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Hello Everyone. My son has autism. He is in a Gen Ed kindergarten. He recently received an OT eval where his fine motor skills came out fine (I'm in agreement) but his sensory scores were horrendous (also agree). The district denied him services orally in our meeting stating there is not an academic impact and fine motor skills are in 'normal' range. I requested PWN and the case manager just sent me another copy of the evaluation. What should I do? His teacher said in the meeting his sensory needs are definetly impacting him in the classroom.

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Let me preface this with the fact that I am not an advocacy expert in autism.  However, procedurally, I can give you some pointers.

First, push hard for the PWN.  You are absolutely entitled to this.  Look up and refer to your state's law/regulation on this and/or your state's department of education guidelines and compliance standards and refer to them in your request IN WRITING (email is fine).  If this doesn't work, file a Child Complaint with your department of education citing failure to comply with required PWN procedures.

Second, request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).  Assuming your state is similar to others on this issue, you do NOT have to provide them with a reason for this request, but the reason would be your disagreement with the decision that the sensory issues set forth in the school's evaluation do not affect him in the academic setting.  The IEE will be at "public expense," so you do not have to pay for it.  Hopefully, the IEE will come back with a direct correlation of his sensory issues to academic impact and will make recommendations for services and/or accommodations.  If accommodations only, you may have to go the 504 Plan route for now until he is older and there is more proof of the academic impact.

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What is your end goal? Do you believe he needs specially designed instruction, or just accommodations for the sensory issues?

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How do you feel his sensory concerns are impacting his education and experience at school otherwise (ie. ability to relate to peers, participate in recess appropriately, eat lunch with other children without incident, etc.)? If you have concerns which you feel were not addressed in this evaluation, then you can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). The prior evaluation is the PWN for that request, which is why the case manager gave you another copy of the evaluation.  

However, while that is moving forward, after your request for an IEE is made, what are you hoping to gain for your son that he doesn't already have? Did he not qualify for an IEP at all? How do you see him struggling at school?  

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