur.

    Dad's typically have a much harder time accepting that a child is not absolutely perfect. But if your child needs speech-language services, I'd try to go privately if at all possible. The older he gets, the more it may affect his self-esteem.
  3. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Thanks, Sheila. The school actually does accept U.S. government funding (and other governments' funding as well) in return for taking U.S. (and other countries') diplomats' kids -- but it doesn't believe it owes anything beyond saving some seats each year, apparently. Very disappointing that they seem to run themselves as a business rather than as a place to help children develop. Too bad that public school isn't an option for us -- I know that people have plenty of problems with public schools as well, but it was an environment that was much more comfortable for me and seemingly more accountable to parents. Having grown up going to public schools I always imagined private schools as these super-caring places where all sorts of innovative stuff must go on to help students achieve greatness in small classes with highly motivated teachers, but this place where we landed seems to have more the attitude of "hand over your tuition and then keep your mouth shut unless you're donating a new field house."

    Anyway, thanks again for your reply!
  4. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Hello and Welcome!

    Sorry you are being met with such resitance by the school. Unfortunately privates schools do not fall under the same requirement as public schools. Your case is unusual because you don't have the option of enrolling in the neighborhood school since language is a barrier and you are not in the US. I'm wondering if you can use this argument to seek private speech services reimbursed by your health insurance provider if they are deemed necessary.

    It has been my experience as a teacher that if the articulation issues do not affect academic performance, then speech services are not provided even in the public schools. HOWEVER, for many kids, articulation might be the most glaring issues, but there is also language processing issues as well. Seek a thorough evaluation if possible.

    Good Luck!
  5. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Belated thanks for your reply, Christy. After a long time being a lurker, it's really nice to be welcomed with the kind answers I've received here. Sincerely, Ranny
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    While not required to do so, some private schools will have similar evaluation and IEP procedures in place as public schools. The caveat though is that they make it clear that they aren't required by law to follow it.