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Giftedness and IEPs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I don't know if our state does GIEPs, but regardless, DD has a regular IEP for her special needs, which include ADHD and SPD and social delays.  But a couple years ago, a friendly preschool person helpfully added a line into her IEP that states that she could be "provided with opportunies to do work at her ability level (ie, gifted-level work)."  Nobody's really done much to actually fulfill this, but it's in there, and I want it to stay.  However, when the sped teacher finally sent the new IEP tonight for me to look over before the IEP meeting tomorrow, that line was missing.  I had to dig around to find last year's IEP but it was definitely in there last year, and I don't want it removed, because this is totally the only leverage I have right now since the principal is totally unsupportive. 

 

Does anyone know what would happen if I refused to sign the IEP without that line? I could email the sped teacher before our meeting (but it's at 7:30am tomorrow so who knows if she'd get my email) and ask that it be returned to the IEP, but likely this won't be addressed until I'm sitting in a room full of people who will be thinking what a PITA I am harping on this gifted stuff when my kid still can't sit down and shut up in class (and stop acting like a cat at school, sigh).  My husband is no use in arguing with the school, he's more easily intimidated than me, so it's me vs. the panel of school officials in the early a.m. 

 

What would you do? Help?

post #2 of 6

The special ed sent you a draft of the IEP.  Not the final version.  You are to have a meeting where the team, including the parents, go through the document line-by-line.  It is to be a consensus document.  You suggest what you see is missing.  The school may ask for a different wording, and then you go from there.

 

Be sure to include in the discussion that kids with ADHD do significantly better when engaged with the material at their level.

 

An even stronger document would be to include her academic levels in the present levels of performance, and then to have the accommodations more specific, directly connected to the present levels.  That is, if she's currently reading above grade level, then have the accommodations include things like access to higher level books and clustered reading instruction with children at X level.
 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

The special ed sent you a draft of the IEP.  Not the final version.  You are to have a meeting where the team, including the parents, go through the document line-by-line.  It is to be a consensus document.  You suggest what you see is missing.  The school may ask for a different wording, and then you go from there.

 

Be sure to include in the discussion that kids with ADHD do significantly better when engaged with the material at their level.

 

An even stronger document would be to include her academic levels in the present levels of performance, and then to have the accommodations more specific, directly connected to the present levels.  That is, if she's currently reading above grade level, then have the accommodations include things like access to higher level books and clustered reading instruction with children at X level.
 

 

Thanks, Geofizz!

 

I have actually brought up the ADHD and materials at her level things on multiple prior occasions and it has fallen entirely on deaf ears.  I have brought books, articles, and reports form her outside therapists all pounding on the same point, but to no avail.  Her OT flat-out wrote that DD shows more improvement in OT when she is given challenging mental work to do at the same time she engages in a physical activity.  So far the most accommodation we've gotten this year is that DD gets spelling words like "necessary" and "independent" while everyone else is spelling "cough" or "tough."  A couple weeks ago she came home with a sheet stapled to math that stated she'd passed the unit preassessment and would be given alternate work, but she keeps bringing home more "adding doubles" worksheets, all with "4"s on them, so I don't see how that's working out. 

 

No one has bothered to test her current levels of academic performance at school.  I tested her reading comprehension and fluency in June for my teaching program and determined that her independent reading level is around 8th grade.  But given the reading material she carries around and the words that come out of her mouth, this really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  She's exactly the kind of kid who causes random strangers in the grocery store to tell me how smart she is.

 

Needless to say, the school principal thinks she knows a whole lot about gifted kids.  She told me so when I met with her in May. censored.gif

 

The only good thing about our school is that since we're in a very white collar, high SES area, it's generally a high-achieving school district.  But on the downside, I think they're pretty jaded about parents who think their kids are little geniuses, and I KNOW there are lots of parents who send their kids to every hothousing program they can squeeze in.  On the third hand, I think it ought to be pretty clear to everyone that nobody at our house is staying up drilling our kid in math until 10pm. 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

Needless to say, the school principal thinks she knows a whole lot about gifted kids.  She told me so when I met with her in May. censored.gif

 

The only good thing about our school is that since we're in a very white collar, high SES area, it's generally a high-achieving school district.  But on the downside, I think they're pretty jaded about parents who think their kids are little geniuses, and I KNOW there are lots of parents who send their kids to every hothousing program they can squeeze in.  On the third hand, I think it ought to be pretty clear to everyone that nobody at our house is staying up drilling our kid in math until 10pm. 

I just don't GET that. Why do education professionals (or people who call themselves that) so often have this need to believe that it must be the perent hothousing the child despite  being able to SEE in class how the child learns by herself? Even as a teeager, I used to have remarks in my report card how ambitious i was and how hard I must work at home - obviously, since no one could observe me working hard in class (or, as often as not, even participating) and all this achievement must be intentionally produced somehow, right? Is it too much of a cognitive dissonance to accept that for some kids, the teaching they have worked hard at is superfluous? Get over it! I was so impressed by DS1's teacher who simply asked him how he knew all this stuff - and when he explained to her how he sought out his learning by himself, she simply believed him, just like that!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

I just don't GET that. Why do education professionals (or people who call themselves that) so often have this need to believe that it must be the perent hothousing the child despite  being able to SEE in class how the child learns by herself? Even as a teeager, I used to have remarks in my report card how ambitious i was and how hard I must work at home - obviously, since no one could observe me working hard in class (or, as often as not, even participating) and all this achievement must be intentionally produced somehow, right? Is it too much of a cognitive dissonance to accept that for some kids, the teaching they have worked hard at is superfluous? Get over it! I was so impressed by DS1's teacher who simply asked him how he knew all this stuff - and when he explained to her how he sought out his learning by himself, she simply believed him, just like that!

 

 

Oh, but I believe there ARE a lot of hothoused kids around here.  I spent the last 3 months student-teaching a gifted class in another district, and I'm telling you, some of those kids were SO hothoused.  They were really intelligent, too, but some parents did nothing BUT push their kids, all the time... classes, flashcards, more classes, tutors... there was a really big divide between the pushy hothouse parents and the laid-back ones. My mentor teacher had told me she stopped letting parents volunteer in the classroom after catching some of them snooping in the files, but I didn't believe how nutty some of those parents were until the school year got underway.  I felt so bad for some of our kids, who clearly never just got time to play.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

 

Oh, but I believe there ARE a lot of hothoused kids around here.  I spent the last 3 months student-teaching a gifted class in another district, and I'm telling you, some of those kids were SO hothoused.  They were really intelligent, too, but some parents did nothing BUT push their kids, all the time... classes, flashcards, more classes, tutors... there was a really big divide between the pushy hothouse parents and the laid-back ones. My mentor teacher had told me she stopped letting parents volunteer in the classroom after catching some of them snooping in the files, but I didn't believe how nutty some of those parents were until the school year got underway.  I felt so bad for some of our kids, who clearly never just got time to play.

 

I agree, we see a lot of it too, even in the teen years. I'm shocked by how many bright and capable kids are being tutored privately.. not because they are struggling but because they want straight "A's" in accelerated classes. We know many high-achievers who are so because they have a team of people behind them pushing them along. Sure, some kids will rebel but many others want their parents and adults in their lives to be proud of them and so try to keep the pace up. Many teens in our more affluent areas have privately paid college advisers starting freshman year of HS and they meet regularly to discuss grades, help them choose their classes and activities, ect. It's pretty crazy and a wide enough practice that I really do understand why schools are skeptical throughout. 

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