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Thread: update on evals, 504 vs. IEP questions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    420

    Default maybe I am starting to understand . . .

    Thanks, Jules, for the links and quotes from the law. I am starting to think maybe I get what the school district is saying: are IEPs limited to kids who have cognitive or behavioral challenges, or an SLD?

    When I asked why Evan doesn't qualify for an IEP, my school district rep just kept saying "he doesn't have educational needs." I am still trying to figure out what that means, what standards they use. They actually said that PT and OT are not "educational" because they are aimed just at accomodating his physical needs so that he can access regular ed; he doesn't need "specially designed instruction." But I just don't get that. I mean, how can lack of handwriting not affect his education? Isn't gym class part of education? If he can't work from a visual model to learn something new (because of his visual-motor integration problems), isn't that an educational problem? But they said no. They really made it sound like it has to be an actual LD or cognitive problem to get an IEP.

    They also said just the opposite of what LM said; they said that IEP eligibility does not go with the diagnosis but with the question of whether the disability has an educational impact. Evan has diagnoses of CP and PDD-NOS (although both private and school psychs said he no longer meets the PDD criteria, and at least for now we are not fighting that). Frankly they made it sound like CP would never qualify for an IEP because it's "just physical."

    We did have private psych testing done and she said that Evan is too young to dx an SLD anyway -- he's only 4. All we have is the gap between performance and verbal scores, and two standard deviations below the mean on the VMI subtest.

    I am waiting for a return call from our local Education Law Center to try to find out exactly what criteria they use in this district to decide IEP vs. 504. I am so frustrated . . . and I feel like such a bad mom. I actually signed the NOREP that said 504. How could I have done that? I really feel like I have failed my son. I *never* roll over easily. But this time I feel like they defeated me just by refusing to tell me the rules of the game.

    Feeling railroaded and bummed out tonight. And scared for what I've done to Evan.

    Lisa

  2. #12
    ybab is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandB
    Thanks, Jules, for the links and quotes from the law. I am starting to think maybe I get what the school district is saying: are IEPs limited to kids who have cognitive or behavioral challenges, or an SLD?

    When I asked why Evan doesn't qualify for an IEP, my school district rep just kept saying "he doesn't have educational needs." I am still trying to figure out what that means, what standards they use. They actually said that PT and OT are not "educational" because they are aimed just at accomodating his physical needs so that he can access regular ed; he doesn't need "specially designed instruction." But I just don't get that. I mean, how can lack of handwriting not affect his education? Isn't gym class part of education? If he can't work from a visual model to learn something new (because of his visual-motor integration problems), isn't that an educational problem? But they said no. They really made it sound like it has to be an actual LD or cognitive problem to get an IEP.

    They also said just the opposite of what LM said; they said that IEP eligibility does not go with the diagnosis but with the question of whether the disability has an educational impact. Evan has diagnoses of CP and PDD-NOS (although both private and school psychs said he no longer meets the PDD criteria, and at least for now we are not fighting that). Frankly they made it sound like CP would never qualify for an IEP because it's "just physical."

    We did have private psych testing done and she said that Evan is too young to dx an SLD anyway -- he's only 4. All we have is the gap between performance and verbal scores, and two standard deviations below the mean on the VMI subtest.

    I am waiting for a return call from our local Education Law Center to try to find out exactly what criteria they use in this district to decide IEP vs. 504. I am so frustrated . . . and I feel like such a bad mom. I actually signed the NOREP that said 504. How could I have done that? I really feel like I have failed my son. I *never* roll over easily. But this time I feel like they defeated me just by refusing to tell me the rules of the game.

    Feeling railroaded and bummed out tonight. And scared for what I've done to Evan.

    Lisa
    Hi Lisa! First of all, you did not let down your son. You've been researching and learning all you can - that's all you can do. It is completely overwhelming. If the school was opposed to putting an IEP in place, you would have had a very long hard fight to get one IMHO. I absolutely agree with what you said about handwriting and visual-motor integration affecting his learning. But you know what? You have a 504 and you have a whole year of K to see how he does. K is just the beginning. So my advice is - get a notebook and document every single piece of feedback you get from the teacher, every conversation. Look at this year as laying the groundwork for an IEP - building your case. Use the year to get familiar with the laws. Because it's true (at least in Mass) a diagnosis is not enough, you need to demonstrate an educational impact.

    At the end of the year, you'll know whether you need to push for an IEP or continue with the 504. Hopefully Evan will have a great year and not need the IEP at all, but at least you'll be prepared. I'm really not sure you could have 'won' the debate with the school system to get an IEP, so please don't beat yourself up over it. K is just the beginning and you still have lots of time to get your son whatever he needs to be successful in school. It sounds to me like you've learned a lot over the last week, and you'll be that much more prepared next year. Good luck.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Thanks for the pep talk. You are right, all is not lost, it does seem like it will be easier to fight for an IEP once there is a "track record" in school.

    Deep breath for me . . . I think that partly I am just plain stressed about K generally, and we are in a very different place than I thought we would be in terms of needs. I can't help but feel like someone's trying to put something over on me when they say that my son is doing well.

    Thanks again!

    Lisa

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