Now or next year?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by sosotired, May 14, 2009.

  1. sosotired

    sosotired New Member

    difficult child is in 5th grade. He was diagnosed ADHD a few years ago and was diagnosed Aspergers earlier this year. He's had a 504 for a few years and at first, the school was very accomodating. He currently gets little more then a 30 minute session with the social worker in group. His behavior as well as his grades have steadily declined over the year. I have attempted to manage this with psychiatrist visits and medication adjustments to no avail.

    I think it would greatly benefit him to be on an IEP with additional services. Although I have not formally asked, the school has not been helpful, cooperative ... you name it ... in any step of the process so I think it will be quite the battle to get him one. I'd like to get it done before he moves to middle school (7th).

    He is scheduled for a full evaluation with a nueropsych over the summer. Should I request the IEP now with his grades as an example or should I wait until the beginning of 6th with the evaluation in hand and no current grades to show he's struggling except for the prior year?
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You won't have time to have the school conduct their evaluation to determine whether he qualifies or not for an IEP this late in the year. Once you formally make the request (in writing) they have 60 days from the time you sign their form authorizing the testing until they have to have the report completed.

    You can submit your request for the school evaluation now, knowing that they likely won't finish until school starts up again. In fact, they may defer it to next year. That's still o.k. It will give you a chance to find out what the neuropsychologist says and you can share that with the school as they are conducting their own testing (they won't want to do some of the same tests or they'll be considered invalid).
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    gcvmom is right that the school will have 60 days from your written request and authorization (90 in one state, I think) to complete the process. However, that it is summer and vacation time doesn't change that, which sort of puts you in a tough place. Your son would be better served by a proper IEP when the new year begins, but the IEP should be prepared with the results of the neuropsychologist evaluation known. Most of the process can be completed by full-time staff (not teachers with summer off), so the time limit is not so troubling.) Given the timing vs the neuropsychologist evaluation, you might discuss the best time to make the IEP request with your school district's Special Education director -- maybe August 1??

    I would not share the neuropsychologist results with the school before they complete their own evaluations, but I would tell them up front what tests were used. Whether most recent grades are current term or prior term doesn't matter -- they are still the most recent.

    Your local school may seem less than helpful for any number of reasons, one being you may be asking for things not called for under 504. (Of course, no law says they can't provide extra services.) In any case, you may benefit from some trained help in going through the process. Every state has an office that will provide some direction to help. Many also have advocates or other help available for little or no charge.
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Actually, in IDEIA 2004, all state time lines are superseded by the Federal 60 calendar day rule. Summers "count" except in SDs that are so small they close their administrative offices.

    Personally, I would NOT let a child with behavior problems go to middle school without the legal protection of an IEP. My ex-difficult child had an IEP for exactly that reason---he received sw services sort of but no academic interventions ever. However, his having an IEP made it VERY clear that I would use all available law to protect him from punitive discipline and it worked. He had huge (internalizing) problems but was never suspended in 9 years in public school. In h.s., he was illegally expelled, but that is another story, and by that time, I did not want him in public school.

    As RtI becomes prominent, many people forget that no matter how helpful it may be for some children, it provides ZERO legal protection against arbitrary discipline for students like ours.

    in my opinion you should request a full case study evaluation NOW and not take no for an answer in regard to summer. School psychologists are usually on longer contracts than teachers and an IEP meeting could be convened before school starts bec. teachers always are required to show up before the first day of school. It is important to inform yourself of these details in order to counter the SD's excuses.

    Send all mail CERTIFIED and stay off the phone. Nothing said verbally will hold up. The Supreme Court decided that in Burlovich.