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Were told to get proper helps in place



Hi Everyone, 

I’m hoping you can help…We have a 2nd grader and were told by his 1st grade teacher last May that she hoped we would get the proper helps in place for our son so he could start 2nd grade off right (he had been acting out, hitting and using language/threats not typical of a child his age). We sent emails asking for more information, but they went unanswered, we assumed, because it was the end of the school year. So, after speaking with some family we decided to have a neuropsychological assessment done.

We live in the Midwest and due to a plethora of reasons we were on a 3-4 month waitlist for this private evaluation - we were told the entire process would take 6+ months (called 4 other evaluators and told the same…ugggh!!). Meanwhile, his pediatrician suspects ADHD because he has struggles with inattention, focus, impulsivity, peers, and exhibits behaviors (lashing out and pushing/not playing safely, not owning his actions/words, and threatening). He has speech sound disorder (he has a IEP for sound substitutions, articulation errors, word endings, etc), which adds to his communication and social emotional learning troubles. This year our son will likely “graduate speech” as all his IEP goals and age appropriate targets will have been achieved.

We’re feeling an increasing urgency - his IEP is ending, our son is losing friends, his self esteem is plummeting, his behavior is worsening, his dislike of school is growing exponentially and this year’s teacher seems to be very overwhelmed (20 total kids in the classroom). Plus, we’re still weeks away from receiving the neuropsych results.

Do IEPs just end and “dissolve” when the goals are met or is it done during an IEP meeting? Should we call an IEP meeting now with concerns? Do we wait until February/March when his yearly IEP meeting takes place? Do we ask the district for a behavioral evaluation? Did we do the right thing by getting a neuropsych evaluation? Do we wait for the results of the evaluation before taking action? What might those actions look like?

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When was your son's last evaluation done by the school? Did the district comprehensively evaluate all areas of concern? Write a parent letter of concerns, ask for an IEP meeting, (don't wait until spring for an IEP meeting) and ask for the school to evaluate his social-emotional, executive functioning, and any other skills that are relevant. The district should either get your consent to evaluate or issue a PWN re: their reasoning for not evaluating. Has the school provided you anything in writing documenting your son's behavior impeding his (or his classmates') education? If so, the district should conduct an FBA. Once you get the private neuropsych testing results, it's up to you whether you want to share those with the district. If you provide an IEE to the district, the team should meet to discuss the educational impact of the results of the assessment.

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So the school identified language issues and they are working to remediate these.  On the other hand, he has behavior issues and they want you to teach him proper classroom behavior from home.  With young children, it is best to correct behaviors 'in the moment' - not hours later in another environment.  If I was in your shoes, I would request an FBA as an FBA looks at ABC:  Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence.  The school psychologist can also run the rating scales for ADHD to assess Executive Functioning and impulsivity.  It wouldn't hurt to request that the school does an FBA as well as looking at the rating scales they do for ADHD while you're waiting to get to the top of the neuropsychologist's wait list.

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