Question re: IEP and Bipolar, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), ODD, ADHD in CA

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by torycf, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. torycf

    torycf New Member


    My son is in 8th grade and almost 14 years old. We are about to have our first IEP meeting-he had a 504 plan previously. He has been diagnosed with ADHD since 2nd grade but was diagnosed as Bipolar and ODD last summer. The other diagnoses, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) were diagnosed while he was at residential treatment. This IEP is kind of bittersweet since I have been asking his school to evaluate him since 6th grade but it wasn't until he had to be sent to residential for 4 months, and came home with all of these disagnoses that they finally stopped pushing back on me. Of course, now he is about to graduate in 2 months and move onto a different school district for high school...
    Luckily, I have someone coming with me who is much more educated about all of these matters than I am however she is coming mainly from the mental health field.

    Anyway, we are debating whether to go with an ED or OHI diagnosis. The school psychologist suggests OHI which is fine with me but I am wondering if he will still be able to get a referral to county mental health for wrap around services (California, AB3632/26.5). I don't know if we should be focusing on the Bipolar or the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). The Bipolar isn't so much of a problem at school but the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is...

    I'm thinking maybe of going with the OHI label (hate the label aspect) so that he can get the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) services through the school district and possibly be placed at the same high school as where his twin sister is going (she is regular ed but they have an autism/aspergers program at the high school school she will be going to). Then do the mental health treatments privately...If we try to get him into a therapeutic day school to treat his bipolar, that will be a ways away, in heavy commute, and I will have kids at three different schools in three different towns.

    I guess what it is all coming down to is that they won't make a high school placement for him until his IEP is completed (even though all the other kids have been placed). And it sounds like the label means a lot. I just want what will work best for him but also the rest of the family. He is stable now-just normal teenage angst stuff.

    If you've made it this far, thank you! I am muddled-if you have any thoughts, suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!
  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I sagree that his high school placement shouldn't be made until the IEP is finished. He should go where they are best geared to provide the help he needs.

    As for the "label" ... it shouldn't matter. There is nothing in the law or federal regs I've seen that says only one diagnosis or category may apply. What the law provides is that someone who meets the gets an IEP. And, the "I" stands for Individualized. In other words, he may have a primary and secondary (and more, if necessary) classification and diagnosis, but so long as there is any one, he should get all services called for by the law.

    As a practical matter, the school system may be particularly well geared to handle one issue at school X, and especially well set-up for a different issue at school Y, so either place, other needed services would have to be "add-ons". What they shouldn't do is aks you choose between incomplete service package A and incomplete package B. Don't accept materially incomplete anything, even if another meeeting is needed.

    What does your son feel about all this? Will he be attending the IEP meeting? And how extensive the services he should have/needs in each category may affect your decision.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Your advocate will know for sure, but I believe in California, if you ever need another residential placement paid for under AB3632, you may need that ED classification. Ask your advocate and make sure you understand the law before you make your decision.

    Good luck.
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