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IEP meeting coming up and I need help



Hello, I have a 13 year old daughter with Down syndrome and her triennial IEP meeting is coming up. These are always stressful as I never seem to advocate enough for her... Anyway, she is currently on a life skills curriculum which I am mostly ok with, I just want to be sure that I am doing the right thing for her. She's had speech in her IEP throughout elementary and now middle school but is still has a limited vocabulary and is not always understood by others. She can write 3-4 letters of her name legibly and can write most her her numbers 1-10, her 5 and 9 are always backwards and she can't seem to get it to click how to turn them around.  I read on another post on here that someone was asking how to get the school to teach her daughter how to read and the response mentioned to have her evaluated to prove she is able to learn to read....what kind of evaluation will let us know if Megan is capable of learning to read?? She has no interest in it, she recognizes her name, a few of her classmates names and maybe 5 sight words. 

I just want to know what she is capable of so we can concentrate on getting her the help to be great at what she is able to do, and not frustrate her by trying to push her to do something she isn't capable of.

I hope all this jibberish makes sense. I want to help her and always feel at a loss on how to.

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My area of "expertise" is not Down syndrome, so hopefully others will chime in with recommendations specific to that disability.  But from a general standpoint...  Since her triennial is coming up, that means the school will be doing a re-evaluation.  That should be done in all areas of suspected disability, so make sure you sign a consent for cognitive/general intelligence (an IQ test may have been done previously, but you need to make sure she has a NONVERBAL IQ test done due to her language limitations and to get a more realistic idea of her cognitive capabilities ), communication skills (both speech and language), academics, and any other area with which you are concerned (social skills?).  I would also request a phonological awareness test, which a lot of states require now, but usually only for lower elementary grades.  This would help to show where instruction in reading needs to start.

Regardless of the results of the school's evaluation, afterwards I would request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).  This would be paid at school/public expense.  You will need to state that you disagree with the school's evaluation, but you do not have to give them reasons.  The reason I say to ask for an IEE is because school evaluations don't come with recommendations.  An IEE would (hopefully) speak to whether or not your daughter is capable of learning to read AND would hopefully offer recommendations on instruction, etc.

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