View Full Version : Next year's IEP is finally done!

05-25-2012, 09:13 AM
It took over 3 months of meetings, negotiations, testing & retesting, outside opinions, and came close to going to due process, but DS's IEP for next year is finally done! In the end, the school really wanted to get the paperwork finished before the end of the school year and so they backed down on a couple of points.

Among what I am counting as "victories":

- DS will be in the autism classroom next year, with much more gradual mainstreaming than before. We do NOT want a repeat of this past year's mainstreaming disasters.
- If it becomes appropriate for DS to be in a mainstream classroom, we will have input as to the choice of teacher.
- DS will continue to receive OT services, which was a major argument with the district. (Speech and APE will continue as well, but that was never questioned.)
- DS will remain on the track towards a HS diploma, although I expect this to be a issue we have to fight for every year.
- DS will get accommodations (adapted materials and classroom setup) for his vision impairment. I've been trying to get this written into the document for years. It turned out that getting a Functional Vision Assessment from the county resource center was much more persuasive to the school than all the doctor reports from Children's Hospital.

All in all, I'm happy with the final IEP. Now it's just a matter of making sure it gets implemented correctly.

I always wonder how people talk about "fighting tirelessly" for their kids. I fight for DS, but I always end up exhausted afterwards.

05-25-2012, 10:00 AM
congrats on the IEP, Gena. You are such a tremendous advocate for your son.

I've learned a lot reading your posts, and I'm so glad you're here to help those of us just embarking on the journey of having a special needs kiddo in public school. :grouphug: Thanks for sharing your struggles and triumphs with us.

05-25-2012, 10:25 AM
So glad you got what you were fighting for!!!! Great job! :bighand:

And it is exhausting. :hug:

05-25-2012, 11:48 AM
Great work! :applause: Your son is so lucky to have you all as his advocates.


05-25-2012, 04:38 PM
yay for y'all, gena! and i don't think it means you don't get tired - i think it means you don't let being tired stop you. ;)

05-27-2012, 08:48 PM
Congratulations! That's great news!

Just curious, were things fairly cordial or did they get contentious? Our plans for DS's 2nd grade year are up in the air - homeschool with dual enrollment or send him back. We have secured a good teacher for him, but I have a long list of accommodation wants for him and sense it could be uphill. I didn't push back a ton this year because I didn't need to, since we pulled him. But seriously, more accommodations are needed for dysgraphia besides a slant board and yet another HWT program! They still have the same writing expectations for him as the other kids. Sigh.

Anyway, good job on getting all of those things in place for your son!

05-28-2012, 03:15 AM
Congratulations, Gena! I am glad you are happy with it. 3 months 0 - sheesh! We are still in the early stages and with summer here we are losing precious time....

05-28-2012, 10:40 AM
Congrats on the new iep.

We have been having meetings since Feb and still not worked out placement for son for next school year. Its tough but so worth it. We got son a summer program just now for this summer and hopefully we can get him a better school for next year.


05-28-2012, 12:21 PM
Just curious, were things fairly cordial or did they get contentious?

Some parts got really contentious. The OT really wanted to get him off her caseload. She stated that since he can write all the letters in both printing and cursive he didn't need continued services. We pointed out that his writing is extremely slow and labor intensive. The OT claimed this is just a problem of inattention. We pointed out the DS cannot do other simple fine motor tasks. He is in 2nd grade and cannot color in the lines, put a straw in a juice box, or open food wrappers. The OT said that these were not educational issues and were not appropriate for school-based therapy. We argued that if he cannot unwrap his lunch, that definitely has educational effects. And if he cannot color in lines, the he cannot fill in bubble sheets used for testing. The OT reluctantly agreed to do additional testing. Like many of DS's other evals, his subtlest scores were all over the place. The result was that his composite score was in the low normal range. We argued that several of his subtlest scores were well below average and that the amount of scatter made the composite score meaningless. In the end, the case manager agreed with us.

Another difficult area had to do with keeping DS on track towards a HS diploma. The district never came out and said that they wanted to remove him from the diploma track, but proposed several "modifications" that, taken together, have that as a direct effect. The key one was that they pushed strongly for alternative assessment. This means that DS would not take the regular standardized testing used for NCLB. Instead, the teachers would create a portfolio to show what progress DS made over the year. When this is done in the context of Special Education, it releases the district from the responsibility to teach the child the core curriculum. (Note: this is not the same as when homeschoolers do a portfolio to document progress.). The combination of releasing the district from this responsibility, slowing the pace of DS's academic work, and depriving DS of the opportunity to learn how to take standardized tests would have pretty much guaranteed that he would eventually end up too far behind his peers to qualify for a diploma.

I never expected that I would have that particular fight at this age, but it happened. DS had his first standardized tests this year (not NCLB testing, but similar) and it was a very difficult process. His results were very poor and did not reflect his true abilities. We expected that and were not surprised. The district is concerned that next year DS's scores on the testing will negatively affect the district's and the schools overall ratings. Also because DS gets accommodations for testing, it is takes a lot effort from the staff. I don't think that those are good enough reasons for DS to not take the test. The only way he will lead how to take standardized tests is by taking them. I would rather be have that experience now in the lower grades, when low test results have no personal repercussions for him, than in the upper grades where the stakes are higher (graduation and college admittance).

So those were the issues that had a lot of disagreement and controversy. They are probably the issues we will have to fight about every year.

05-28-2012, 12:47 PM
I'm glad you were able to come to agreement. I'm always amazed at the insight you have on how your DS will be affected by the decisions made. I was wondering how they could remove him from diploma track this early, but what you have said makes sense.

We are just starting to deal with the school district and are getting a whole lot of push back with "we don't know if it will affect his education" and "we can do accommodations without a plan". It is really hard to know how much is true and how much is they don't want to be tied into anything or provide services if they don't have to.

05-30-2012, 04:47 PM
Congrats. It is a lot of work for sure and takes a lot out of anyone.

05-30-2012, 08:51 PM
Congrats on getting it finished. Your son is incredibly lucky that he has such a well-informed and tireless advocate.

05-31-2012, 01:21 AM
Congrats on getting it finished. Your son is incredibly lucky that he has such a well-informed and tireless advocate.

05-31-2012, 12:25 PM
That's great. I continue to be impressed with what an amazing advocate you are for your son.