I've got a big question,


New Member
difficult child has been in prek for 8 days today. First couple of days were a little hetic for him and we had a preliminary meeting for an IEP on Wednesday of last week. The school did not feel difficult child needed any evaluation since he was doing so well. Ok, only been in school 3 days then. I insisted on the IEP meeting and an evaluation due to the fact he has bipolar, adhd, sensory issues and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). They wanted to observe him for a few weeks like they all say and go from there. I put up enough of a fight that they scheduled an IEP to evaluate him for Occupational Therapist (OT) for the sensory issues. On Mondy I sent a letter to the director of SE requesting the full inital evaluation. Today when I picked difficult child up from school, teacher says he is just perfect and so sweet!

GREAT! I can't tell you how happy I am for this to happen. Looks like he has stabilized and is doing well. Or....we are cycling into a good time. I don't know.

My question is, now the school probably thinks I am totally nuts. I absolutely insisted he had problems, took notes from psychiatrist that requested classroom accomodations for him, gave them print outs of information.. the whole 9 yards. difficult child picked this week to be good.

Tomorrow at our meeting I know they are really going to give me a hard time about this evaluation since I'm sure they think he is perfectly normal from what they have seen so far. I'm afraid if I back down and don't ask for the evaluation that when/if difficult child goes "wacko" on them that we will have to start all over. They may have the laws on their side as far as I know and don't have to do any evaluation at all. I am totally at a loss here.


Kids with bipolar cycle.... There will be good times and bad. Those in the Special Education department know this.

If you sent your request for the evaluation in writing, they must evaluate or file due process to show cause as to why it is not necessary.

Let us know how it goes.


Dear Donna,

If you sent your request by certified mail, then the 60 day time line has started. The ONLY way the can avoid evaluating is to go to Due Process Hearing and show cause why they should NOT evaluate. In other words, in law, they have an affirmative duty to evaluate based on a reasonable suspicion. I say the diagnosis's you have are more than enough for "reasonable suspicion" of a disability. Assuming you sent the request certified, how many days have they used up doing nothing?

Here is what I would do: TRY not to be defensive at the meeting. Don't focus on the idea that they may try to paint you as "nuts." Be firm that this is about difficult child--not you. Remind them that if his behavior goes south, they will not have the information they need in a timely manner and they cannot suspend him for more than 10 cumulative days BECAUSE he is protected by your request for evaluation.

Have you done a Parent report? If not, come up with examples of problems that difficult child has had in various settings. If they say, "we haven't seen that," say "difficult child is a great honeymooner." What they want to do is upset you and make you feel that what you are asking for is unreasonable. It isn't: difficult child has some very serious diagnosis's for a child so young and you are not imagining his problems. TRY to stay calm and just keep repeating your request and say things such as, "when will you be scheduling his vision and hearing screen? When will the psychological evaluation be conducted and what instruments do you plan to use?" (You are entitled to this information but half the time I think Sheila and I are the only parents who ever got it ahead of time.) Every time they suggest there is no problem, ask them a question about their evaluation schedule. Unless they are really dense, they will finally get the idea that you are serious and understand the timeline. If they flat out refuse, remind them that they have no choice unless they go to Due Process and get a favorable desicion (very long shot for them in my opinion). If things get nasty, leave.

I seriously hope you are not going to this alone. You need to have someone with you to take notes. You also need to follow up with a memo of understanding which can have the tone of a "thank you note" or a certified letter enumerating their legal violations. It depends upon what happens.

I should know this but I don't: has he had a full independent evaluation at a major children's hospital or through a child psychiatric team? I know someone has seen him bec. of the diagnosis's but how strong is your evaluation base? This will be important if the SD proves to be very uncooperative. I hope not, but you must be prepared.

Good luck. I know this is very, very difficult but your difficult child needs you to stand up for his rights. You know that he is not going to have good weeks very long--the newness will wear off and his typical behaviors will emerge.



New Member
I agree with Sheila and it's part of why the pediatrician had thoughts of bipolar with my son. All his other 'issues' aside- he can have good days and good weeks and bad days and bad days and horrible days and horrible weeks- you get what I'm saying.

And I'm sorta feeling what you are- because ofcourse my son is doing just splendidly so far this year (today was the 6th day of school) because he always seems to do well the first week or two with a new teacher/etc. (and the teachers are more lenient with the kids at the beginning of school too- they don't usually want to start out from day one being really hard on the kids... some of them do but most of them don't LOL)
Anyway- he's all being perfect angel for 6 days so far- so it's really not helping our IEP process getting him eligible. LOL