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  1. #1
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    Default New to IEP process, question about ESY

    DS has been struggling with reading. He is now 9.5 years old. We asked the first grade teacher if he might be dyslexic and she said he was normal for his age. Fast forward to this month, a third grade teacher identified his struggle and suggested a child study team meeting in October. The school offered two times a week with a reading specialist since December. We asked for a full evaluation in March. It was finalized in June. They did not find evidence of dyslexia, but they did categorize him with a learning disability and agreed to an IEP which includes in class services for Reading and Language Arts for the 4 th grade in September. And a summer program in July. This July. We were told of this on Monday. June 16 and they want the IEP signed by Monday a week later, June 23. I think the goals aren't specific enough in terms if milestones and for instance what grade level reading passage or how much of a improvement in reading level. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but DS will feel like he is being punished to have to miss two weeks of sports camps and two weeks of Y camp to do the summer program in the mornings. We have reached out to a specific special ed teacher who could privately tutor him early in the morning each week or twice a week, we are not sure yet on the frequency DS needs.

    If we refuse the summer program opportunity ( group lessons by a special ed teacher) Will the school say they can't meet the IEP goals, especially if I make the goals more specific ?

    I am going out on a limb, but--Should the school be paying for this tutoring considering the circumstances?


    The school won't diagnose him as dyslexic even though he clearly is and I provided copied of his school tests and workbook sheets as evidence. They denied knowing about it prior to the meeting. I have private testing scheduled for later in the summer...it has a long lead time. So I assume we will come back with the psychologist as an advocate along with more definitive testing to revise the IEP in the Sept-Oct timeframe.
    I realize that this summer is critical between third and fourth grade. He will sink in science, social studies and math comprehension of reading materials and they did not offer accommodations in terms of auditory textbooks, in class help or reading of those tests or instructions other than for standardized tests.

    What would you do? Make him do half of summer school ? Another issue is that as working parents, the camps were like child care so now we would have to figure out how to get him to school at 9 am and out of school at 11:30 am when we both work an hour away. We would have an easier time with tutoring and I think it would be more productive as it would be targeted to him.

  2. #2
    minnie-zb's Avatar
    minnie-zb is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Are you a psychologist? Have you done private testing with your son to have him evaluated for dyslexia or any learning disabilities? If no, I'm not sure how you can argue he is dyslexic. You say the school did testing and they did not find evidence of dyslexia. There are many different types of learning disabilities. If you want to dispute the schools findings you are going to need to have your own private testing done which will be at your expense.

    My youngest has dyslexia. Two years in a row we did summer programs at the school. Was it fun? No. Did she particularly like? No. Was it necessary? Yes. She does not have to go this year, she's finally cleared some major hurdles. Here's what I think. I think your son needs to do the summer program. This is me, but I feel like it is all a two way street, I can only ask for so much from the school system if I'm not willing to take what they are offering.

    And no, they are not going to pay for the private tutoring for your son for this summer. They already have a program they are offering to help him.

  3. #3
    JCat is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    As the mom of a special needs child I always tell people to get their own evaluations done. I don't know what type of dr diagnosis dyslexia but go see one! The school district around here is not qualified (or I think even allowed) to dx a child though they can point you in the right direction or make suggestions.
    I am also very doubtful they will pay for tutoring if they have a summer program they have offered you. My son misses all the fun camps too because he is in school, but I have been scheduling him instead for extra fun stuff in the afternoons. Like, instead of gymnastics camp for a week or two he goes to a lesson once a week instead.
    Also the summer school here has bussing, and they don't have to be picked up and dropped off in the same location. So some kids get picked up at home in the morning, then in the afternoon get dropped off wherever the parents need them. Whether that's daycare, a relative's etc.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnie-zb View Post
    Are you a psychologist? Have you done private testing with your son to have him evaluated for dyslexia or any learning disabilities? If no, I'm not sure how you can argue he is dyslexic. You say the school did testing and they did not find evidence of dyslexia. There are many different types of learning disabilities. If you want to dispute the schools findings you are going to need to have your own private testing done which will be at your expense.

    My youngest has dyslexia. Two years in a row we did summer programs at the school. Was it fun? No. Did she particularly like? No. Was it necessary? Yes. She does not have to go this year, she's finally cleared some major hurdles. Here's what I think. I think your son needs to do the summer program. This is me, but I feel like it is all a two way street, I can only ask for so much from the school system if I'm not willing to take what they are offering.

    And no, they are not going to pay for the private tutoring for your son for this summer. They already have a program they are offering to help him.
    All of this. If you don't want to do what they are offering, they are not obligated - nor should they be - to pay for a tutor at your convenience. It is really hard to have a child struggling and takes tons of time, inconvenience and money (if you just deal with it and pay yourself). I would sign up for the camps or pay for a tutor if that works better for you. And pay for my own testing if I could afford it (know this isn't an option for everyone and it is $$)). But I would bite the bullet now to help him get a good start in 4th grade. And maybe offer a reward for end of summer, weekend trip, day at water park or something fun he wouldn't normally get if he tries his best.

  5. #5
    LBW is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    You don't have to sign the IEP that was presented to you at the meeting. It should be considered a draft until both sides determine it's final and sign it. Have you asked them to add more specific goals and more in class accommodations (the audio textbooks, read alouds of tests, more time for standardized tests, etc)? If not, you should request these, in writing. Did they offer resource room time for R/LA? Make all the requests for changes to the IEP now, before you sign. You could also ask that they add in a comment about potentially revising the IEP in the fall, based on the private eval results and his progress in Sept/Oct. Once you are happy with the IEP, sign it.

    IME the school can't make a specific diagnosis. They can only evaluate, and then offer services based on the results of those evaluations, if the child qualifies. That's why the private evals are so critical.

    As for the summer, do what you think is best for your son. If you think the private tutor would provide the best support to him and work with your schedule, do that. But, I highly doubt the school will pay for it. I do not think the IEP goals would be affected by your decision, but you should ask your case manager. If you choose not to do ESY this year, you may want to ask them to leave it in the IEP for next year so that you have the option in the future.
    Tara
    living a crazy life with 3 boys

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice.
    ~Mary Oliver

  6. #6
    Momit is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I have no personal experience, but at least for this summer I would do the tutor rather than the school program. He's already signed up for the camps and expecting them - it seems like punishing him for having a learning disability if you pull him out to do the school program. But I would expect to be on my own paying for it. Next year you can make plans accordingly and work around the school program and still schedule some fun camps.
    DS age 9

  7. #7
    Kindra178 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    A 2 x a week tutor might be the same cost as an after summer school nanny.

  8. #8
    acmom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Having taught special ed, when I read the title of your post, I thought you were going to be posting about wanting ESY services but not getting them bc in school districts I have worked in, ESY services could sometimes be hard to come by and often had to be fought for by parents! So I think being offered ESY as part of the IEP is a good thing.

    If you feel it won't work for you or your child this year though, I understand seeking out other private tutoring instead. I would be very surprised if the district would pay for that though, given they offered their summer program. I would also look closely at what their summer program entails bc if it is every morning for the month of July then 1 on 1 tutoring, even 2 times a week for an hour, might not be equivalent. Often kids that are struggling in reading really need that consistency of teaching and practice to even maintain their current level so doing something every morning vs 2x a week might be a big difference. And if you are hoping he will gain ground (as opposed to just maintain his level), you probably need to be committed to making it a big priority this summer whether that be through tutoring and doing extra work the tutor provides at home or doing the summer program.

    As far as the goals, remember that the IEP can be revisited and added to or changed anytime. So I would feel free to make your points about the goals being more specific now and then go from there and get the initial IEP in place. Then if you have further concerns or ideas about them in the fall, you can always request another team meeting to discuss the IEP then.

    And as far as the diagnosis, I agree with PP that school's often just evaluate, look at strengths and needs and offer services from there. All the school's I have worked for have not made a specific diagnosis during the evaluation process, but have suggested to parents that they look into a outside evaluation for a diagnosis if they thought that was needed. And then if that diagnosis was made, then all that documentation was submitted and that became part of the child's record and that information was considered for IEP goals, services, placement, etc.

  9. #9
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    No I am not a psychologist. And I realize that there are several issues that can be defined by dyslexia. During the determination meeting this week, I showed the team samples from his work that came in his backpack on Friday and they commented that they hadn't seen signs like that in any of his work so they were "shocked".

    We have scheduled him to be privately tested but the psychologist has
    a very long wait list. And the psychologist wanted to get the school to test first for a number of reasons including that they would be more inclined to accept his testing if the child study team had done their testing first. We are scheduled now to meet with the psychologist with the testing results and proposed IEP and then proceed with additional testing (privately.)
    As an alternative to summer school, I was seeking
    this particular tutor because she has the best reputation out of all the special ed teachers in his school. From what I have been told, she would not be assigned to him in the summer program so the only way to get access to her would be to hire her privately. I am disappointed that the process lagged along for so many years, and he could have had the benefit of her expertise while he was in school. In the fall, the head of the child study team threatened that his proposed reading specialist help would be pulled if DS was tested by the school and found not to qualify last fall. We all delayed the school testing. So we now have a child in therapy because he has sunk so low in his self-esteem that he thinks he is stupid and wants to kill himself and is angry about school and teachers. His friends in class laugh at his learning deficiencies. Last fall he finally experienced the one teacher who advocated for him, and she left mid year due to health reasons . He hates the replacement. We are counting down the days .
    So yes I really don't want to make a kid who has struggled and worked harder than every one else this past year give up his summer camps in July and feel that he is being punished. The reading specialist did not help one bit. She basically gave up on him. So I think I am doing him justice by going after the best I can get in terms of a special ed teacher even if I am paying out of my own pocket. I may still consider the two weeks of summer school. But since this summer school is group learning, and they don't have a "diagnosis", I am trying to understand how this two weeks will be more productive than the private tutor who would extend from July into August.
    Last edited by babybunny; 06-18-2014 at 03:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmom View Post
    Having taught special ed, when I read the title of your post, I thought you were going to be posting about wanting ESY services but not getting them bc in school districts I have worked in, ESY services could sometimes be hard to come by and often had to be fought for by parents! So I think being offered ESY as part of the IEP is a good thing.

    If you feel it won't work for you or your child this year though, I understand seeking out other private tutoring instead. I would be very surprised if the district would pay for that though, given they offered their summer program. I would also look closely at what their summer program entails bc if it is every morning for the month of July then 1 on 1 tutoring, even 2 times a week for an hour, might not be equivalent. Often kids that are struggling in reading really need that consistency of teaching and practice to even maintain their current level so doing something every morning vs 2x a week might be a big difference. And if you are hoping he will gain ground (as opposed to just maintain his level), you probably need to be committed to making it a big priority this summer whether that be through tutoring and doing extra work the tutor provides at home or doing the summer program.

    As far as the goals, remember that the IEP can be revisited and added to or changed anytime. So I would feel free to make your points about the goals being more specific now and then go from there and get the initial IEP in place. Then if you have further concerns or ideas about them in the fall, you can always request another team meeting to discuss the IEP then.

    And as far as the diagnosis, I agree with PP that school's often just evaluate, look at strengths and needs and offer services from there. All the school's I have worked for have not made a specific diagnosis during the evaluation process, but have suggested to parents that they look into a outside evaluation for a diagnosis if they thought that was needed. And then if that diagnosis was made, then all that documentation was submitted and that became part of the child's record and that information was considered for IEP goals, services, placement, etc.
    Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

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