NEED HELP! IEP issues.

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Lyn8404, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Lyn8404

    Lyn8404 New Member

    My son has been having several issues since the beginning of the school year, and I have been talking with them from day one that my son needed an IEP. Instead of this being implemented, the principle told me that there were other avenues that we needed to proceed down before that could happen. Being that I don't know much about the school system, I took her words at face value. Unfortunately, the only avenue that we've crossed is either suspending my son from school, or allowing him a "safe place" to go when he gets upset. I forgot to mention that my son is ADHD and ODD. These have not worked. I finally talked to the school board and they told me all I had to do to get an IEP was to write a letter to the school stating that I wanted my son evaluated for exceptional education services under other health impaired needs. When I talked to the principle today to write this letter, she flat out refused me. She told me that I should come in at a time she allots for me, and we could discuss it then. I told her no, that I wanted to have this letter written today and on the books and she basically told me that just because I wanted it, didn't mean that I was going to get it. I feel as if she treated me like I was one of her students who should bend to her will. I need advice on how to proceed from here. I have left a message with the school board representative that I spoke with previously, but I won't hear back from her until after the weekend. To say that I am at my wits end, would be an understatement. I need help figuring out how to handle this.

    Sincerely - Lyn
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Lyn - WELCOME!

    ADHD, right off, should be an indicator. Not necessarily the end-all, but...

    Your principal needs a good smacking upside the head, in my opinion. If you have not heard of IDEA or a FAPE, do some research this weekend.

    Now as for that letter. Write it this weekend. CC the School Board, and send it Certified Mail. See if you can find out who the Special Education teacher is - he/she could be a wonderful resource.

    No, you won't hear back til after the weekend, but the School Board should be able to help. If they can't/won't - contact your state's Department of Education... And ask for an advocate.

    You don't have to do this alone.

    More people with better info will be along, but this is a start. I know how frustrating it can be. :hugs:
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't send it until you get feedback from the IEP-experienced board members... they LOVE beating up on school boards and principals who are nasty to "our" kids...
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Do EXACTLY as Step and the school board member recommended. Write the letter requesting that your son "be evaluated for special education services including academic, behavioral, occupational therapy and speech evaluiations". Send copies to the school board member, the principal, AND the Director of Special Education Services (don't necessarily need a name). Send them Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested. This ensures that each person has to personally sign for their own copy and you KNOW they got it. This sets a FEDERAL timeclock for them to get ALL the testing done and mandates that they DO it.

    Personally, I would also send a written complaint to the school board as a whole detailing the contacts you've had with the principal and their response to things you have discussed. I would not in a million years let THAT type of behavior go.

    And Heads Shall Roll...... LOL
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    IC is right, there are more than a few of us who get your pain and several of us who have WORKED in Special Education and STILL get frustrated! LOL

    OK, you got step one.... I am not sure why they wanted you to go to the principal to do that, or maybe it was a mis-communication? but anyway....You dont need the principal's permission to ask for this, any parent can. She just doesn't want to have to do the child study etc. The dumb thing is, once in Special Education hands, she is out of it anyway.... Really only admin. Not like she personally has to do the testing. There are many reasons, some financial and others just that principals just think they can punish a medical condition away from a child. So incredible. So out of touch.

    Two websites that will help you a lot, (and many others but I love these) Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy and PACER Center - Assistance for Children with Disabilities, Teen Bullying, Parent Programs The first tells you about educational law and you can search anything (On both you can) the other is a parent advocacy center in MN but that consults across the US.

    If you do simple things like query assessment for special education, or for ADHD Now, ADHD is not an educational category and is serviced under OHI (or similar category) for "other health impairment" and if they feel that he has emotional behavioral difficulties (ODD) they may categorize him under EBD or again, similar letters for Emotional/Behavioral Disorders So you can search for these topics too to learn (here and on google or on those web sites) National Education sites for FAPE and IDEA will also help you.

    IT is still a good idea to go to your state's department of ed. They audit special education programs and these folks can be in big trouble if they are out of compliance. You will find how your state interprets IDEA the Special Education. laws. Some states do the minimum and many have even more rigid standards for applying the law.

    Once they get on with this, keep in touch with us, let us know what they propose (you should be a part of the evaluation planning, actually you should be there in person but it can be done by phone or email too...They might just send a written proposal.... but in the end, they produce a written proposal for evaluation once you sign it they only have about a month to do it, some states as I said put shorter limits than fed law so check your state). We can help you if they are trying to pull one over on you by only doing one test or some dumb thing....word it as TeDo suggests. Add a Functional Behavioral Analysis though. This helps evaluate concerning behaviors that result in suspensions or other issues. From this they must write a POSTIVE behavior plan with the IEP.

    dont let them tell you that he has to be failing to have an IEP...NOT TRUE. But many districts say this to get out of things. Dont believe anything since they are already not cooperating. Come back and check. If you can get an advocate, that is best especially since your principal has already tried to put you off.....

    My best to you, you are not alone for sure....
  6. Lyn8404

    Lyn8404 New Member

    Thank you so much for your advice and support. I am currently in the process of drafting my formal complaint against the school. This will take me several days because I want to make sure that I include everything that has happened, and say it in the right way, so that it does not sound as if I am being vindictive. I also have plans to write up my request for and IEP evaluation send them via certified mail tomorrow. I'm a bit confused though. Should I wait to send the letters for the IEP until after I have spoken with the Department of Education, or send them and my complaint afterward. Or should I send all three letters with my complaint attached to each just so it doesn't look as if I'm filing it after the fact. Every time that I have spoken with the Principle, it has been only me and her employees.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Personally, I'd hold off on filing a formal complaint with- dept of ed. - give sped director/school district the opportunity to do what they're supposed to. I *would* file a complaint with- school board re: principal's obvious misinformation regarding appropriate (federal) procedures for having students evaluated for IEPs, and most definitely get that letter requesting IEP evaluation in the mail (certified) ASAP. Check your district policies - I've never had to request anything IEP-related from a principal; it's always been the dir of sped or "director of special services". I've been in several districts, and the principals were *never* the gate-keepers of Special Education services.

    I would also send a separate letter to principal, also via certified mail, documenting your conversation with her today. No opinions, no emotion, just fact.

    Dear Ms. Principal,

    This is a letter of understanding concerning our conversation today,12/09/2011, at XX:XX p.m., when I called to get information regarding obtaining an IEP for my son, Fred Smith. You advised me blah blah blah.

    Please file a copy of this letter in Fred's permanent educational record.


    Warrior Mom

    If you have to have any more phone conversations with anyone from the district (and I'd try not to), I'd strongly advise you follow up with a formal certified letter of understanding. Document dates, times, and a strictly *factual* account of the conversation. Use quotes if you can. This covers you, as well as gives them the opportunity to dispute the facts (hopefully in writing). If they insist on calling you to dispute facts, you just keep on sending your letters of understanding. You need to have a good paper trail. At one point, I just grabbed a handful of the certified letter forms and had them handy, 'cuz we were having some fun with one particularly difficult sped dir. ;)

    Another thing - if you can document with- certainty when you had the conversation with- principal initially about obtaining an IEP for your son, you have a decent chance of arguing that district (aka principal) was aware that they were dealing with a child who potentially had special needs, failed to address that need (I believe the federal term is "child find"), and have been inappropriately suspending a student with- potential special needs - especially if he's been suspended 10 or more days (including ISS). That's a big no-no. The problem will be documentation on your part - any notes or emails from principal from beginning of school year? At the very least, getting that request for evaluation in will legally notify SD that they're possibly dealing with- a student with- sped needs, and protections kick in as of date of receipt of certified letter.

    Another tip - a lot of times districts try to tie in IEPs with- failing grades or poor performance on standardized testing. Bologna. A child is eligible for sped services (IEP) if he/she has behaviors (among other things) which impair his/her ability to received FAPE in LRE (free and appropriate public education in least restrictive environment). If your son is being removed from classroom and/or being suspended due to behaviors, he's not getting FAPE in LRE. (How old is he?)

    Hang in there - there's a lot to learn, but you'll do just fine.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Send the request as soon as you can. As I said, it starts a Federal timeclock. As for the complaint, the timing in relation to the request does not matter. I wouldn't attach it to the request. That might put the wrong spin on things and you don't want anything "mucking the waters". The complaint shouldn't have any bearing on your request for an evaluation for services. Hope that helps.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Personally I would do the Special Education assessment evaluation request first, but it is the weekend so.... It does not have to be long (the request) and the words Te do gave are wonderful template, just give a brief summary of the problems, not details at this time...just that her conditions are affecting her progress.

    You can keep a copy (of the request for evaluation) and attach it to the other letter (complaint) , stating that you have submitted a formal request for an educational evaluation for Special Education. services. But get the request done first, this is due to the time clock that will begin when they receive it.

    Do not attach the complaint to the IEP evaluation request...keep everything clear, simple and direct for this kind of thing.
  10. Lyn8404

    Lyn8404 New Member

    Okay. Here is a copy of the request I drafted, let me know if it needs anything else. Names omitted for privacy.

    "To whom it may concern,

    I, , request that my son, , be evaluated for exceptional educational services under other health impairments, as he has a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder.) Documentation of these diagnoses has been forwarded to the school in the care of , Elementary Schools counselor on December 7, 2011 from CNS Healthcare.

    Sincerely, "
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I would still include the wording that TeDo suggested, here is why.... they could just do an IQ test and say... well the school scores are not significantly below IQ scores so she is doing fine... or whatever..

    I also would not include the category.... If she qualifies she qualifies, it can open the doors to other things they can find during assessment (If they are doing a good job, and find a language issue or whatever...)

    Just mho, no matter what they will have to assess....

    ...requesting an evaluation for sp. ed services (use your words) including academic testing, Occupational Therapist (OT), speech/language, and behavioral testing including an Functional Behavior Analysis.

    (there are other behavior tests, but be sure to include this...)..............
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'd use the term "multidisciplinary evaluation". You could include the phrase "including but not limited to..." and list specific areas (Occupational Therapist (OT)/FBA/speech, etc.). Here's a link from sped 101 archives click here (see Sheila's response)

    The problem with- you specifying OHI or ADHD is twofold - one, they may miss an area where he has a need (i.e. would augmentative communication be necessary?) and, two, if they only go by your specific concerns, they can (wrongly) come back and say "Well, you didn't ask us to evaluate *that*". I believe "multidisciplinary evaluation" is a pretty standard term when it comes to evaluating a child for sped services.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    When I have been in child study, a case is presenented to the multidisciplinary team.... and if not specifically requested, we all put in our input as to if anything in our field could be influencing the issue.... (if a kid can't say the "r' sound, obviously not include Occupational Therapist (OT), academic etc....) so it could be that only psychiatric, speech and sp ed (Learning Disability (LD)) would be involved. that is still multidisciplinary. I guess that is why I would specifically include all of the areas. Just MHO.
  14. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I totally agree. Don't include the category and include ALL the language to cover ALL bases. That doesn't give them any excuses to not do everything. I would also specify ALL the reasons you want him tested, not just because he has a diagnosis of ADHD. Examples could be " I have noticed _________ really struggles with reading" or "I have received notes from the teacher that _______ has a hard time following directions" or "________ has told me many times how hard the school work is", etc. Let us know if you need anything else. We LOVE doing this kind of stuff to uncooperative school personnel!!:devil: