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  1. #1
    sste is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default UPDATE: Already Referred for IEP -- What Do I Need to Know, help please!

    DS had a great first week, madly in love with kindy and kindy teacher . . . but it is only day 5 and they scheduled an IEP meeting for us. A little unnerving for us! He did not make it through the speech screen - - he has moderate articulation issues, she thinks above level on the "language" part so didn't bother to test. The worrisome thing to me is that his handwriting is far worse than his speech. Far. Not to mention that while he has been improving he would benefit from some social skills and emotional regulation help as well. And we would give it 50/50 he has some sort of reading/dyslexia type of issue though I don't think that can even be diagnosed for another year. It is mostly the disconnect between his level of reasoning, problem-solving, math, etc and the letters/phonetics that has given us pause.

    Anyhow, I have my first IEP meeting next week. DS will def. be rec'ing 2 pull-outs per week for speech therapy. Now that I have an IEP can I request OT for him? DS has a private OT evaluation mid-month at his preschool's recommendation and I am 99% sure he will score quite low on that evaluation.

    Does the IEP work as an "all-in" where I can now request OT? They told me initially when I called last spring that OT was only covered if the child has an IEP. But, now I will have an IEP, right? Or do I need to establish some third disability??

    Also any other advice for the IEP meeting? TIA!
    Last edited by sste; 11-04-2013 at 05:30 PM.
    ds 2007
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  2. #2
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    larig is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Yep. This is the time to set goals and get services. I'd specifically mention these issues to the screeners.
    L, mommy to my one and only, super-sweet boy, G 6/08

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  3. #3
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    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Well, the typical issues tend to be fighting for more services or to be identified at all. But it sounds like that is not the concern here.

    I would go in with a comprehensive list and ask for comprehensive teeting because it is generally much easier to get services earlier vs. later.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  4. #4
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    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Having an IEP for one service does not automatically make a child eligible for other services. Prior to the IEP, the school is supposed to do a comprehensive evaluation of ALL areas of suspected disability. Qualification for specific services is based on that evaluation, although the school may be willing to accept an outside (private) evaluation in place of doing their own.

    So the school will have to either conduct an OT eval or accept your DS' s private eval. Similarly, if you want services to work on social skills and/or emotional regulation, he would have to be evaluated in those areas as well. You may need to request these evaluations in writing. You should have been given your State's publication about your rights under IDEA (special education law). The booklet should explain the procedure for evaluations and determining eligibility.

    My son has autism and mild visual impairments. He gets speech, OT, APE, placement in special classroom, and other accommodations and modifications to his curriculum. At his most recent triennial re-eval, the OT tried to dismiss him from her services. None of his other services or accommodations were questioned, but I had to fight to keep OT services. DS's handwriting (printing and cursive) is like that of a much younger child, he doesn't have the fine motor skills to open food wrappers, and he can't work the fly on his pants. I was shocked that the OT thought it was appropriate to discontinue services. I had to request specific testing and then he qualified only on the basis of specific subtests. And I had to fight to have the decision made due to the subtest scores instead of the composite score.

    So no, in my experience having an IEP for speech will not automatically get you OT.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

  5. #5
    sste is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Thank you! So I am clear is it better to request an ot evaluation from them, go private, or both? They are not offering up any comprehensive testing and are treating it as a discrete speech issue. The speech therapist mentioned possibility of oral motor apraxia when I described writing issues. But she was really pushing against Ot saying school doesn't generally give Ot unless it is part of a special need. And so I asked wasn't the iep next week for a special need and she said yes and seemed to then say Ot might be possible. I am confused. Have not yet recd a pamphlet but I just spoke with her today and iep mtg is next Friday.

    For social skills I don't think ds needs anything that intensive at this point. But when I phoned the school counselor last year to ask about any lunch bunch etc she told me her priorities were kids with ieps and abuse/neglect. I just want him to have some access to the school counselor if needed!
    ds 2007
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  6. #6
    inmypjs is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sste View Post
    Thank you! So I am clear is it better to request an ot evaluation from them, go private, or both? They are not offering up any comprehensive testing and are treating it as a discrete speech issue. The speech therapist mentioned possibility of oral motor apraxia when I described writing issues. But she was really pushing against Ot saying school doesn't generally give Ot unless it is part of a special need. And so I asked wasn't the iep next week for a special need and she said yes and seemed to then say Ot might be possible. I am confused. Have not yet recd a pamphlet but I just spoke with her today and iep mtg is next Friday.

    For social skills I don't think ds needs anything that intensive at this point. But when I phoned the school counselor last year to ask about any lunch bunch etc she told me her priorities were kids with ieps and abuse/neglect. I just want him to have some access to the school counselor if needed!
    I would ask the school to evaluate ALL areas that you are concerned about. Even if they aren't yet concerned... Just be firm and tell them that you want it. It is your right.

    I think the quality of school based evaluations and services really varies. In my district and state, school evaluations are essentially academic achievement testing - meaning they will see how well your child can do the stuff he is supposed to do for his age/grade. If he is discrepant enough from his peers, he may qualify for special education services. There is no diagnosistic testing here. Also our school based OT is very minimal. My DS's pretty severe dysgraphia got him a mere 20 minutes of OT per week. So whether you use the school or go private will depend a lot on those quality issues. Your DS is young enough that you could do the school evals first, and then if you thought it was needed you could do private evals. I know a few people who have moved here from other states and their school based OT was much better though.

    Also I wouldn't wait too long to deal with suspected reading and handwriting issues. The majority of kids with dysgraphia also have dyslexia, and the experts in those fields claim if a child is old enough to go to school, they are old enough to be screened for dyslexia. It would not be too early to start an Orton Gillingham reading/phonics program with him, in fact it would give you a jump. Most schools will not touch this issue at this age - heck, many won't even use the word - but most dyslexia experts and private testers will. If you are looking for resources for that, pm me and I'd be happy to see what I can find.
    Last edited by inmypjs; 08-31-2013 at 11:06 AM.

  7. #7
    cuca_ is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmypjs View Post
    Also I wouldn't wait too long to deal with suspected reading and handwriting issues. The majority of kids with dysgraphia also have dyslexia, and the experts in those fields claim if a child is old enough to go to school, they are old enough to be screened for dyslexia. It would not be too early to start an Orton Gillingham reading/phonics program with him, in fact it would give you a jump. Most schools will not touch this issue at this age - heck, many won't even use the word - but most dyslexia experts and private testers will. If you are looking for resources for that, pm me and I'd be happy to see what I can find.


    I remember you posted about Orton Gillinghma tutoring a while ago. How did that go? I agree with inmypjs that while a public school district would not identify learning disabilities at your DS's age, a private evaluator would. My DD has learning disabilities and when she was in K the school told us they would not test for LDs until 2nd or 3rd grade. We saw an neuropsychologist while she was still in K and she diagnosed the LDs, processing issues and ADHD. I would seek a private evaluation now, in order to get the necessary intervention ASAP.

    As to the OT, as PPs have stated you have to request an OT evaluation. I would email the school and formally request that you DS be evaluated by an occupational therapist.

  8. #8
    sste is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Thanks so much everyone. Frankly, we are very confused on the reading issue. Initially, DS seemed unable to recognize a single letter repeated to him fifty odd times. That turned out to be anxiety - - my MIL played a few fun letter games with him and voila he knew alot of letters. However, he only knows visually about 2/3 of the alphabet, he is 50-50 on whether he recognizes his name in print, he is very limited on sounding out and doesn't know most sounds associated with letters. We did meet with a wilson tutor a few times but she decided not to tutor and we figured we would give it a few months to see how things evolve. He seems unable to focus on the written word though we had his vision triple-checked, discussed situation with his optho. Some of that is probably normal for his age (almost 6). The most unusual thing is his extreme aversion to anything involving letters and sounding out words. I mean, I have created special time, I have taken him to a weekly program where kids can read to therapy dogs, I have made it fun! And this is a child who otherwise loves learning, drags us to museums weekly, prefers to view science documentaries over cartoons, has filled our whole kitchen with science experiments. I just don't know. DS was very speech delayed and then one month took off and ended up way, way ahead in terms of his language (apparently not articulation!). I don't know if the reading will be the same or if we are dealing with a problem.

    Our thinking had been to have him tested by a neuropsych in January if things don't improve (we are going to try to get on the appointment list now though as I know there can be quite a wait). My friend is an adult neurospsych and had strong opinions about who to go to for peds and we will go with her top choice. Does that seem too late?

    I am requesting the OT eval from the school. Thank you so much for all of the advice.
    ds 2007
    dd 2010
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  9. #9
    niccig is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    My guess is they won't even consider issues with reading at the beginning of K. I know I've told you before about DS's issues with phonological awareness. He took forever to learn the letters of the alphabet and the sound of the letters in K and was still working on this into first grade. He HATED reading, it was torture to have him read to us. We saw a SLP for phonological awareness and I worked with him on phonics using a program that targets 1 phoneme at a time. I then had him see a reading specialist to work on other aspects of reading that I didn't know about. DS caught up throughout grade 2. We're at a new school for 3rd grade and I *think* he's a little above grade level. I've asked his teacher to check. Just saying there is time for the reading piece to be worked out, though I would definitely keep an eye on it and not wait as long as I did. See how he's going, what the teacher says mid-way through K.

  10. #10
    inmypjs is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I don't think aversion to printed, 2D symbols is strange for a child with dyslexia. That could be what you are seeing. Most dyslexic kids do a lot better with 3D and spatial tasks that 2D symbols. (If you want more info. on that, google visual spatial learners.) If it is hard for him to process and make sense of letters, he may also be avoiding it just for that reason. Regardless, I think it's great you are aware of these issues at his age.

    I don't think waiting until January is too late. One thing you might do after you make the neuropsych appt. and see if you can talk to him/her ahead of time. Ask specifically what they feel the pros/cons of testing at your son's age are. I talked to the psychologist who did my DS's eval about that and found it very interesting.

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