How long is reasonable to expect the school to complete an IEP?

Lesley - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son was diagnosed with Aspergers in November. We met with his teacher in December (student teacher interviews) whol let us know about the IEP process. Still no word. Should I be bugging the school? Im afraid we will fall between the cracks of the system at school. Of the 24 students in my sons class, 12 have been identified with a special need (and this is a "normal" classroom setting). He is not disruptive and a good student, so the teacher believes he is the least of her worries. Im afraid if I dont keep on top of this, we will be forgotten.

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Martha - posted on 02/05/2009

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Children dont fall through cracks, they fall through fingers!



He must have an educational need for an IEP, and if he is not having trouble in school because of his disability, then he should not need an IEP. If he is having trouble, then quit saying that he is a good student, espcially to the school because this will come back to haunt you.I would question any class where 12 students already have IEP's. That is not typcial, and you should find out what the ratio of IDEA elegible kids is in your school, and then complain to the state department of education that there is a concentration of these students that is inappropriate. Inclusion is mandated, and unless the other children have IEP's that call for a resource setting, it is not least restrictive. The usual percentage in the average school setting is going to be 10-14%, not 50.



If he has an educational need, and you don't mention any other than his diagnosis, then you should write a letter asking for an evaluation first (because he has an educational need) then you would have a meeting to find him elegible, then an IEP meeting to write his educational plan. As soon as you gave them the diagnosis and they mentioned the IEP process they should have given you a copy of your IDEA rights. If they did not, write them and ask for it, and tell them that you should have been offered it on the date that you informed them of the diagnosis. Ask them to provide the evidence that they informed you of your rights on this day.



Get on www.wrightslaw.com and start reading. You can find the information you need to be your son's advocate. Stop talking to the school district and start writing. If it did not happen in writing, it never happened. If someone isnsits on having a discussion, write them a confirmation email saying what they said to you and tell them that you will assume it is all correct if they do not correct you in writing. They will start getting the idea that you mean bussiness.



Find out what Prior Written Notice is on Wrightslaw. If you have requested something under IDEA, the school district must either do it or they must refuse, and either way, it must be in wiriting and tell you what tests and evaluations they used to deny your request, but they can pretend that you never asked if you don't have a paper to prove that you asked.



If you have a medical diagnoisis only, get a neuro-pschological evaluation privately. Make sure to measuer his processing speed and his academic acheivment so that you can show them where his educational need is. If you do the evaluation before they do, you may be able to get it reimburssed from the district, but this may require legal action on your part. However, you should never know less than the school district does about your son.



Good luck,

Martha

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15 Comments

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Cynthia - posted on 02/07/2009

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I highly recomend "From emotions to Advocacy Second Edition" by Pam and Pete Wright. It has taught me how to deal with the school and the teachers.

Rhonda - posted on 02/06/2009

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My son was just diagnosed with aspergers this year. I have been reasearching aspergers on and off for the last two years and was sure that was what my son was experiencing. I went into the school after a major fight (my son had been picked on constantly). It took two months to do the testing and yes the school had to have state officials for special needs come and evaluate him in his surroundings and he was given some written tests. I had to meet with the state people also and fill out a ton of paper work. The school has been totally supportive and is trying their best. None of the teachers have ever had children with autism/aspergers. I was able to attend two workshops that the school paid for so parents/ teachers would be able to learn more. Michelle Garcia Winner is an awesome lady who works with kids who have autism and social cognitive behavior. She has a website at www.socialthinking.com  Her work is a big help where my son needs it most. He is 11 and has a hard time with people. I'm not sure if this will help you out any. Good Luck!

Kim - posted on 02/06/2009

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IEPS should be issued within 4 weeks and reviewed every 6 months you have a right as parents to seeit and comment and have things changed if you so wish schoool very often dragg their heels on this one iam always chasing my sons school

Lesley - posted on 02/05/2009

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Oddly, after emailing the teacher yesterday, I had a response immediately saying the spec ed teacher will be in contact to schedule an IPRC.  Timing seemed a little coincidental..but if it means helping my son, I will take it!

Lesley - posted on 02/04/2009

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He was tested by a psychologist thru Ottawa's Childrens Treatment Centre, so I just assumed it is all ready to roll and the IEP would be imminent.  I just emailed his teacher to get the scoop on the next move.  Im equally concerned as he moves to a middle school next year, and I fear for the transisiton.



Thank you ladies for your advice/

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2009

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A lot of it is that they have special testing that they have to do with the child and some of it requires people from outside of the school to come in and do the testing. This testing should be done and a meeting set to get the results before they put together an IEP. You will have to sit down with them and sign papers giving them permission to alter his education plan. Then they will put together an IEP and you will meet to accept it. I was told last night that you have the right to ask for the IEP 5 days ahead of the meeting so you aren't overwhelmed with information at the meeting.
If you haven't signed anything giving permission for him to be tested, then nothing is probably being done. Speak with the Special Education Coordinator at the school.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/04/2009

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You definately need to push this. My son Ewan is still awaiting a "clinical" diagnosis for aspergers, although a behavioural pediatrician is 95 percent sure. According to my sons school this was enough for an IEP for him and what a difference it makes so you go girl and push push push.

Diane - posted on 02/04/2009

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I'm pretty sure the school have a legal time limit in which to complete the IEP process, although I dont know what that is - 30 days or 60 days? What you need to be careful of is that you have officially requested an IEP - talking about it with the teacher is one thing, but getting the wheels in motion is another. I would be writing to the school to formally request an IEP at this point and then bug the principle so they know you are serious and on the case. We found that having an advocate helped us a lot, but that was 6 months into the IEP process - just keep it in mind. It was amazing what extra resources became available once we had our advocate! You will also need to build up a team of experts on your side - we used a local Asperger's specialist (http://casefamily.com/) and had our son take part in their Friends Club. We also ended up having him privately assessed and presenting a copy of the report to the school. The school testing will be limited to his needs in the educational setting. Bringing all these people and reports to the IEP shows that you are really there for your child and want to share the information to help the school and school district educate your child. Good luck - and remember its not you, your son is just different and needs different things to help him thrive.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/04/2009

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You definately need to push this. My son Ewan is still awaiting a "clinical" diagnosis for aspergers, although a behavioural pediatrician is 95 percent sure. According to my sons school this was enough for an IEP for him and what a difference it makes so you go girl and push push push.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/04/2009

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7

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You definately need to push this. My son Ewan is still awaiting a "clinical" diagnosis for aspergers, although a behavioural pediatrician is 95 percent sure. According to my sons school this was enough for an IEP for him and what a difference it makes so you go girl and push push push.

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