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legal question about IEP/meeting

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

The company that the school district contracts to for special education services and I do not always get along. :eyesroll We live in a very rural area in the middle of nowhere and they have an opinion most of the time that it is their way or the highway. 

DS1 has an IEP and attends a local, private PK. The school districts pay a small amount towards his monthly bill and provides two hours a week of services for him. He was out of school for the last two weeks for therapy/medical reasons. I purposely waited until the last minute to tell the company about his absence and declined to tell them why were gone. I have discovered that the less they know the better. They routinely use information I have given to them against me. 


I just found out that they called a meeting with his teacher will we were gone to discuss him. I was never notified about this meeting. The teacher only mentioned a few key points about the meeting because she told me at school pick up today. It seemed to mostly be about transitioning him to K next year which they did make the point made to the teacher that I would have no say in which school he would placed in and that would be a decision for his team to make. Hmmm, really? 


I'm more curious if they are legally required to notice parents before having a meeting discussing him. This would not be the first time they have gone behind my back, the other way was certainly illegal and in hindsight, I should of pursued it. 

post #2 of 8
Yes, the team will make that decision. Unfortunately for them, you are a legal member of that team, and your opinion is legally as important as theirs. They are legally obligated to include you in any iep and transition meetings. It sounds like you need to get an advocate.
post #3 of 8

I hope you can find an advocate! I have been through hostile iep meetings, and they are no fun for the parent. :( Of course a parent has a right to have input as to where her/his child will go to school!

post #4 of 8
Hmm, everything sounded fine until I read the part about you having no say about you child's next placement. Therapists/specialists meeting with teachers without parent notification is pretty routine. When I was a Pre-K/Head Start teacher, I often had informal meeting about kids receiving outside services. But any decision making, and formal meetings, require parental input and parents are equal members of the IEP team.
post #5 of 8

I live in a decent sized city in a district with several options for various special needs, and while the parents *usually* must agree to a placement, the reality is that depending on the level of the child's needs, they don't have much choice. Others review the child's needs and decide based on those what is the best option. Its mostly decided based on what services the child needs and the least restrictive,closest school that can provide those services. (for kids past K, it can also be based on behavior if the child has shown they need a more controlled environment to be successful). 


Parents are then presented with the information and usually agree. Sometimes they want a chance to view the new school, meet the teacher, etc. There have been parents of new K who were VERY unhappy at being told their child would be in self contained special needs room, but once they actually saw it and meet the teacher they were fine. The found out it is pretty much a regular room, just with few kids and more adults. :wink


The only time a parent is overridden is if their child's behavior is such that they need a more controlled environment to be successful, and the parent refuses. Then we can hold the child to the same standards of behavior as gen ed kids, and suspend them for behaviors that gen ed kids would be suspended for. After 10 days of suspension, they can be placed in a different situation without parents approval. Normally, we don't suspend special needs kids. We really don't think it doesn't anything to help them. I've never seen the happen, though I did see a parent threatened with it. She then agreed to the (needed) change in placement.


We discuss kids among the school staff/therapist frequently without inviting parents. Parents are invited to ALL major meetings, but not all chats. Parents who don't speak English are provided with an interpreter as well.


Do you have a preference about what school he goes to? Have they said which school they feel would be the best fit and why?

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

At this point, I am highly considering holding him out of K for a year. The public school disagrees with me. He turns 5 late April. We live in a state with a Sept 1st cut off. Parents of boys with birthdays from June on almost always hold out a year locally. He is currently in a school with a "true" PK class, almost everyone in there is 5 already, especially all the boys. He could just repeat and stay with his current teacher who is very good with him. DS1 functions and tests a year behind his actual age so in my mind, a year to mature would be wise. If you think of him as 3.5 rather then 4.5, he is much more age appropriate. We also are missing a lot of school due to having to travel across state for intensive feeding therapy therapy. We've already missed 3.5 weeks of school since the middle of August and have another two week therapy trip in November plus neurology appointments in Dec (we have to travel 14 hours for every appointment)... Who knows what next year will bring. 



I should say that because of our rural region, children under K age, even special needs like DS1, usually attend private schools for PK because public PK options are very limited. They send therapists around to the various schools to service the children that have IEPs. DS1 is at a private school that has been amazing to accommodate his needs. Attending there beyond PK is probably not going to happen because of his SNs and that is fine. My other children are at this school but that is secondary and we are new to this school as of this year anyway. 



The team has not communicated anything to me about what schooling for him looks like beyond this current year. I have never heard of a child getting an aide. It just doesn't happen. Generally either SN children are mainstreamed with pull out services only or shuttled to the only school for 60+ miles that has a contained classroom, there is no in-between. His IEP is only written for a speech delay with unknown developmental delays. Really he has PDD-NOS but they don't recognize it. We have a dx of dyspraxia but CP still hasn't not been fully ruled out so there is that possibility. Our routed elem school is just a mile away but our experience was very lackluster with DD1 who has dyslexia and an anxiety disorder there. We lasted 3 months before pulling her out after the school told me if I wanted any additional service or help, to go someplace else because they weren't going to do it. 

post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

 He could just repeat and stay with his current teacher who is very good with him...... Our routed elem school is just a mile away but our experience was very lackluster with DD1 who has dyslexia and an anxiety disorder there. We lasted 3 months before pulling her out after the school told me if I wanted any additional service or help, to go someplace else because they weren't going to do it. 


I can see why you want to keep him where he is for next year, and I think these are the key reasons why it might be a good idea. Where he is works for him for now, and your zoned school is not an enticing option for your family at this point.


In general, special education students are not redshirteded or held back because overall, it is felt that it isn't helpful to them. However, since your son officially is only speech delayed, it might make it possible for you to hold him back, far easier than if he had an official dx of PDD-NOS. Perhaps another poster could shed light on that.


The absences are unfortunate, yet unavoidable. Do you let the school know ahead of time? It is frustrating for us (I work in a self contained class room) when we have a child not come to school on a day when we have therapist coming in to work with them. I also suggest keeping records of absences and documentation of services he is receiving while absent from school.  It might help cover your a$$ in case they ever bring it up in regards to services from school.


If it doesn't already have one, I would request a "communication folder" for him. We just use a spiral notebook and write the child's name of the front. Every day we make notes about what happened that day -- any therapies they had, what we are working on in class, how behavior was, etc, and then we send it home with the child. The parent can write notes back, or not, and then they send it back with the child. This works well for our kids with limited speech skills to communicate with the parents about what is happening at school. It also keeps a running, dated log of what is happening.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much Linda!


The school knows about the absences, I tell them far in advance. There is lag between me telling the school and the school notifying the therapists. Normally I would assist and speed that up, but I'm not. For our last two week absence, the therapists were given 6 day notice from the school. The school knew about the absences 4 weeks before that. 


I can't say enough good things about his PK teacher. She has been a PK teacher for 25 years, really loves her work and students, "gets" children. She is not afraid to tackle a new challenge and learn new skills to help with SN. She also genuinely loves DS1 and frequently thanks me for bringing him to her, she considers him an asset to her classroom.  Another year with her would be a blessing IMO.

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