Denied an IEP

Angie - posted on 01/19/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

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my 7 year old daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and mood disorders. She is in 2nd grade and bringing home D's and F's. I requested an IEP and the school denied it. The teacher said that she is just average and I need to deal with it. That she will never do better than that and she just rushes through her work, so that's why she gets the grades that she gets. She cries hysterically every night because she says she is stupid. I work with her for hours trying to get her to comprehend her work. Her psychiatrist is LIVID that they denied the IEP so we are in the appeal process right now. She just got the results back from the IQ test that her psychiatrist ordered and it showed below average. I dont want her to start her education career being behind but if she gets held back, it will devistate her...what else can i do?

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Missy - posted on 02/14/2010

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Do NOT give up on fighting for your child! You are her strongest and primary advocate. I have an exceptionally bright son who was originally in the Gifted & Talented programs at his school in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Then the school canceled those programs and would not do anything whatsoever to accommodate the gifted kids. He was mainstreamed back into regular classes, became very bored with school, and started getting D's and F's. He almost had to be held back in 5th, 6th & 7th Grades.

Then, not until 7th Grade, he was also diagnosed with ADD. We also had to fight to get him under an IEP, but eventually in 10th grade we got them to put one in place. Then we had to fight to get teachers to actually accept and follow my son's IEP. Once your daughter has an IEP, be sure to double-check on everything regarding her schoolwork and grades as thoroughly as you would double-check on your household finances.

If I knew then what I know now, I should have fought harder and brought it further up the food chain at the school & school district until I'd run out of options. Here's what I would recommend:

1. Write a letter (and keep a copy) to the principal regarding the teacher's comments. They were unprofessional, uncalled for, mean, and just plain wrong. Talking to the principal will be useless as his/her primary job (much to my frustration) is to back his teaching staff 100%, but they are required to keep the letter and report on file.
2. Have her pediatrician give her a thorough physical exam, including eyes and hearing. This will help to rule out any physical health or medical issues that may be either causing the problem or possibly contributing to it. It will also help to discount any future claims by the school that her problems are caused by potential medical issues.
3. Is there another teacher/class she could switch to? Probably not, but it's worth asking the question. It's hard for anyone (kid or adult) to learn anything worthwhile from a person who doesn't at least respect you.
4. Get a written letter from both her psychiatrist and pediatrician (keep copies of everything!) regarding their recommendation that the school place her under an IEP.
5. Get her tested at an independent center that specializes in development disabilities. Have them send the results directly to the school psychologist/social worker. Be sure to ask if you can also get a copy of the results.
6. If the above items do not work, then I would call to try to schedule an appointment with the district Superintendent regarding the poor operation of one of the schools in his district. If you can't do that, talk to the county mental health center, and after that, your state representative.
7. I would also consider talking to other schools nearby, if at all possible, to see whether you could transfer her, but be sure to lay everything out on the table with the prospective schools to determine what they'd be willing to do for your daughter.

Sorry this is long-winded, but my son continued having severe problems his entire school year, and I feel it was a direct result of 1) late diagnosis of his ADD, 2) late creation & acceptance of an IEP, and 3) because I did not continue fighting for my son and "accepted" as truth that the school said there was nothing further they could do to help out my son.

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21 Comments

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Tammy - posted on 12/11/2012

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Has she been evaluated for dyslexia even though she might be able to read, dyslexia exist on many levels, please check out Susan Barton, or other dyslexia programs and test.

Crystal - posted on 01/19/2011

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They by law have to give you one with in 30 days of a writen request. I would demand one and if they rty telling you no again let them know you are getting a lawyer

Karen22xox - posted on 11/08/2010

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hi my son is 2 and 5 mths and i think he has adhd what are the signs and how can i tell for sure if he does have it

Rabecca - posted on 11/04/2010

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Having the same issues but my son is above average in grades hes in te 4th grade okay so because hes doing well grade wise means he doesn have a disablity that is effecting his stress and his school day he has behavioral issues and can be or at the very least sound very disrespectful to teachers and staff leading to lots or refferals this makes him feel very defeated and he has very low self asteem hes such a cute loving kid but has such a hard time showing anyone but his family his true colors to the school hes just a trouble maker and that breaks my heart because he wants so badly to do well and make people like him . he also has no friends and has trouble making friends or he doent keep them very long because they may hurt his feeling and then they are dead to him its rough and I am kind of at a place too of what to do next

Andrea - posted on 06/07/2010

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My daughter was diagnosed with ADD 4 years ago. She is now 12. I went down a different route. No additivies, colourants, preservatives and artificial anything. I also sorted out Occupational Therapy for her and that worked wonders. I was informed by a paedeatrician (sp) that she would need medication and that as I refused she would see my daughter when she hits her teens. She is doing well and had Occupational Therapy for 2 years and it has made a huge amount of difference to her. Dont get me wrong if she needed medication I would have given it to her. She seems to have grown out of a lot of the ADD symptoms and is doing well at school. If your child is uncoordinated, feels a failure, no self esteem and no confidence maybe look at other forms of help.

Good luck

Jawaka - posted on 06/04/2010

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What you are looking for is a 504 plan, very similar to an IEP but it is specifically for children that have issues other than developmental delays. Contact your local school districts office of specialized services and find out the policies and who exactly you need to be contacting to get this done. There is a waiting period to getting this done, in PA it is within 60 school days. Make your request in writing. Even though her IQ test showed that she was below average doesn't necessarily mean that she is not within the normal range. I know that sounds odd, but her over all IQ score could be lowered because of she scored low in the normal range for most areas and then had a few very low areas but not areas that would be qualifiable for services.
Good luck

Barbara - posted on 02/14/2010

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Kelly - posted on 02/12/2010

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I went through the same thing with my son. His psychiatrist had to write a letter that confirmed the diagnosis of ADHD and post traumatic stress disorder, RAD - which is "reactive attachment disorder" - because I had a letter with an official diagnosis that accompanied my appeal they reversed it and approved my son - not for an IEP, but for a 504 plan which is one step below the IEP. It basically says that he needs extra help in completing his tasks but he is capable of learning. Do you have a letter of diagnosis from the psychiatrist or just a verbal? Might make a difference. Wth the economy the way it is perhaps the funds are forcing schools to be a little more stringent in who they approve. My other comment is that her teacher sounds like she needs a new job - I would want to transfer her out of there ASAP. She sounds like one of those teachers who only wants to do the bare minimum of whats required of her and doesn't really care about her students success. Good luck!

Doretha - posted on 02/06/2010

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This sis one of those things that us as parents have to persist on. My sosn suffers from Epilepsy and i am still having difficulties with his IEP. He also has ADHD and i am too having a great deal of trouble i am no expert but this sounds like someone has dropped the ball on many levels and unfortunantely this child has suffered far to great a loss a EDUCATION. take care and continue the fight she will be just fine. P.S music seems to be a great outlet. I hope this helps

Carolyn - posted on 02/05/2010

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if you make a request the school HAS to hold a meeting and sit down with you. They are not legally able to just say no without doing some sort of testing. Since you all ready have a doctor saying that your child is ADD then the school has to look into that. My daughter was tested in the first grade and diagnosed with ADHD. She does have an IEP under other health impairment (OHI). She is now in the 7th grade and still has her IEP but she does not require as much help. I would definitely appeal and get a parent advocate. See if the school will give you a copy of the parent rights and read them. It tells you what you as a parent are allowed to do to back your child up and get the necessary help for your child.

Jamie - posted on 02/04/2010

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Don't ever take no for an answer from the school! Period!!! they are there to serve our children and that they do a half ass job at. I am fighting the samethings you are right now and they keep blaming me because my third grader cannot read., My daughters have ad/hd and the one who was medicated early is doing better then the one who went 1 1/2 years wothout meds. keep fighting them and good luck!

Deena - posted on 01/11/2010

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Angie - keep fighting. However, if her IQ is below average and she is achieving then the gap between what she can do and what she is doing might not be enough to qualify her. Ask for a her IEP under that catagory of Health Impared. THat might get you farther. Have you talked to the special ed director? I agree with Stacy if she doesn't qualify for IEP she will qualify for a 504. Hang in there, get informed and stay positive.

[deleted account]

What state are you in? In California, a teacher CAN NOT deny you the right to have your child tested. You MUST put your request in writing that you want your child tested academically, psychologically and with the occupational therapist. Turn your written request into the Principal and copy the School District. The school has 45 days to get the testing done and then review the results with you. The teacher HAS NO rights to deny anything, other than he\she truly doesnt want to be bothered. The teacher never has the final say. I agree with others, get yourself a Parent Advocate, someone who is either a teacher, a Special Education specialist or even another parent who has lots of experience with this type of thing.

You need contact the Dept of Education for your state and ask them for the Special Education Handbook for parental rights.

Just remember this: you are your childs best defense and never accept the answer no, especially from a teacher. I personally cant stand the teachers that think they can call all the shots and have all this power. I respect teachers, however there are some that are over the top. As the parent, going forward you participate in what teachers your child gets. My son has been on an IEP since 3rd grade, he is now a Junior In HS. And all through elementary, middle school and even in high school I pick the teachers he will have the following yr or I give a list of my 3 favorite choices. If he ends up with anyone other than I have approved, he gets switched. In fact, we had this problem at the beginning of this yr. He was not given the English teacher or US History I approved and I was in the office on the 1st day of school getting his schedule changed on DEMAND!!

FYI: You must arm yourself with knowledge, remember the verbiage, knowledge is power, well in dealing with these schools and people thinking they are better than you, you must be as knowledgeable as they are, if not more. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and gracefully never accept no. As another mom said, squeaky wheel gets the oil! There are teachers at my kids school that don't want to cross me or go up against me because they know I will call them out, especially when they are wrong. I have turned in many teachers and principles over the years and I did it because they weren't doing their job and they were interfering with my son's education. The HS principle got a wake up call last yr when he tried to strong arm me and say I have no power and he and the teachers can override any decision I make on behalf of my son. I filed a complaint with the Director of Special Education Dept for the school district and another IEP meeting was held with out that principle present.

Good Luck...submit everything in writing so you have a paper trail and bypass that SOB of a teacher.

[deleted account]

The No CHild Left Behind Act makes it so that you have all the rights Stacy listed below. Ask to speak to the school's psychologist and set up a 504 meeting. Once the meetings are set up, they can no longer ignore the fact that she needs help. It is against the law to ignore these learning disabilities. I also would investigate Sylvan in your area. They do wonders when it comes to children with learning disabilities. They will help her to learn how to set her brain to study form and help her to figure out where her shortcomings fall.

Tiffany - posted on 01/04/2010

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My daughter was given an IEP at the end of second grade. It took from Kindergarten till then just to get that far! She is now in 7th grade and I was told by a friend (one I meet like a year or so ago) to get a parent advocate. I have and my advocate had so much info for me and also helped write a letter to the school district and I am finally getting results!!!! ( I got the IEP but in 7th grade she still couldn't read. that's why i got an advocate.) Call your local Mental Health office and ask for information on a Parent Advocate, it will help so much. They know alot and can help get you things you didn't even know about.

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2009

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I have a daughter in 9th grade with ADD, She has a 504 plan. Our school district usually answers all of our requests but I have learned to put everything in writing.  I would also reccomend getting a Parent Advocate to help you along.  They are very knowledgeable and will guide you in the right direction.  Also request and impartial hearing for I am told the school districts do not like this and then will give you the services your daughter is rightly entitled to. 

Tena - posted on 01/22/2009

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Quoting Angie:

Denied an IEP

my 7 year old daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and mood disorders. She is in 2nd grade and bringing home D's and F's. I requested an IEP and the school denied it. The teacher said that she is just average and I need to deal with it. That she will never do better than that and she just rushes through her work, so that's why she gets the grades that she gets. She cries hysterically every night because she says she is stupid. I work with her for hours trying to get her to comprehend her work. Her psychiatrist is LIVID that they denied the IEP so we are in the appeal process right now. She just got the results back from the IQ test that her psychiatrist ordered and it showed below average. I dont want her to start her education career being behind but if she gets held back, it will devistate her...what else can i do?


 

Stacy - posted on 01/21/2009

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At the very least she should qualify for a 504 plan with modifications to meet her learning needs - all you need for this is a dr.s diagnosis of ADHD and she meets the "other health impaired category".  They may have you do some behavioral assessements and do a classroom observation of her as well.  This would give her services in the Behavior Disorder program.  They may not want to accept testing done by people outside the school system - but then they have to test her.  However, it will often take 9-12 months for them to get to her and then interpret the results.    Least of all, you have rights.  If your teacher won't cooperate, go to the principal, then the county special ed. director,then the superintendant of schools, then the state offce.  If you can do an online search and know your rights going in you may get farther.  I believe in our state that they have like 10-14 days to have a meeting about the 504 plan once you present the diagnosis and make the request.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease - not because they don't care, but because there are more needs than resources, but that s there job to figure out.  It's our job as parents to see that our kids get what they need.  Let me know if I can help and use your doctor if you can.  The professional community really respects and MD behind your name. 

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