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Inclusion classroom IEP meeting for child with behavioral issues


PriA
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Hi All, 

My 4 year old ASD kid is currently going to an inclusion Pre-K classroom this year because the school district decided to move the kids out (from an all special needs Pre-K classroom, where he was during his first year of Pre-K). He is completely lacking in social skills and needs a lot of adult support and prompting to get to his tasks and finish them. He is a little verbal (can express his needs, if he wants to, but needs a lot of prompting to use his words). At first, I was happy that he was going to an inclusion classroom because of the mix of gen ed + sped kids, but I'm afraid that that hasn't been the case thus far. His first progress report was dismal - he showed no progress in any of his goals (speech too) and in my opinion, regressed on many of the goals that the SAI classroom had worked hard on improving. My child is a fast learner, and is academically self-sufficient (he can read and write, knows more than the average preschooler), has intense interests that seem advanced for his age, but he has these challenges that are clearly getting in the way of achieving any goals in the classroom. The notes from the teacher and SLP clearly indicate that they are struggling to get anything done because of his behaviors -- sudden onset of  aggressive behavior like pushing, hitting, kicking, twisting body on floor)/lots of loud crying, tantrums, meltdowns to avoid giving up on preferred activities/lack of focus/lack of attention/running around/not following instructions etc. The SLP basically told me that he hadn't touched many of the speech goals because the kiddo was always running around or raising his voice. The sped teacher is extremely inexperienced too and has no idea how to enforce behavior control. This was not the case at his SAI classroom where the teacher had an ABA background and knew exactly how to make him work positively towards his goals and his progress reports were indicative of that. I requested an IEP meeting next week because I was so upset at his lack of progress in the most recent report card. We have one week to figure out what to ask for in the new IEP (we do not have an advocate). I had asked his teacher if she was willing to collaborate with the kiddo's ABA and speech, and she was agreeable to that. And I filled out the exchange of information form as requested by the school district to give them access to his speech therapy notes. I am aware that giving him a 1:1 aide in an inclusion classroom is a pipe dream. I read on this page that I could request for an FBA plan, but what else do I need to be aware of, and what can I request from the IEP team that will let them know that I'm not clueless and that I will fight to get my child the right kind of support. I'm afraid they might just step him down to his old SAI classroom -- and I've heard horror stories of how parents had to fight tooth and nail to get their kid back in gen ed later on. While I admit that the SAI classroom was the better place for his behavioral control, I also don't know if it is a good idea to give up an inclusion setting. Truth is, I'm not sure what to expect at the meeting and I'm afraid I will be blindsided. Please help this very anxious mom. I'm a total newbie here and this is my first time posting. I appreciate all your suggestions.

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You can absolutely request an FBA because your child's behaviors are interfering with his access to his education. Some states have more restrictions on discipline for preschoolers, however, it's wise that you are being proactive in trying to get behaviors addressed before there are disciplinary actions. See https://adayinourshoes.com/behavior-iep-special-education/ for more.

Did the district discuss the continuum of placement options with you after goals, services and supports were developed? As Lisa's post at https://adayinourshoes.com/iep-placement-special-education-students/ states, placement is the LAST decision in the development of an IEP. There's no rule that says a child can't have a 1:1 aide in a more inclusive setting, but districts often do not want to provide this service due to costs. However, cost is not part of the IEP discussion. A 1:1 is considered more a more restrictive setting on the LRE continuum, however, if an IEP team agrees a child needs it to benefit from their education and you are OK with it, then the district should provide it. It may not be easy to get that though. 

Let us know if you have more questions. Best wishes for your meeting.

 

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On 12/6/2022 at 7:40 PM, Jenna said:

You can absolutely request an FBA because your child's behaviors are interfering with his access to his education. Some states have more restrictions on discipline for preschoolers, however, it's wise that you are being proactive in trying to get behaviors addressed before there are disciplinary actions. See https://adayinourshoes.com/behavior-iep-special-education/ for more.

Did the district discuss the continuum of placement options with you after goals, services and supports were developed? As Lisa's post at https://adayinourshoes.com/iep-placement-special-education-students/ states, placement is the LAST decision in the development of an IEP. There's no rule that says a child can't have a 1:1 aide in a more inclusive setting, but districts often do not want to provide this service due to costs. However, cost is not part of the IEP discussion. A 1:1 is considered more a more restrictive setting on the LRE continuum, however, if an IEP team agrees a child needs it to benefit from their education and you are OK with it, then the district should provide it. It may not be easy to get that though. 

Let us know if you have more questions. Best wishes for your meeting.

Thank you so much, Jenna, for taking the time to respond. I'm so sorry I missed this post. This is my first time on here, and I was expecting notifications in my email inbox for any replies. I must not have set it up correctly. 

We had our meeting last week and the school agreed to set up a behavioral assessment and develop/implement Tier 1 & Tier 2 strategies to target those issues. They will observe and collect data for 3-4 weeks before deciding whether they need to implement a formal BIP. At least that is what I'l have requested. I wasn't satisfied with their offer of an informal behavior assessment and so I requested in writing that they track the above data for a month, and if after that time period, it seems like their proposed strategy isn't working, that I would need for a formal BIP to be put in place, and this should be implemented alongside the kiddo's IEP. If those behaviors don't get resolved first, I'm afraid his IEP goals will remain unmet for the rest of the academic year, which is such a drain of precious time, that could be spent preparing him to be a better version of himself and ready for kindergarten. I would much rather address any problem issues now, rather than once he gets into actual school.

We thought long and hard about it, and did not try to request for a move back to special ed or ask for a 1:1 aide at this time, because our end goal is to ensure the kiddo gets closer to Gen Ed on the LRE continuum. The kiddo's behaviors are what is getting in the way of him achieving his goals. We felt that denying him this opportunity for independence and social interaction -- even though he's still lacking in social skills -- by via of inclusion, may be the wrong move for our kiddo.  We may be right or wrong about this decision. Hopefully, it'll be for the better. In any case, I plan to stay on top of things, and follow closely for any positive/negative changes in his behaviors as well IEP goals. 

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