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Thread: Questions on three year re-eval

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  1. #1
    anniemc2000 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Jan 2006

    Default Questions on three year re-eval

    Hello and thank you very much for being here. We are in MA. My daughter is in second grade and has had an IEP for a physical disability and an expressive language disorder since age 3. She has struggled this year and in February we were called in to meet the teacher who told us she was below grade level in math, writing and reading. At that time we called a team meeting, and met in early April with her team. We signed consents to begin her three year evaluation. The school psychologist went on planned maternity leave on May 21. Evals were not complete. IEP is only valid until June 7. Evals are still not done.

    Sped manager called yesterday with "good news", they have a psychologist who can do the evals. We google him. His educational psychologist license is listed as expired on the state professional licensing webpage. He assures us he is licensed to perform this testing. Then we notice his address- same one as the Sped manager. We email and ask him to verify he does not have a conflict of interest in this case- no response. We ask for a new evaluator. Principal agrees this morning, but now there is no way evals will be complete by the end of school June 15.

    My questions are:

    What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?

    What do you think about the evaluator and the Sped manager having the same address? It is a single family home, by the way, but we have no idea what their relationship is. Should we just let it go at this point and see what the evaluation by the new person reveals?

    Thanks very much,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Questions on three year re-eval


    You have asked three important questions:

    1. What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?

    2. What do you think about the evaluator and the Sped manager having the same address? It is a single family home, by the way, but we have no idea what their relationship is.

    3. Should we just let it go at this point and see what the evaluation by the new person reveals?
    I’m going to try walking through the Massachusets regulations and explor just how those regulations answer you first question. Then, I’ll try to answer your last two questions.

    We can presume that both you and the school suspect your daughter’s current IEP does not meet her unique educational needs. This is because the school’s teacher alerted about your daughter’s educational performance being below grade level in core subjects, and because the [IEP] team decided a three-year reevaluation is necessary.

    Although we are using the Massachusets regulations here, a parent in any state can usethe same analysis technique. Remember that each state department of education must carry out the IDEA and the federal regulations.

    You asked: What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?

    I think the significance of your question is whether your daughter’s IEP will be appropriate for her at the beginning of the next school year. You put it a little differently by asking “what do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?”

    Your question goes right to the heart of the purpose of an IEP.

    First, both the federal and the Massachusets special education regulations require that at the beginning of each school year, a public agency (your school district) must have an IEP in effect for each child with a disability within its jurisdiction.

    But does that mean any old IEP will do? No.

    We know that to be true because the Massachusets regulations and the IDEA tell us what the purpose of special education (an IEP) is. In Massachusets the regulation tells us the purpose:

    The purpose of [the special education regulations] is to ensure that eligible Massachusetts students receive special education services designed to develop the student's individual educational potential in the least restrictive environment in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. (MA 28.01 (3):Authority, Scope and Purpose)

    NOTE: the word potential in the Massachusets statement of purpose is not in the IDEA. Massachusets may be unique among the states for requiring special education to develop a student’s individual educational potential.

    Now that we know what Massachusets declares as the purpose of special education, we can look at just what an IEP is.

    [An] Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall mean a written statement, developed and approved in accordance with federal special education law in a form established by the Department that identifies a student's special education needs and describes the services a school district shall provide to meet those needs. (MA Education Laws and Regulations 603 CMR 28.00: 28.02 (11): Definitions)

    In addition, the Masachusets regulations tell us:

    (Special education shall mean specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the eligible student or related services necessary to access the general curriculum and shall include the programs and services set forth in state and federal special education law. (MA Education Laws and Regulations 603 CMR 28.00: 28.02 (20): Definitions)

    And this relates specifically to your question: What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed? Why? Because your daughter’s current IEP has expired and the school has admitted that her current IEP may not meet her unique needs.

    First, let’s look at whether the school has a time limit for completing the reevaluations. We know the federal and Massachusets special education regulations have a 60 day time limit for initial evaluations. I don’t think that same time limit applies for a 3-year reevaluation. The important question is whether your daughter’s current IEP is appropriate because of the school teacher’s alert and the team’s decision to reevaluate. In your situation the time limitation is set by the requirement that each eligible child must have an appropriate IEP at the beginning of each school year.

    The federal regulations tell us that at the beginning of each school year, each public agency must have in effect, for each child with a disability within its jurisdiction, an IEP, as defined in § 300.320. (34 CFR § 300.323(a))

    So we can say that each eligible child in Massachusets must have an Individualized Special Education Program (IEP) in effect at the beginning of each school year. And, we can also say the IEP at the beginning of each school year must meet the unique educational needs of the child. In other words, the IEP at the beginning of each school year must be appropriate for each specific eligible child.

    So what does that mean for your daughter? If the current IEP is suspected of not being appropriate, does the school get a “pass” just because the reevaluations are not completed and the clock is running out on this school year? I don’t think so!

    What are the alternatives? For starters, the school district could continue the reevaluation and IEP development after this school year ends. I do understand the school will probably resist working during the summer. And that is where your parent advocacy skills will be important.

    You could suggest that you could ask for a due process hearing. Threats, though, sometimes do have unintended consequenses. Your daughter will be in the 3rd grade next year and that means you must work with this school district for a longtime to come. If you have a decent working relationship with this school district you can gently let it know it is in trouble. And, you can also let the school kow you are willing to work with the school to get the evaluations completed and another IEP written before the new school year begins.

    The best way to do this is by writing the school a short letter (not an email message). In your own words, say you know the school is running out of time and that you are willing to be reasonable and get the reevaluation completed and an IEP written during the summer.

    What advantage does this strategy give you? It avoids a knock-down-draggout confrontation and creates a paper trail for your daughter’s education records that shows you are being reasonable while insisting that your daughter enters the next school year with an appropriate IEP. If the school does not take your reasonable offer then your position is stronger if you do need to ask for a due process hearing.

    You asked: What do you think about the evaluator and the Sped manager having the same address? It is a single family home, by the way, but we have no idea what their relationship is.

    I think people can live with whom they choose. I didn't mean that to sound trite. This isn’t the real problem in your second question. The real problem is the licensing question and whether a conflict of interest is present because the chosen evaluator lives with the special education manager who, I presume, is managing your daughter’s special education program.

    If doing the evaluation requires a state license, and the evaluator does not hold a current license, then any evaluation that person performed would be subject to being thrown out by a hearing officer at a due process hearing. Too, performing an evaluation under those circumstances might subject that evaluator to Massacusets laws that have nothing to do with special education.

    A conflict of interest could exist in the circumstances you describe. The person who chooses the evaluator (the special education manager) choses someone who lives at her address raises the question. But in some circumstances a perception or appearance of a conflict of interest is enough to “conflict out” a potential evaluator.

    You were wise to check up on that psychologist.

    Your last questions is: Should we just let it go at this point and see what the evaluation by the new person reveals?

    I would let it go and let the school district or licensing board deal with the psychologist. Regardless of whether that person holds a valid license is not an issue for your child’s evaluation now because the school chose another evaluator. Keep your attention focused on getting what your daughter needs in an appropriate IEP. That is the goal.

    I hope this information is useful and answered your question. If not, let me know and I’ll take another stab at it.

    Thank you for your well written and thoughful questions.


  3. #3
    anniemc2000 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Jan 2006


    Thank you so very much! We received a very
    nasty email from the SPED Director today saying
    that our questioning the credentials of their evaluator
    is the equivalent of withdrawing consent for a
    3 year eval but that they feel the need to proceed
    anyway. He went on to inform us that the district
    can appoint anyone they would like for an evaluation.
    You and I both know that most people would agree
    appointing your relative, lover, whatever as an evaluator
    would be seen as a conflict of interest. Today I called
    the DOE and asked for intervention in the form of
    mediation. I think it will be helpful to have a third party
    to make sure the IEP is in place come September.
    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Follow up question on three year re-evaluation


    If I read your message correctly, the special education director at your school told you the school may appoint whomever it wants to perfom an evaluation. Also, the school intends to use the evaluator you object to because the evaluator’s license is in question and you have a question about whether a conflict of interest exists between the special education director and the named (chosen) evaluator.


    Your message yesterday and today does not identify what license the evaluator holds. If the evaluator is a school psychologist, the
    National Association of School Psychologists website at will be helpful.

    If the evaluator is a psychologist licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologist, you will find information and help at

    There is a big difference between the two kinds of licenses for psychologists. In most states, school psychologists are not licensed to practice psychology for the general public. They are restricted to working as employees of a public school system and their licesnse is issued by the State Department of Education. That might not be the way Massachusetts issues licenses. Be sure to check.

    Conflict of Interest

    You can check with either the National Association of School Psychologists or the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologist about what is, for psychologists, a conflict of interest. Both will have published codes of ethics for the members or licensees. The Massachusetts Board might give you an advisory opinion if you keep personal and specific school district identification information out of your request. In other words, you would ask for an advisory opinion on a theoretical set of facts. You might style it something like this:

    Under the (State or Association) professional rules of ethics (or conduct), does a conflict or appearance of a conflict exist under the following facts: X, Y, and Z.

    Again, you should get a legal opinion from a licensed Massachusetts attorney for guidance on the conflict of interest question and any recourse you might have if a conflict exists.


    Mediation can be an effective way of resolving a difference of opinion or conflict with a school district. Be warned, though, the mediator is not a third-party. The mediator’s role is as a neutral to the conflict.

    Many parents do not trust or care for mediation because the success rate for parents seems to be a bit on the dismal side. I don’t know the latest statistics on it but there is an organization you can check with for that. The organization is the Cadre Caucus, and you can find it at

    I like mediation very much. I like it so much that in my little operation out here in the woods of Vermont I haven’t needed to pack up and go to a due process hearing in over 6 years. Is there some magic that I use? No.

    There are some time proven methods for mediation that will improve a parent’s chances of getting all or some of the issues in dispute resolved. But I warn you – it takes more than showing up at the mediation conference with little more than a hope and a prayer. Preparation is everything. Remember that a mediation is not a hearing. It is an opportunity to negotiate with the school district through a neutral mediator.

    I can’t go into the details about preparing for mediation here. What I can say is that preparation means:

    Knowing exactly what the real issues are that need to be resolved. An issue is a legal question that relates directly to whether FAPE has been denied. For example, the school tells you that withdrawing your consent to evaluate on the grounds the evaluator’s license or ethics are questionable is the equivalent of withdrawing consent for a 3 year eval – and implies that it’s a take it or leave it proposition.

    Is that a denial of FAPE?

    To know for sure you should get a legal opinion from a special education attorney in Massachusetts. A moist finger in the air, though, might signal a potential denial of FAPE if in fact the school forced an improperly credentialed evaluator on you.

    That moist finger method isn’t all that reliable, though. You couldn’t decide about the conflict of interest question until you verify the evaluator’s license is currently suspended or revoked. The same is not necessarily true about the appearance of a conflict of interest. The answer depends on State law, and other factors such as the applicable codes of ethics.

    The acid test for getting ready for mediation

    Good mediation preparation also requires knowing all the good stuff going for you and the bad stuff that may go against you. To do that you must do a truly objective examination of your “case” and a truly objective examination of what you think the school’s defense “case” will be.

    I wish you great success with your mediation.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Ann, That's insane. You can ask any questions you want about the qualifications of the evaluator. That is NOT the equivalent of withdrawing consent for the evaluation. I am also in MA. They are REQUIRED to do a 3-year evaluation. We just had one. We requested a different evaluator for one of the tests because ds had a negative association with the school psychologist. Our SPED director agreed easily, without a fight. They simply used the middle school psychologist instead. They were very good about it.

    This is just absurd. You are getting a runaround, and I highly question your SPED director. What town/city are you in?

    And on the conflict of interest, *of course* it's a conflict of interest. Wow. Get an advocate or attorney asap. Sorry you are dealing with this.

  6. #6
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Sep 2006


    Please keep us updated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012



    Thank you. Your questions. They are timeless and almost every parent asks them in one form or another.

    You wrote, “Finally, after many years my son who has high functioning Autism will receive social skills help in the school setting outside of the speech room for 1-hour a week.” “They [the school district] finally could see he lacks the ability to interact correctly with peers.” In the lingo on the street . . . Well ― duh!

    The first red flag I see is that your son has needed help with his social skills for a long, long time. And, plainly, his IEP has not given him appropriate specialized instructions and related services related to what your son needs to develop “social skills.” Because the school district now recognizes the problem we can assume your son’s social skills are lacking to the extent the shortfall has an adverse effect on his educational performance in the classroom.

    The second red flag I see is whether the statement of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance accurately describe and quantify the social skills problems. If not, then how can the school district hope to write an annual goal in his IEP to address that shortfall? Answer: It cannot.

    How can we expect any individual to absorbe social skills in one hour a week regardless of where the school provides the instructions or services? We can’t. We human beings are not like computers: Information in – result out.

    Let’s exchange the term “social skills” for “social competency” and see if we can put together an argument to support putting together a social competency part in your son’s IEP that helps where he needs it: In real life experiences.

    What are social skills, anyway?

    A set of social skills is a collection of isolated and discrete learned behaviors.

    Social competence is accomplished by smoothly using the isolated and discrete skills to build continuing social interactions (in real life).

    The words don’t fit the song.

    Much special education ink goes to waste trying to knit together technical and scientific explanations and remedial programs for “social skills” programs. Excuse my being coarse, but has all that ink been spilled in vane?

    There are at least two theories about the nature and causes of social incompetence. Advocates of the first theory say social skill shortfalls are the result of the same neurological dysfunctions that cause academic problems.

    Advocates for the second theory holds the social disabilities are caused by rejection that is caused by the child's chronic school failure. Advocates for the second theory say the child has been unable to practice social skills because of isolation stemming from feeling rejected.

    Ok. It’s time to own up here. I am not a psychologist or a behavior expert. My little niche in life is helping parents as an education advocate and advisor. OK?

    One of my little quirks is trying to make the complicated simple. In special education, we can reduce almost every complex question (or set of questions) to the simplest answer or explanation. It isn’t rocket science, but it does get decent IEPs when parents and a school district create a log-jam over complex explanations and reasonings.

    Albert Einstein once said that his goal in stating an idea was to make it as simple as possible but no simpler. He also said: "Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone." The Evolution of Physics 29 (1938)).

    If Einstein was right, surely it is also true for explaining the science of social skills and social competency.

    Which brings us to another of your questions:

    Why are they [the school district] not using lunch time?

    To me the answer is the school has promoted form over substance. That means the school district is placing the form (terminology and technical specifications in your child’s IEP) ahead of paying attention to the intended function of his IEP. The function, as the IDEA tells us, is providing is a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive educational environment tailored to your son’s unique educational needs.

    Not using the lunch room time (or other real life setting) makes as much sense as an IEP team deciding a student needs to become a rocket scientist; then looking at a common core of rocket science rubrics; writing a plan (the IEP); and giving that student one hour a week to learn the rubrics. And after that, sending the student out into the world fully expecting that student to function as a rocket scientist without one single minute in a lab.

    But what can you do about it?

    You can spend some time researching what works, what doesn’t work, and then asking for an IEP meeting to review the social skills goals, objectives, the nature of the service and the amount of service in his IEP. You can ask for an IEP meeting anytime you think one is necessary. Before you ask for one, though, prepare yourself fully so you can easily explain to the district members at the IEP meeting about why, what, when, and where the IEP needs to include – and all based on your research. Facts are a much better friend than the law.


    As an aside, I think the name social autopsy is unfortunate. Look at the substance of the Guide and forget the name.

    Prepare your “case” for the IEP meeting

    Present your case at an IEP meeting. If the school turns you down ask the school to give you a Prior Written Notice (PWN) that explains everything a PWN requires under 34 CFR 300.503. You can find those requirements here:

    My son failed 6th grade math, but passed the modified math CRCT this year.

    You also wrote that your son failed 5th grade math, and failed the math part of the CRCT last year.

    I’m not a whiz at knowing all the acronyms but I presume you live in Georgia. That’s where I found CRCT through Google.

    Earlier in your question you said the school pushed your son along from grade-to-grade even though his academic achievement puts him at a 1st grade level. If I have understood you correctly, I’d wager that your son has not ever had an appropriate IEP. Is it possible that all the evaluations, assessments, and other testing the school has done on your son are wrong, or has the school simply written your son off and keeps pushing him along without caring?

    What you have written also raises my PLOP antenna. The present levels of academic achievement and functional performance is the foundation for every IEP. Without accurate and objective present levels, the rest of the IEP will fail as surely as a building with no foundation in a heavy water deluge will fall.

    They denied ESY since he passed the modified math CRCT.

    Denying ESY may be one of the most abusive tactics school districts get away with. I don’t know why. It may be that schools know better, but find it easy to pull the wool over a parent’s eyes. Passing grades, even a modified math CRCT score, is not the criteria for showing a need for ESY. Denying ESY when ESY is necessary for a student to get a free appropriate education is a denial of FAPE. There is a good article on ESY that will help you. Go to

    When the school turned your son down for ESY after you asked for it, did the school give you a Prior Written Notice that explained, among other things, why, what alternatives the school considered, and so forth? I’m guessing you didn’t get a PWN.

    The Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) showed that your son has a math disorder.

    I don’t know whether the school district “considered” that IEE. Let’s pretend it did.

    If the school “considered” the IEE, the school district then knew about the math disorder diagnosis. Because of the math disorder diagnosis did you ask the school for an IEP meeting to amend, adjust, or alter your son’s current IEP to meet his educational needs in math? If so, and the school didn’t amend the IEP, did the school give you a Prior Written Notice? If not, why not?

    Either way, what can you do about your son’s education performance in math?

    You have several choices.

    One, you can ask for a due process hearing to prove to a hearing officer that your son’s IEP denies FAPE on the account the school has not provided what the IEE shows he needs: specialized instructions and related services in math.

    Two, you can ask for an IEP meeting again to revise his current IEP.

    Three, you can give the school a ten-day notice of intent to provide the math services and ask for reimbursement. The ten-day private placement notice requirements are in the procedural safeguards the school should give you at least once each school year.

    Four, you can ask for mediation without asking for a due process hearing. To be successful at mediation you should prepare your “case” based on the evidence that proves your son’s IEP is not appropriate (for math) and not on your feelings about what the school has or has not done.

    Five, you can file an administrative complaint. Sometimes it is called a State complaint. You will need to find that section in your State’s special education regulations to know how and when you can file one.

    I suggest that you prepare your “case” before you ask for any of the five alternatives. In addition, before you try any of the five alternatives, I suggest that you ask for an IEP meeting AFTER you carefully prepare your “case.” How you put your case together will make a huge difference in whether the school IEP team members take your meeting comments and presentation seriously.

    I am scared for Grant's ability to complete a regular HS diploma and have it mean something.

    Trek, I’ll bet that everyone who follows the INCIID forum has the same fear as yours. In all my years at this stuff I learned early on the universal fear every mother has is “what will happen to my child after I am no longer around.”
    You can assure that your son’s diploma will “mean something” within whatever limitations he may have by becoming the very best advocate he has. You can hire an advocate or an attorney but nobody you hire will have the same zeal you have for your son. Learning to be an effective advocate takes more than knowing what the law is. It is more that knowing what to say if they say X. And, it is much more than attending weekend workshops unless those workshops teach you how to roll up your sleeves and actually do the doing of parent advocacy. Even if you do hire an attorney or advocate I urge you, and every other parent, to learn the basic skills of advocacy in special education. Those skill aren’t hard to learn. You just need someone to show you the way. Advocacy is an art, and like all art, the doing of it is passed from one practitioner to another.

    I hope I have answered all your questions. If not, let me know and I’ll give it another try.


  8. #8
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Sep 2006


    Thanks for answering:
    The first red flag I see :Yes, since age 3 our district has not provided appropriate related support/services. I have attempted to utilize Wrightslaw, and over the past 9 years have obtained paid advocate help,. Once during my son's 2nd grade yearar, and again last year(5th grade) and this year (6th).

    The second red flag I see: We had his annual on May 22-they pulled the trick of having to make some changes/add something on document. So the copy was mailed. I did receive copy of minutes at the meeting and draft of IEP. However, Present levels for math are NOT on the goals. They have them set for 70% which is not acceptable IMHO. When I ask for a list of 6 grade standards he did not meet in 6th I am told to use GRASP testing for 7th grade they administered sometime in May. But, if he failed math for 5th and 6th grade and previous testing on WIAT have him below grade level than where is here really? I do not even have breakdown of the CRCT (yes we live in GA) since he was administered modified version. When I requested a copy yesterday I was told they only have the overall score. I do know that 300 is passing and he received a 316. But have no idea of the range and was unable to find it on the state website. BTW, we also asked during the meeting.

    ESY~ Barely covered as we were adjourning after a 4+ hr meeting. The Learning Support Coordinator for middle schools attends all of our son's meetigns. She says that the county is providing appropriate support in math. I did not verbally deny that so that is why PWN was not given, though she did say that Grant was taking 3 math classes.

    IEEs- we have had 2 IEEs paid for by the county. One last June for Neuro-educational after I saw that the county's own data showed my son did not progress in math. But, when we asked last July for the county to retest using the math WIAT we did not specify what edition and they used a different edition. Even my son's advocate could not tell me what the scores meant and sadly I did not bring it up though it is included under present levels. The scores are the same as last year from what I can decipher.

    Social Skills- The only reason they have gone ahead with ANY social skills is that my son had great difficulty during the entire school year interacting with his peers. Which for the first time resulted in a BIP for him. Until 5th grade my son has always been able to keep it together in the school setting. 5th grade was a shock to everyone at the school he had attended since kindergarten. But, back to social skills- we have in the past had Grant in social skills classes outside of school. Locally, the only provider stopped 2 yrs ago. Finding, anything that fit into schedules without missing school hours was difficult. Some people locally pull kids from school in order to drive 35 minutes 1 way or they drive 1 hr one way on Saturdays spending the 4 hrs waiting for their child to attend social skills classes.

    They are all about inclusion and honestly I am unsure how it helps if a child is not met where he/she is at academically or socially. What our paid advocate has suggested is cutting back support at home in order to make case for ESY during school year for math. I do plan to not only write on hw that Grant was unable to complete independently, but also send emails and written letters documenting. Going to take pictures of every assignment he unable to complete on his own at home (not just math sometimes) and record date. Grant is great about attempting HW btw, so it is not avoidance. We also asked that a copy of notes be provided along with completed study guides. Still want Grant to attempt to complete on his own, but often the notes are not complete and thus study guides are not complete. We spent waaaaaaayyyy too much time this past school year hunting down correct info. With Grant's memory issues (little working memory) he needs to start reviewing for end of the week tests prior to Thursday evening.

    Thanks again

  9. #9
    anniemc2000 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Jan 2006

    Default Follow up

    Wanted to update my original post. Eventually the district hired a different evaluator for my daughter. He really seemed to understand her struggles and was able to identify a language based learning disability based on his assessment. Though the school briefly challenged him on this (What? You hired him!) they did incorporate the new disability designation and subsequent plan for intervention into her new IEP which we just received. So hopefully she will get the help she needs. She has an amazing teacher who works with her one morning a week before school to help her stay on track. On another note, my three year old son just started at the integrated preschool so here we go again!
    Thanks to Brice and my other Special moms for your guidance through this.
    Happy New Year!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012



    I am truly pleased that the new evaluation revealed what your daughter needs. Let us hope the school district will (with your able help) write an IEP for her that gives her the help she needs.

    Don’t forget that you are a necessary member of your daughter’s IEP team. I know it is difficult flying solo at IEP meetings, so I encourage you to make a written plan for yourself before each IEP meeting. If you do, and use it, you will be far more effective as your daughter’s best advocate. Flying solo does not mean flying without knowledge.

    To begin, I suggest you write a model IEP for your daughter. Begin by writing a good present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. From that, you can begin to visualize the annual goals you thing your daughter will need. Once you have an idea about the annual goals, then write what you think she may need as specialized instructions and related services. A good place to start on that is to look at any recommendations the evaluator wrote into the evaluation report.

    Go through those steps and then you will be ready to be your daughter’s best advocate at the next IEP meeting. I don’t mean to imply that there will not be snags along the way. You can count on snags popping up. But if you consistently make your own IEP plan before the meeting, you will make a lot of those snags disappear.

    What do you need to do to put together an IEP meeting plan? It’s easy.

    Review the current IEP (or draft IEP).

    Make notes about what is working

    Make notes about what is not working

    Review the most recent evaluations and assessment information that you have.

    Make a list of questions you want to ask at the meeting

    Make a list of the important points you want to make at the meeting.

    Make a list of the people you want to invite.

    LOOK AT THE PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE (PWN) you received from the school district about the IEP meeting. The notice should tell you.
    The date, time, and place of the meeting
    The purpose of the meeting
    Everyone the school district intends to have at the meeting.

    You have the right to have the meeting arranged at a time and date that is mutually convenient for you and the school district. If the school scheduled the meeting at a time and on day that isn’t convenient for you, contact the school district right away and reschedule the meeting.

    The evening before the meeting, review your meeting plan. Don’t leave home without it. Use your meeting plan as your talking points guide during the meeting. Do that, and the school cannot diverted to a topic it would rather talk about.

    HAVING SOMEONE ELSE GO WITH YOU is helpful. That other person can take notes during the meeting so you can concentrate on what is happening and advocating for your daughter during the meeting. Can you record the meeting? If you can, do it.

    Thanks for the update, Ann.

    Please keep me informed.



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