The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Monday, April 12, 2010

Calling all smart Moms - HELP!

I am in the process of researching wrights law and IDEA and all that good stuff. As I have said before Miss does have a language impaired IEP that has been in place since she was 3 years old, she will be 7 next month. She struggled through Kindergarten last year and barely came up to grade level at the end of the year on benchmark tests.

She has struggled in first grade since the beginning of the year with some peaks of improvement on benchmark scores but she test anywhere from 30 % to 80 %, very inconsistent. Since January her struggles have become more and more apparent in the classroom work, even though some of her benchmark scores have come out okay. Her most recent benchmark scores was not okay at 65%.

We had our meeting with Mrs. Teacher last Friday to discuss our concerns and she met all those concerns as being her own before we verbalized them. She felt that it was time to put into effect the next level of intervention and have testing done to see where Miss M’s learning struggles are at in reality. We were thrilled to hear it and agreed totally.

I received an e-mail this morning from Mrs. Teacher which said the special education coordinator wants her to start tracking and graphing Miss’ weaknesses displayed on weekly benchmark assessments and track these assessments for two weeks to get a better idea on which skills Miss’ needs help with.

Then Mrs. Teacher is to help Miss with these skills to give her even more help than she is currently getting. Special education coordinator did not suggest any further assessments since Miss was progressing nicely and just recently fell. She feels that the decline in scores is probably due to the intern. I am sure this is why Miss is not wanting to come to school, as well.

Basically Dad and feel enough is enough, this child obviously has diagnosable learning disabilities and it is time to decipher what those are through diagnostic testing. She does have an IEP but the help she needs is not spelled out on it and that is very deliberate by Special education coordinator lady.

The request I am putting out to any and all of you Moms is to please help me narrow in on the laws that pertain to our right to have our child further tested. I am willing to start with the school doing the testing but I know that we also have the right to have outside testing done at their expense, at least we can request/fight for that by law. I believe that Miss may have auditory processing problems, dyslexia and dysgraphia from the struggles we see out of her (and always have). The testing that we had done for her in December was more general and did identify that she had very low ability to follow oral instructions.

At home Miss does not have the ability to do her work independently successfully and she gets frustrated quickly and wants to give up. At school they describe her ability to accomplish a task on her own as 50/50. The fact is she brings home a lot of uncompleted work.  At school she isn't likely to display her frustration but she is a master at staying under the radar and just not doing the work.

So if you Moms would either linky dinky do where to get the info I need in the comment section or you can e-mail me privately if you prefer –  Thanking you in advance!!! 


Cynthia said...

I'm snowed under with life...found your blog in a couple of skips from Christine's (I think). . . my point is I don't have any legal language for you. I am a mother of two children with IEP's and if you look in the book of Procedural Safeguards that you should have been given/offered at every IEP it spells things out there. If you don't have one ask for one...I would recommend verbally with a smile and hand a signed and dated letter to them with the same request at the same time.

Additionally, the special ed lady and teacher are not the only ones who can put goals and interventions on an IEP. Request a meeting (again verbally and in writing)--they only HAVE to respond to written requests. Show up to the meeting with interventions and goals that you want set. (I record all meetings because then if someone balks I can sweetly say...oh...(hold recorder towards them) and ask them to state their name and why they are objecting.

IEP's are legally binding contracts...which is one reason why schools don't want stuff put in...because if it is there they must do it.....

you may also want to look into your local disability law center for more guidance (often their help is free) and look into taking a support person with you to the meeting (can be a friend or a professional)..

I wish you luck! Be strong! and get the procedural safeguards and read them.

Cyndi said...

Every state is different in how they carry out the law, but they are all required to meet federal guidelines. This is available to you from the school and even though it is blah, blah, blah reading do it and hang on to that booklet. Do take support with you. It does help. Get the kid tested for everything, you may be surprised how complex this really turns out to be. Do not sign an IEP agreement until you have had time to go over it without them pressuring you to do so. You have a right to sign it after the meeting and if they get crazy on you call in legal reinforcements. It makes a huge difference in the services you get. Keep copies of every report you get because you will need them. This school information is also useful when you are trying to get services other then school services as well.

Taz's Mama said...

put all requests in writing. then i would call to follow up. you gotta be pushy. i would spell out very clearly what kind of testing you want done. look up specific names on the internet to see what you think she needs. ask for those tests then put in the letter that if they do not provide it you will talk to the dept of education to have an outside source test her at their expense. i would also inform them you will be speaking with an educational advocate. if they give you problems after that, say you are speaking with an educational attorney (even if you're not it might light a fire under their you-know-what). they need to start taking you seriously.

after they administer the testing they should send you by mail the official results plus a report summarizing the info. i would request a PPT after getting the results to outline specifically what needs to be in place for Miss to succeed based on your observations and the data from the tests. those plans go into the IEP and become a legal document that the school HAS to follow. if you're unhappy with what the school suggests, don't take no for an answer. i know it's probably easier said than done. but don't sign the IEP until you are happy with it.

the more prepared you are for the PPT the more they can't push you around.

anyway, i'm no expert but that's what i would recommend.

Lisa said...

I don't have much but I do know that you shouldn't sign the IEP until it's exactly as you want it. You do not have to sign it at the meeting but they will often pressure you to do so.

Also...echoing others...ask for things and get them to sign that you asked. Great idea.

J. said...

our system is so different up here in the north. But I iwll say advocate for what you want/need and don't back down

Diana said...

As everyone else has said, you have the right to request any and all testing be done on your child. The request HAS to be in writing or they will sell you the wind. But, once it is in writing, they HAVE to do it, they HAVE to do ALL of it you request, and they HAVE to do it within 45 days.

Once you get all the testing done, you also have the right to take a 3rd party advocate with you to the IEP meetings. If she has a therapist, that person will be a tremendous advocate for her.

The school will also feed you all sorts of bull about what does and doesn't qualify for services. I was told point blank that our district doesn't recognize dyslexia as a something that requires services. Nor do they recognize ADD/ADHD. What???

Try doing an internet search for "special education laws [your state's name]" and you will find tons of info.

Meg said...

I hope you have good luck with this. In our case we have everything we want and need in the IEP but can't get the school to adhere to the IEP at all. And the school system will bankrupt you trying to fight it in the courts. (In our situation they were much better at following the IEP in elementary school and then it went to crud in middle school). So, we homeschool now. Keep us posted on your progress.

Reverend Mom said...

Ask for a nonverbal IQ test-- the difference will help pinpoint a central auditory processing disorder. There are interventions that help, but they need to begin before age 12-- I found this out too late for my daughter.