IEPER Placement Decision Question

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Jahir, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Jahir

    Jahir New Member

    I have been studying the NYC's IEP manual. I'd like to check my understanding of a couple of things with you all.

    First, a few different people can request the initial evaluation, including the principal.
    Second, when the IEP meeting is held, and placement is presented, we can refuse to consent, and our decision is final; there is no due process means for the SD to force their placement decision on us.

    Is my understanding correct?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Yes, anyone can request an IEP evaluation, but testing cannot be done without parental consent.

    Second question is really testing my brain.... I know there were changes to IDEA a couple years ago in terms of initial evaluation - I don't believe SDs have the right to take that to due process anymore if you were to refuse initial evaluation.

    Refusing placement? That's going to stickier, because if you refuse a particular placement, you are in effect refusing the IEP and your child loses the protections of the IEP as well as any Special Education services he may need. Then you end up with a suspended/expelled student (eventually).

    Just in my experience, and how it should be, is a change in placement (which does not always mean the actual physical place, but the *services* provided - placement is programming, not geography) should be a step-wise progression, keeping in mind "least restrictive environment" (LRE). Mainstream, mainstream with- supports (up to and including 1:1 aide if appropriate), partial pull out to resource or sped classroom, sped classroom only, self-contained sped building, and the most restrictive placement would be an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). In each of those physical locations, placement would also be the "related services" as dictated by IEP team (of which you are a full member) - Occupational Therapist (OT), speech, PT, school psychiatric, transportation, etc.

    The other really important point to remember is that you (or SD) can call an IEP mtg at any time. So if there is a change in "placement" and it's not working out, you request another IEP mtg (always via certified letter to sped director).

    If you're contemplating refusing their anticipated proposal to move your kid to a sped classroom (which is *not* what they should be doing as a first step), I'd get an atty involved. Some SDs view segregating sped kids as their first and preferred choice. I found it very difficult to get some SDs to go through the step-wise progression of LRE. They really balk at the concept of 1:1 aides or any "related service" that is inconvenient to them - but placement cannot be for SDs convenience.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Better than refusing consent, would be to take some time (a day or two) to review and discuss with your wife the placement plans, and then meet again with the team suggesting any revisions. You can even let them know that you will want some time to review and consider the placement so can they schedule a second meeting ahead of time.

    You have a unique situation, in that you are not looking for "just" a least restrictive environment, but also MOST appropriate. IOW, for your child, a regular public school will not do. It MUST have a program for gifted students - this does relate to the LRE. I'm bringing this up because the school *should*, as slsh said, begin with placement within the school. BUT very often, shools try to get out of this by saying they don't have those resources, or due to budget cuts, blah, blah blah. These are not valid reasons to physically move your child to a different placement, but they always try anyway. In general, a school for gifted students is less equipped with behavioral sped supports (by the way sped refers to all disability accommodations, not just academically challenged - think blindness, wheelchair use etc.)
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Huge right on to slsh and keista....and I would even emphasize that IF they out and out say they dont have the funds for 1:1 aide or 'we dont do that here" that is ILLEGAL. They can not deny an appropriate service based on funds by law. (however, it is their reality that they have a budget and will try usually in more subtle ways to avoid the services needed). They also can not make decisions district wide for all students like....we have Special Education kids come ten minutes after gen ed students and leave 15 minutes earlier so they dont have to deal with the challenges of the halls etc... Those kinds of accomodations are appropriate for SOME kids and they must be written into the IEP.

    You do not have to do an all or nothing refusal of the assessment or an IEP. You can say you disagree and then work out the concerns. It usually works out but you may have to be very persistent and get some muscle (advocates or lawyers) to help. You ARE an equal member but by law you are not the only decision maker in terms of the proposal. You do decide whether to go along with the teams decision though.

    I left a district that I can hardly believe started doing this....but they were saying my difficult child had to prove himself in the sp. ed setting in order to get any mainstream setting....that is the exact opposite of LRE. They even told a woman i talked to that her preschool daughter with down syndrome the same...that she needed to go to sp. ed class first and if she had the skills they would place her little by little in mainstream. I have also been told "we dont do that" in regard to 1:1 speech, DAPE (adapted phy ed) and Occupational Therapist (OT). Again, illegal. They may not do that as routine practice but if it is what is needed for a child to progress then it is mandated they must. Too bad for them I am an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and had many 1:1 students, you do it if you have to do it! My son now gets 1:1 for all of these (Occupational Therapist (OT) consults every day too) but he had to go thru a year where they actually gave me progress reports stating "no progress" on his IEP goals...I was not informed things were not going well even at all the meetings and conferences....I was livid. Never again.

    Remember, many typical schools have gifted and talented teachers and classes but are not advertised as G/T schools. Gifted programming is as important a service as any of the other special education services! many gifted children have behavior problems because they are simply square pegs being put in round holes. Sounds like you have more than that going on, but it I would never let the placement team ignore this part of the education needed.