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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD has her IEP tomorrow so that she can start Sp Ed preschool in January. I will have an advocate there, but she wasn't able to give me much information about what to exoect (this disappointed me).<br>
I know that it is "the plan" what services Lianne will be getting and what the goals are.<br>
But beyond that I am clueless!<br>
I haven't even seen copies (after multiple requests) of her evaluations that qualified her for sp ed preschool!<br>
I wanted her to get therapy, but knowing DD, am not excited for her to have to go to preschool to get them.<br>
The school counselor is acting like it is my problem not wanting to let her go.<br>
She practically disappears when there are other kids around.<br>
Is it in my rights to demand to be there for some transition time and to make sure she isn't getting ignored?<br><br>
Will they already have everything set up and will just be telling me what it going on and not be open to my input?<br><br>
I am at a loss going into a new situation.<br>
Wishing she was still under three and we could go back to the old therapy place <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Nina
 

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Since the specifics of IEPs differ from school district to school district, I'm not sure I can help you much (I'm in Colorado). Here, we typically go over the evaluation and look at strengths before we get into the areas needing support and the goals. Initial IEPs (all three of my kids are in special ed) last longer than subsequent ones, usually at least 2 hours.<br><br>
I did want to make certain you know about <a href="http://www.wrightslaw.com" target="_blank">www.wrightslaw.com</a>. It has lots of good articles about IEP meetings, parental rights and more. What kind of advocate do you have -- another parent, someone from the district, or a professional? The reason I ask is that I am surprised that she couldn't give you information. I have an advocate from the ARC, and part of what she does is let me know what to expect (I go over my concerns and she lets me know the most likely response and how to deal with it -- she also lets me know when my expectations are not as reasonable as they should be). She knows special ed law backwards and forwards, and she is familiar with differences between school districts.<br><br>
Keep in mind that the IEP meeting is not necessarily a one-time deal. You can request another meeting -- and another and another and another until you are comfortable with what they are offering. You can also write addendums to be attached to the IEP if you are not satisfied (doesn't help your child, but it does become part of the legal document -- a good thing in case you ever have to go to court). In addition, you can request meetings that are not for the IEP. My advocate and I are meeting with my son's special ed team every 6 weeks just to track progress. One thing that my advocate advised at our first IEP meeting was to set a date for another meeting in a month's time just to see how things are progressing. If you leave that meeting without setting a date for the next one, things can drag on too long as everyone endlessly tries to coordinate schedules.<br><br>
Hope this helps a little. Good luck!<br><br>
Tara
 

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In my opinion, you are THE most important team member on the IEP team because you are the one that knows your child! They need to respect that. Ask your advocate to help you specifically make your wishes heard and known. I agree also that the first IEP meeting can be just a starting point. If you need more time to read the evaluations so you can digest them, have them go over it, but then schedule another meeting in a week or so, so you have time to read over them slowly and note your questions. It bugs me that schools make parents feel this way!!
 

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I want to say first that them not giving you a copy of her evqals before hand is a big no-no. This is a legal right, and you can get them in big trouble for doing that. Speak to your advocate about the legal steps that woudl go along with these types of thins in case they happen again.<br>
The IEP is a meeting to discuss and make an Individual Educational Plan. You have just as much input in this plan as any expert/teacher/administrator, etc. They cannot change your daughter's placement without your consent, and if there is anything about the plan that you don't agree with you can specify that. There is a flow to IEP meetings. What happens here (in some places the order is a little different) is firstly they will talk about her present levels of performance- this is where the eval results will be read. Make sure you get copies of them at the meeting. You may also want to write something up that just tells the kinds of things that she is doing at home. Then you will talk about her needs, and write goals for each area. You may also want to bring a list of areas that you think she needs to work on, or sample goals. Make sure the goals in her IEP are measurable. Then you will talk about what services will be necessary to meet those goals. Remember that the goals drive what services she gets. If she has problems socially- write some goals for that. If transitions are very difficult for her, maybe she would need a one on one aid for the first few weeks to fascilitate the transition. After the service plan is agreed upon, you can add any notes to her file that you think is important. Everyone will sign the IEP- but you DO NOT have to sign at the meeting. Take it home if you want- to look it over or discuss it with the rest of the family or what have you. I also recommend tape recording the meeting to have for your records.<br>
Here is a good link:<br><a href="http://www.pacer.org/parent/iep.htm" target="_blank">http://www.pacer.org/parent/iep.htm</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thoesly</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">. What kind of advocate do you have -- another parent, someone from the district, or a professional?<br>
Tara</div>
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She is actually from the Early Head Start program and will be there to help make sure that I get listened to (that is waht she said at least) The biggest thing she could tell me was to remember that I am the one who knows my child the best and not to let anyone convince me otherwise. That and I have the right to refuse services.. but I also have the right TO services.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>khrisday</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Take it home if you want- to look it over or discuss it with the rest of the family or what have you. I also recommend tape recording the meeting to have for your records.</div>
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Thanks for that advice. I will take my mini tape recorder (I was wondering why I pulled it out of a box in the basement on Sunday!) Do I need to ask and get their permission before I tape, or just tell them I am going to tape?<br>
I will also take it home to get my DH to look over before I sign it. He will be in school and so won't be there. Perfect excuse to take it home <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Thanks everyone for the advice and the links <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Hope this goes well.<br><br><br>
Nina
 

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definitely tape record! and don't be afraid to say, "you know, this is the first time I've seen my daughter's records/evals/etc and I think I need time to think this over and visit ALL available programs available so I can know what options are out there so we need to reschedule the IEP." Good luck!
 

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Other's have given you good and generally correct advice, but I wanted to comment quickly on the tape recording. I think it's fine to record, and I might make that choice to do so as well, but legally you have to give the district at least 24 hours notice if you plan to tape--it might even be 48, I can't remember off the top of my head. If you tape, the district will likely make it's own tape as well because they'll also want to protect themselves from you, kwim? This is why you need to give them advance notice, so that they are ready. Again, I think it's fine to tape, and even to walk in with a tape recorder, but be prepared to have the meeting postponed if you haven't given them advance notice. They might step right up to the plate and pull out a recorder, but in my personal experience, when a parent says s/he is taping an IEP, our director immediately consults with our lawyer, just in case.<br><br>
In terms of facilitating transition, I'm assuming you want to be the person facilitating? I cannot imagine not doing this as a parent and I'd always be suspect of any teacher or district that hemmed about having you in the classroom. Heck, I spend every Friday morning in my typical kindergarten child's classroom, mostly so I can keep an eye on the teacher! (but I'm discreet about that goal! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
I think it's weird that they haven't really responded to your request to see the reports prior to the IEP meeting, but in legalese there really isn't a requirement other than that the reports be given in to the parent in a language the parent understands and before the meeting. Some people take "before" to mean, immediately before. But it's always in the best interests of everyone involved to give a report to a parent when the parent requests it prior to the meeting.<br><br>
Again, weird that you aren't sure why your dd qualifies for services or which ones...is it speech only? Is it a full preschool program? Good luck! It's intimidating, that's for sure! I would freak out in an IEP. I barely handle my ds in general ed kindy, I'm always so anxious for his well being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LiamnEmma</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In terms of facilitating transition, I'm assuming you want to be the person facilitating? I cannot imagine not doing this as a parent and I'd always be suspect of any teacher or district that hemmed about having you in the classroom. Heck, I spend every Friday morning in my typical kindergarten child's classroom, mostly so I can keep an eye on the teacher! (but I'm discreet about that goal! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)</div>
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YES! I (or DH) want/need to be the person facilitating her transition. I am going in there and if they say no I will refuse services through this school district and move in with my mom in a different school district and/or see if I can find private therapy that will convince my insurance to pay for it (fat chance!)<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LiamnEmma</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Again, weird that you aren't sure why your dd qualifies for services or which ones...is it speech only? Is it a full preschool program? Good luck! It's intimidating, that's for sure! I would freak out in an IEP. I barely handle my ds in general ed kindy, I'm always so anxious for his well being.</div>
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I know I will freak out afterwards! What I am afraid of is just sitting there nodding my head and then later kicking myself for not standing up for Lianne like I know I need to!<br>
I know why THEY say DD qualifies! After her evaluation they told me that she qualified in all 5 areas!<br>
I think some of it is a bunch of bunk.. but I know she needs PT for sure. She was born 2 months early and is still trying to catch up. The way they held the evaluation really was detrimental for her. She did not do most of what she can do. I was crying when we left becuase I knew they did not have an accurate picture of my child!<br><br>
My mini tape recorder doesn't work any more <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I tried changing the batteries...still no luck. So I am just going to have to wing it!<br>
Thanks for all the advice!
 

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I am not aware of any law that says you need to give advance notice before taping (although I think it's a good idea)- can you site a specific law? Sometimes districts will say "it's our policy" etc just because- ask to see a copy of their policy book with accompanying citation and law. This will usually make them back down.
 

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My advise is to go buy the book "The Complete IEP Guide," it has a lot of information in it.<br><br>
When we had the first IEP meeting for our daughter last year my ex went alone because I was sick. Half of the team, including the principal and the most important team member on their side, did not show up. They handed my husband a rough draft and wanted him to sign or go home and then sign. I was pissed. It wasn't what I wanted and what she needed at all so I wrote them a letter saying something about them not showing up, etc. Well, they gave us another appointment to discuss what should be in the IEP and everyone showed up this time. I also got everything that I wanted added to the IEP.<br><br>
Know your rights before you go in there and you should be OK. Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AnnMarie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My advise is to go buy the book "The Complete IEP Guide," it has a lot of information in it.<br><br>
I also got everything that I wanted added to the IEP.<br><br>
Know your rights before you go in there and you should be OK. Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s</div>
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<br>
I guess that is part of the problem. I am not really sure of all of our options and so don't know exactly what should or shouldn't be in there. I am sure that if there is a goal that instinctively doesn't make sense for her than I need to question it, but what about advocating for goals/services that she needs that I am unaware of? I am afraid of walking out of there still unaware of what is offered and what we can use to help her!<br>
This is so different from my son's school that is very up front and clear about every thing that is offered and a family coordinator contacting me at least once a week to make sure that everyone knows the plan and everyone is happy with it!<br><br>
In my mind she need gross motor skill help and some articulation and listening help. They said at the evaluation that her trunk and shoulder muscles are weak and I would like to know why and how they came up with the shoulder part and why they think it is going to affect her learning.<br><br><br>
I need to go. DS is crying and if it continues he will pull out his feeding tube extension! Formula lake <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Oh!<br>
I don't have a baby sitter for him because of his special feeding needs... is it okay to take him?<br>
I have one person I can call that might be able to watch him.<br><br><br>
Thanks
 

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That's why the book I mentioned is great. It gives you a lot of information. Well worth the buy. You will feel a lot more secure going in after you've read the book. It even gives you example letters if you need to write to them for anything. I think it will help ease your mind.<br><br>
About the goals comment........has she been tested for anything? If you feel she needs further testing to tell you exactly what help she needs for whatever they might have already found wrong during testing, don't be afraid to ask for it. It's your right as a parent.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 

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Well, everyone here has beat me to most suggestions. What I would suggest is to write up your own report of what areas of need you see in her, and how she performs at home on areas where she did badly during this testing. This is not at all uncommon - strange tester, unfamiliar setting, unfamiliar language, no help or suggestions, etc. One of the goals may be to help her to do the things she can do at home, at school. This is one of my student's current goals.<br><br>
The IEP isn't final, even once it's signed and in progress - if you figure out a month from now that you really think Service A or B would be really helpful to her, you can request another IEP meeting to discuss adding or implementing it, etc. You can always change or add to the IEP once it's being used on a daily basis. You can also specify during the writing of the IEP, times during the year at which the team will meet to discuss progress and any needed changes, such as every 3 months.<br><br>
Bring a notepad with your notes and take notes on what other people say. Then take a copy of the IEP home with you - process it in your head, talk to your SO or other people about it, talk to your advocate, do some research online if you want, and then sign it or call another meeting before signing it. It's your right.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I am not aware of any law that says you need to give advance notice before taping (although I think it's a good idea)- can you site a specific law? Sometimes districts will say "it's our policy" etc just because- ask to see a copy of their policy book with accompanying citation and law. This will usually make them back down.</td>
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Sure. Here is a link...<br><br><a href="http://eit.otan.dni.us/speced/laws_search/searchDetailsLaws.cfm?id=793&keywords=56341" target="_blank">http://eit.otan.dni.us/speced/laws_s...keywords=56341</a><br><br>
and here is the specific passage;<br><br>
(f) (1) Notwithstanding Section 632 of the Penal Code, the parent or guardian, district, special education local plan area, or county office shall have the right to record electronically the proceedings of individualized education program team meetings on an audiotape recorder. The parent or guardian, district, special education local plan area, or county office shall notify the members of the individualized education program team of their intent to record a meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. If the district, special education local plan area, or county office initiates the notice of intent to audiotape record a meeting and the parent or guardian objects or refuses to attend the meeting because it will be tape recorded, then the meeting shall not be recorded on an audiotape recorder.
 

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Yes, you should give at least 48 hours on the taping. Even if you recorder doesn't work- does it LOOK like it's working? If so, I'd still bring it. I just have had expereinces where the school has said one thing with the tape on and a totally different thign when I didn't tape. They were definitely nicer with the tape on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the advice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I did refuse to sign it there and brought it home with me. I told them that since this was the first time I was seeing all this it was too much for me to completely understand in such a short period of time. They were fine with that... although they stressed that she cannot start preschool until it was signed.<br><br>
They did change some of the goals that I requested. I think that some of their expectations are pretty high for a three year old and with 5 areas there is a lot of work to do.<br><br>
I did like the SLP... she was not the SLP who did the eval and so did not use the eval results for creating her goals. In fact she pretty much dismissed the results of the eval. Instead she used what I had reported. She did say that as Lianne becomes more comfortable with her and shows her what she can really do we will be reevaluating the goals. She is pregnant though and due about the same time I am and so we will work to develop a relationship with her and then she will go on leave <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> (Sad for us.. good for her!)<br><br>
I was really surprised at the eval results! Actually reading them paints a kind of grim picture. Even ignoring the speech/ language part (that eval tested her at 1 year 11 months!) she still has some significant delays. She will be tested later for communication disorders.<br>
I don't know what else to ask, or what to do.<br><br>
It was kind of funny, when I refused the bus they told me that it was perfectly safe and I could follow her on the bus if I wanted.<br>
If I am going to drive there she might as well be in the car with me!<br>
I am not going to let my 3 year old who doesn't communicate very well on the bus!<br><br>
Lianne loved the classroom. I did warn them that she will be different about exploring when there are other kids there. They wanted to hear that... but didn't write it down. I will need to remind them that her personality changes around other kids.<br><br>
I hope this really is the best thing for her! But trying it out is the only way I am going to know.<br><br>
Thanks<br><br>
Nina
 
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