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Help, new to this..IEPs?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry this will be so long mamas but I really need some help! Here is a brief back ground..
My oldest son (5.5) was diagnosed ADHD just over a year ago, through a psychologist. My husband is ADD and so we recognized the signs pretty early. He is now on strattera with some success. Prior to his dx we had him tested for speech through the school for EI, they said all of his articulation problems were age appropriate and that we had to wait and retest him in kindergarten. We also had him evaluated for motor delays for EI..same thing, typical. So now, fast forward to kindergarten.

He started school in Sept and 3 days after starting the teacher told me he was "way behind" all of the other kids. She told me that he is "inattentive" and that his speech is "behind". She also told me his motor skills were "primitive" compared to the other kids. : At this point she hadn't even looked at his history and had no idea he was ADHD and that we had his speech tested previously. I told her and she pretty much blamed all of his "behinds" on not going to preschool. Yea we couldnt afford it and EI wouldn't provide it.
So she put in a request for evals. I went to the meeting with everyone and we agreed on a speech eval and also on OT eval because of the motor delays (I suspect sensory issues, and told them that). I gave them the records for his ADHD dx and signed consent for the evals. They have been evaluating him for the last week, here and there throughout class.

We had conferences on thursday and the teacher told us he is doing really well. He has caught up fast, learning all the things the other kids (who had preschool) already knew. She then went on to say that the problem now seems to be that he cannot get through tasks fast enough. She can only allow a certain amount of time to write their name (for example) and that he is taking too long. We need to work with him so he can follow the directions faster. Does she realize it has taken us YEARS to teach him to slow down and concentrate?:
She also told us that his social skills are not "normal" she said children misinterpret his social signs. This I can understand, like I said before, I suspect sensory issues and because of that he has a hard time keeping out of personal space. But, this is not the problem..apparently my son is too "nice" or something. She told me that sometimes he will bump into a kid (yes he is clumsy, sensory issues??) and the kid will get mad at him, so my son feels bad and he hugs the other child, says hes sorry. You see the other kid is right for getting upset and my son is wrong for being "sensitive". I am REALLY ticked off!! How in the world can an empathetic, sensitive child be "not normal"!!!
He has a few boys from his class that we play with a few times a week after school, he has a great time with them but sometimes hurt feelings happen. For example at the park 2 weeks ago, one boy wanted to "play kill" my son and my son told him he didnt like that. The other boy continued "stabbing and hitting" my son until my son finally pushed him away and ran over to me. The other boy said "Elijah pushed me!" all the while my son is getting tears telling me that "he wanted to kill me and I didnt like it". So other boys mom made him apologize (you know, that forced SORRY!), and my son didnt want to have anything to do with him anymore, he simply wanted to go home. The next day they were fine, but still situations like this affect my son.

Now, the school apparently recognizes this as an issue and wants to psych eval him, they sent home these packets I need to fill out asking all about my pregnany with questions like "Was this pregnancy planned"? They also want to know ALL about his home life, family medical history, etc. I am irritated to say the least. I cannot understand why a child who actually has feelings and compassion for other people is "damaged". : We are ready to pull him and try a new school, with a different method of learning (Montessori). We are also seriously considering homeschooling and private speech and OT, which is crazy because HS is something I always knew I never wanted to do (cause I dont feel confident in MY ability to teach him).

I need some direction mamas, opinions, I just dont know what to do. We meet for his IEP on Dec 7th. Should I fill out the forms and allow them to continue doing the evals? Should I just stop all evals and pull him out? Can I even DO that, or will they call that "neglect". We are really not comfortable with the process that is happening, however, its not something we are familiar with, is this all normal for to obtain and IEP? Thank you so much for you time and responses ladies.
post #2 of 7

I want to respond but I'm running out so can't until later! Hopefully others will respond w/ advice too. I'll be back
post #3 of 7
You have the right to stop the process at any time, even after the IEP is written. It might take more papers to be signed, but it can always be done. Remember that you are a member of a team, that your opinion matters equally. Maybe ask to be involved in the classroom observation piece of the evaluation? Or maybe go in for your own observation?

Getting the evals. wouldn't be a bad thing? I would think you would want those to be completed and the re-evaluate whether to take your son out of school based on what the school recommends?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes I think we will finish with the evals and then depending on the findings and what they suggest for the IEP we will make a decision. We really don't know what else we can do for our son, we work on lots of things at home (word recognition, writing the alphabet, drawing more) we feel he is doing fantastic, but the teacher disagrees.
post #5 of 7
They are not the only people who have input on the IEP. You also are allowed input. You do not have to sign the IEP if you do not agree with it. If you do not think you will be prepared for the next meeting ask that it be rescheduled. Ask, in writing, that all evaluation and assesment results be provided to you at least 1 week before the next ARC meeting so that you can review them and prepare any questions. Go over each assesment and make detailed notes on things that you do not agree with and why. Make a list of goals before meetings. Type it up so you will have it to look at and review as the meeting progresses. If there is anything specific you want to say write it down and take it with you. Bring a friend or family member along who will be supportive, can take notes, help mediate, etc. When you have an objection to something, make sure it is noted in the ARC meeting notes. Bring along any research you have compiled, with important information highlighted or underlined. Learn your rights under IDEA. Wrightslaw is a great place to start. You can also contact the WI Coalition for Advocacy for help. Good luck!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you Trishy, I will definitely send a letter requesting all of the results before the IEP.
post #7 of 7
You've gotten lots of good advice here.

I'd also add that since the teacher is bringing up all these issues, you might just want to sit back and say, Okay, what services/accomodations will you offer to provide him w/ an appropriate education? He's not doing tasks quickly enough? Then they accomodate by allowing more time for him. He seems to have issues with social skills and this is interfering with his education? Then they need to provide a social skills group and speech pragmatics. They don't have social skills groups? You could find one elsewhere and have them pay for it. YOU do not need to work with him to get him to follow directions more quickly! You're his mother, not his teacher or therapist.

It's hard to hear all this stuff about your child and it's easy to get defensive - but you should try to look at it a different way. It's really their responsibility to provide him with the services he needs to progress in school. THEY are the ones saying there are issues - this actually puts you in a good position! So many parents try to convince the school that their child needs more time, has fine motor issues, has social skills issues and the parents get ignored!

I'd go with all the evals - they are pretty painless for most kids - and definitely get the results before the IEP so you have time to review and get your questions ready. That is a big trick of SDs - they waste the entire IEP going over the reports and the parents don't have time to let anything sink in.

Ok - I'm rambling. Good Luck to you!!
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