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Does the Category of Eligibility really matter?


KLM
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Hello all!

So I know there is a whole blog post about this, and I have read (and re-read it) several times, but here are the specifics as to where I am stuck with  my daughter's situation. She is due for her triennial eval and the school is pushing really hard to close the IEP and go to a 504 only. I very, very strongly disagree with this and know that as soon as they pull her SDI supports, she will fail. I was given an advance draft copy of the testing results and if I am reading it correctly, it would appear they are not finding her eligible for continued SPED services in any areas. I know no decision has been made as the meeting as hasn't occurred, but based on the data and the clinical summary at the end, that's how it appears. It seems that all my other concerns were washed away. 

 

However, she has EF dysfunctions that would align with her ADHD diagnosis and I would like to make the argument for eligibility under OHI. That being said, I don't actually think it's her ADHD diagnosis that is in fact the main disability, but based on this report it would appear to be on the only eligible disability that might allow her to continue to receive services. If I can convince the IEP team of this, then does the actual eligibility category matter? Can she still have resource pull outs for reading, writing, math? Can I still request an increase in minutes for this resource time based on her current level of academic performance? 

 

My only other thought at this point would be to request an IEE at the MET meeting as I disagree with their findings of their evaluations. What was identified in the reason for referral and the input from the gen ed teachers, does not at all correlate with the findings from the evaluation. It's as it one child was described at the beginning of the report and then at the end someone a different child came out, yet they are both mine. There is so much more going on that I feel was just ignored or forgotten here, but I am terrified of what will happen if she loses this IEP based on what has already been happening the last several weeks with an IEP. 

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The difference between an IEP & a 504 is special instruction.  Does your child need special instruction to keep up with learning grade level standards?  If this is needed, an IEP is needed.  If they will do OK with accommodations, then a 504 is needed.

There are gen ed services called RTI or MTSS that provide a lower level of support w/o the need to have an IEP.  Is this what your child gets in math & ELA or are these services via the IEP?  If they are gen ed services, the can & should continue.  Read through the current IEP to see what the services are that go with the IEP.  What's not mentioned on the IEP is gen ed that can continue.

ADHD generally gets the OHI box checked.  You don't mention what box is currently checked on the IEP.  If your child is young, it might be the DD box.  Know that if 504 supports aren't enough, you can ask for a sp ed eval and start the IEP process over.  Often, in MS, when a student goes from 3 to 8 teachers, EF issues tend to crop up and students w/ ADHD might need to get IEP services.

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The eligibility category doesn't impact which services are available. It's actually illegal to restrict services or placement based on eligibility 🙂

But, in order to qualify in any category you have to show adverse impact. A diagnosis isn't enough to qualify with OHI.

So, if the evaluations don't show an adverse impact on her education, she won't qualify either way. Remember that "education" includes social skills, participation, work completion, organization, etc. not just reading/writing/math. Hopefully the re-eval assessed all those things as well.

If you disagree with the re-eval results, request an IEE.

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Does your state offer a Facilitated IEP? 

Sometimes facilitator can help both parties come to a better agreement. 

I'd also say go ahead and research in case you need an IEE. I asked for one and couldn't find any local providers 😔. Thankfully the request and classwork evidence was enough to convince my IEP of an eligibility change. Still you're eligible for one IEE per year. If you need it. Request it. 

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