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PA has some weird and quirky state regs. Join the PA Parents Club to share resources and make PA specific connections.

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For Parents/Guardians who are PA residents
  1. What's new in this club
  2. I did a call with PILC yesterday. They asked me to share this.
  3. Hi Carolyn, Perfect, thank you for that additional wording too- I was struggling with how I wanted to say this in my reply without showing all of my irritation thanks so much!
  4. You are correct! And without knowing your specific state's laws and regulations (which you might look and and add, if applicable), I believe you are citing everything you need to. There is no requirement in the IDEA that reevaluations must be done concurrent with or before an annual IEP meeting. You can have the annual meeting, and then another meeting following the results of the reevaluation being available. But I would also ask the question: What are you basing this requirement on? If a school district policy, may I please have a copy?
  5. My son's last triannual reevaluation was in April of 2021. Since he is in 8th grade this year, I would like to consider having another reevaluation (RR) before 9th grade this coming Fall of 2023 due to EF and Dyslexia diagnosis. However, our school replied that the RR needs to be completed by the annual IEP date, which is this April. However, based on reading the Procedural Safeguards and information I found on PAttan's website, this is incorrect. Am I correct? Any info is appreciated? I plan on replying to the school quoting Section 1414 (2) (B) of IDEA; (B) Limitation A reevaluation conducted under subparagraph (A) shall occur— (i) not more frequently than once a year, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree otherwise; and (ii) at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary. and referencing PaTTAN's documentation that "The student's IEP must be reviewed and revised within 30 calendar days of the completion of the RR. "https://www.pattan.net/getmedia/ce367ee3-163c-4e51-ad36-117493d347dd/ReevalNarrative0618
  6. They may have just figured out that this language was needed in his IEP. Not sure if there is a new classmate or a birthday changed the age span.
  7. Tysm for clarifying. That’s odd because he has been in this classroom since the SY began, but they’re just now adding it to the IEP (he did just have a RR). He’s at our neighborhood school in a classroom ranging from 1st-5th graders.
  8. Chapter 14 (sp ed law in PA) limits how wide an age range can be in the same sp ed classroom. I believe it's 3 years for elementary & 4 years for secondary level. They are letting you know that your child might be in a room with older/younger students. Some parents have an issue with this. If your child is 6, do you want them in a classroom with 10 year olds? This is a copy & paste from Chapter 14: § 14.146. Age range restrictions. (a) The maximum age range in specialized settings shall be 3 years in elementary school (grades K—6) and 4 years in secondary school (grades 7—12). (b) A student with a disability may not be placed in a class in which the chronological age from the youngest to the oldest student exceeds these limits unless an exception is determined to be appropriate by the IEP team of that student and is justified in the IEP. ----------------------- The language you copied from the IEP is the school's justification that allows them to exceed the age range. If you are not OK with this, they can put your child into another building that is not where the kids in your neighborhood go. The purpose of the SDI is to let you know they are not following Chapter 14. They do this so they do not have to hire another teacher & split up the class or get a bus to take your child to a different school. I'd want to observe the placement before signing the NOREP & agreeing to this change. Definitely ask what the age range is in the classroom they are proposing.
  9. What is the purpose of this new SDI?: _____ will realize meaningful educational benefit from placement in a classroom in which the age range of students exceeds the range prescribed by law because (a) the placement will ensure continuity of instructional grouping in a setting as close as possible to his home; and (b) the developmental and institutional levels and needs of the students in this setting are within an appropriate enough range of each other to enable appropriate group instruction to occur
  10. It is not the job of the evaluator to determine if a student qualifies for an IEP or not. (I'm also not sure why someone moderating the PA specific group isn't aware that an IU is an Intermediate Unit and that most of the 500 school districts in PA contract with the IUs to provide preschool sp ed services.) Carolyn Rowlett is wrong when she says you should have gone to the school district. What you did is the correct procedure in PA. You will not find a preschool sp ed person in your school district because most of the districts in PA (I think there are 4 that do their own preschool sp ed) have contracts for the IUs to do this. The eval needs to be completed within 60 days of when you signed the PTE allowing your child to be evaluated. The next step is a meeting to go over the eval report. This should happen 10 days after you get a copy of the report and within 30 days of the report being completed. If the team going over the report decides that your child's disability makes them eligible for an IEP (you are a member of this team - be sure to go to the meeting), an IEP meeting will be scheduled (it's often held right after the eligibility meeting since the team is already there at the eligibility meeting). You can request an IEE at school expense with preschool sp ed. In PA, that works the same as school age IEPs. This links to preschool sp ed procedural safeguards in PA: https://www.pattan.net/Forms/Procedural-Safeguards-Notice-Preschool-Early-I-1 The other thing that PA has is Medicaid for children (anyone under 18) who have a disability. If your child doesn't qualify for school services, you can get documentation from the doctor and apply for Medicaid for your child. Medicaid will cover therapies and there is no limit like employer insurance often has. This links to the Medicaid application: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/Apply-for-Benefits.aspx Be sure to check YES for the question if your household has a disabled family member. (You will be asked for proof of income but they shouldn't look at that since you are applying under PH-95.) Also, Medicaid is an HMO & you will need to go to a participating provider to have things covered.
  11. Forgive my ignorance, but what does "IU" refer to? And when you say "our IU," I take it you mean s/he is an evaluator within the school district and therefore you consented to an evaluation being performed by the school district? If so, I would assume at this point you should be invited to a meeting to determine eligibility. The evaluator alone would not determine eligibility. But I'm not in PA. I would reach out to someone in the school district who is over their Early Childhood Special Education program and ask what the next steps are after the evaluation is complete. If after the meeting he is deemed not to qualify, I would assume you have the right to request an IEE, but I am not familiar with early childhood IEP's. At a minimum, you should receive procedural safeguards from the school district setting forth your rights. Ask for those. You could also reach out to the PA State Department of Education and ask for their policy/guidelines for preschoolers showing signs of a disability. Under the IDEA, the requirements for an IEP are: 1) The child is at least three years old; 2) The evaluation shows a disability or developmental delay; and 3) Special education services are needed to address the disability or delay before the child enters Kindergarten.
  12. My 3 year old’s pediatrician and his preschool teacher referred him to our IU for assessment. It was performed and his teacher told me “the evaluator saw signs but she wasn’t sure if it was enough to qualify him for services.” how does this work? Why wouldn’t the evaluator know if it’s enough to qualify? Isn’t that her job? Does she need to take it to a superior to see if he qualifies? I’m looking for information on how this process works. Can anyone help? if they deem he doesn’t qualify, do I have any rights to pursue it in some way since it was his doctor and teacher that referred him? I believe he needs supports.
  13. I think that, technically, this is a gray area. It's more of a renewal when a child already has an IEP. If they found a new area of need, there could be goals and services that were never before in an IEP your child had. I think this is the language that's standard after a reeval is done. (Is this a box that was checked on the IEP meeting invitation?)
  14. I think this depends on what you are wanting from the school. If you think the benefit of "understanding his needs a little better" is outweighed by the possibility of a different placement, then you might not want to risk it. My advice would be to have the outside evaluation done as planned, but don't consent to a school evaluation until you receive the results. The outside evaluation results will give you a better idea of whether or not you even want/need any services for his suspected autism. If not, there would be no reason for the school to do an evaluation - so don't consent to one. If you do, they would then have the right to do an evaluation before considering additional services.
  15. I would add that an argument could be made that taking recess away from him is discrimination IF the action for which he lost recess privileges was caused by/related to his disability. If the school will agree, it's best to have it written into accommodations that recess will not be taken away - just to make sure.
  16. It might either be an amended IEP or a new IEP. If the re-evaluation was done because the annual IEP meeting is coming up, the IEP developed at the annual IEP meeting would be a "new" IEP and have new start and stop dates based on when the meeting is held. Even though an IEP is in place, schools often refer to it as the "new" IEP; but there is no gap or loss of services between IEP's - special education services continue seamlessly regardless of a new IEP document being developed. If it was not done pursuant to the annual meeting, it could be either an amended IEP or a new IEP, perhaps depending on how many changes the re-evaluation causes the team to make to the IEP document. If just a few simple ones, it would probably just be an amended IEP. If significant changes are made and the timing is close to the annual IEP date, the team could decide to go ahead and draft a new IEP. The difference would be that the amended IEP would most likely have the same start and stop dates as the current IEP (unless those were also amended), and a new IEP would have start and stop dates based on the date the new IEP was implemented. After a re-evaluation (or any evaluation) is done, the IEP team has to meet to go over the results and make changes to the IEP, if warranted by the new data.
  17. After a re-evaluation I got an invitation to develop a new IEP (even though he already has an IEP). Is it technically a new IEP?
  18. Sorry for the delay in replying to this. I'm finally figuring out how to navigate this site. NSEAI has a website that lists advocates and COPAA does too. (NSEAI has hours in Delco where you can go & ask questions. I think they do this on Wed but call 1st.) You can also call the people on your local task force - phone numbers are listed on the state task force site. I've brought my child's BCBA to IEP meetings - they observed my child at school & saw things the school missed because they were familiar with what to look for. The best advocate might be someone who knows your child (like a sitter or grandparent) but doesn't have advocacy training. Bringing another person gives you someone to verify if something was said or not during the meeting. Some of the things you've mentioned could be documented in a parent concerns letter. Ex: We see XX trying to eat non-food items. This hasn't been observed at school but feel that it's only a matter of time before school personnel observe this. The 1:1 assigned to them should be made aware that this happens in other environments so they can prevent this at school.
  19. Wanted to let parents know that registration is open for the PDE conference. They offer scholarships - deadline to apply is 2/1. The scholarship covers registration & hotel (for hotel, you need to live 50 miles away from Hershey). They have a great lineup of speakers with authors Ross Greene - The Explosive Child - and Peg Dawson - Smart but Scattered - scheduled to present. You can attend virtually too. I'll be there. Look for me at the Right to Education Task Force breakfast. You can get to the registration and scholarship links from this page: https://www.pattan.net/Training/Conferences/Pennsylvania-Department-of-Education-Conference
  20. I'm in Chester County & our Arc has advocates. Not sure if the one near you will have them. I think PEAL is on the procedural Safeguards list. They will help you understand the school's side and let you know if you have a case to change the IEP or if it's already FAPE. As an advocate, I don't take anyone's side. What I do it evaluate what's going on to see if the student needs more than the IEP has them getting. There are parents who want the moon and an IEP only gets you appropriate interventions.
  21. Does anyone know of any decent advocates in the Adams County, or surrounding counties? or how to go about finding one? I’m not interested in contacting the standard places listed on the school’s procedural safeguards packet that they are required to hand out. I’m looking for an advocate who is really there for the child, not one who will just take the school’s side.
  22. Impulses are controlled by the frontal lobe. It tends to be less-developed in children with ADHD & autism. It really is beyond his control. Best solution is to not get him dysregulated so there's less to be impulsive about. You can teach them strategies but it's hard to use them when you're dysregulated.
  23. My autistic and adhd son punched another student at recess today. The other student stepped on his hand by accident. My son was immediately sorry and expressed it to the other boy and told the teachers what had happened. The boy, by my son’s description, is a really nice kid he did not want to hurt. the school called and said the other boy is fine and they were proud of my son for expressing regret etc. my son told me that he was in a bad mood, annoyed by certain other kids, which he said led to his lack of control. the school spent a whole period talking to him about something he admitted was wrong but what he really needs is ways to handle being irritated and control his impulses or avoid stressful situations. So, I want the school to help him think through: like if two of the four kids playing four square are whiney and annoying ( to him subjectively) - what choices does he have? honestly, that’s tough for any 13 year old. he told his OT that it happened because he was autistic and she said it didn’t. I’m going to wait until tonight and then possibly email my concerns and suggestions to his special Ed teacher mostly to get them on record. Are there IEP goals for impulse control?
  24. First, yes, what Judi said. Read the IEP and see what it says specifically about this. Second, as far as them hiring a 1:1, I feel your pain. Really, I do. But this is one of those things that is really "nobody's fault" as we said in our advocate chat a few weeks ago. My son has been without a 1:1 nurse all school year. Beeelieve me when I tell you that I am the squeaky wheel. It was listed with one agency in September, now it's up to 8 agencies. But at the end of the day...it's on Indeed and all the other websites, and no one is applying. Can I really go down the route of getting them to change the pay rate for this? I can't force them to find applicants when I know that they are having monthly job fairs and all that. I would be amenable to trying school without a 1:1 aide because that is your end goal anyway, right? Just go through all the what-ifs, what the crisis or de-escalation plan is, and so on. Make sure it's documented in the IEP.
  25. Read through the IEP carefully. When a student has an IEP & an ISFP, only one tends to say that the child will be provided with 1:1 support. If his IEP does say that he needs 1:1 support to access gen ed, this puts it on the school (not the IBHS agency) to provide the support and they need to follow the IEP - not provide an excuse for not following it. Most school district solicitors will not put a school into the position where they are relying on a 3rd party in order for the IEP to be followed. I'm not sure what the solution is for you without having more details. If the school is relying on the IBHS agency to provide a 1:1 for a student's IEP to be followed, they have put themself into a situation where they should be providing an aide or paraprofessional to be 1:1 with your child when the RBT is unavailable either due to illness or schedule conflict. If the IEP is worded where it should work this way, the teacher needs to hire someone to fill in for the RBT. They should also provide makeup services for when the IEP isn't being followed. The thing is that admin handles staffing - not the teacher - so that's who should be working to hire someone. (Are they even aware that your child has this need going unfulfilled?) Now if the IEP says nothing about a 1:1 being needed to access gen ed, you're out of luck when the RBT isn't available. Since your assigned RBT cannot be there when your child needs them, you should ask the IBHS agency to provide another RBT for the days when this RBT can't be there. (I'm not sure that this is going to happen. I've not seen a child with 2 RBTs and there's a huge staffing issue with all IBHS agencies which is likely why your RBT can't be there in the morning.) The other factor is that with autism, kids do a lot better with consistency which could be a negative with only being in ged ed 2 days/week or having a different RBT when the main RBT isn't available. For your own piece of mind, you should find out who is responsible for staffing your child's time in gen ed so you can better advocate for making sure there is staff for your child to get what they need in the future.

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