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5 yo with ADHD, SPD and Anxiety going to Kindergarten


cmerc

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I have a granddaughter starting Kindergarten and she has already been diagnosed by 2  Neuropsychologists. She is in speech and OT currently ( in pre-school) .Should my daughter be advocating for an IEP? The school called and said she would have to wait until school starts before they will discuss accommodations.  She isn't sure what questions to ask or how to proceed despite her best efforts to get information. I am researching as much as I can to assist but as your website states-its not easy!

Thank you in advance! 

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In my area, a preschooler who needs speech would have an IEP and a teacher/speech therapist would come to them at their private preschool (because we don't have public preschool where I live).  There has to be a way to have an IEP in preschool - it's required under IDEA.

Definitely request a special ed eval and list the areas of need:  speech, OT, anxiety, sensory processing and a medical diagnosis of ADHD.  (How are her social skills?  With this combo, social skills will often lag.)  The last page of this has a template to request an eval:  https://www.elc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/getting-a-special-education-evaluation.pdf

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Thought I would update on our progress. PPT is scheduled for next week-Up to this point, head phone accommodations have been fulfilled ( Granddaughter is noise sensitive). The school acknowledges that there are shortages with regards to teachers and they are sharing teachers among other schools in the district.

Are there specific things that parent should be prepared to bring to the PPT other than the assessments from Neuropsychological,speech and OT that have already been completed? There has been little information as to meeting content or parental role from the school. 

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If you disagree with the school's evaluations (ineligibility) then learn what an IEE is and if it's time to request one.

https://adayinourshoes.com/iee-independent-education-evaluation/

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Diagnosed with what by 2 neuropsychologists?  Was speech & OT evaluated by the school as part of a preschool special ed IEP?  The criteria for school speech & OT are different from medical speech & OT.

I would definitely look at putting a 504 in place at school.  Additionally, I would request a special education evaluation be done to see if your grandchild qualifies for special ed services.  (The written request needs to come from a person with educational custody which might not be you.)  School staff generally are contracted to work ~186 days per year so they are not available to meet for IEP or 504 meetings during the summer.  I tend to tell parents to ask for a sp ed eval in February or March of the year they will be entering the public school system since IEP evals take 100 (or more) days given the rules on how state sp ed laws are written.

I would request the sp ed eval look at speech & OT given that is the outside therapy this child current gets.  Depending on what the neuropsych eval says, it might make sense to ask for other things to be evaluated.  You will need to share when & what evals are done because you cannot repeat the same eval within 12 months & get valid results.  It might make sense to share a copy of the neuropsych evals with the school.  Some will take an outside report and use it to provide IEP services rather than the school doing an eval.

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Thank for you reply! Diagnosed with ADHD,General anxiety disorder and Sensory Processing disorder.  Speech and OT have been outside the pre-school system-there was no special ed in the preschool. My daughter has been seeking help since her daughter turned 3 but the  assessments have all been completed outside the pre-school system within the last year.  We were unaware of the requested time frame-learning as we go..

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In my state, if a parent/legal guardian submits a request for the local public school district to evaluate a child for special education (an IEP), the school must respond to that request in writing within 30 days, and if they choose to not evaluate the child, they have to state why they are refusing the evaluation. Check your state's regs to be sure of its timelines (see https://adayinourshoes.com/idea-individuals-with-disabilities-education-act/).

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Any chance the doctors your daughter has already been working with have any connection to the school district? They might be able to start the conversation for your family.

Otherwise, the simplest thing to do is write a letter requesting evaluation. I'm sure the data and doctor's info already had will be useful to this. Remember, the letter doesn't even have to be particularly thorough.  They are required to respond, but as has been said, likely the school district is bare bones right now and usually the request timeline is "business days" anyway, so I wouldn't bat an eye about needing to wait until school has started, because that's when they'll actually have people to handle it and will properly be in business. 

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I have personally ran into a lot more resistance when it comes to getting an IEP for a preschool age child. Depending upon your state laws Kindergarten may be considered preschool in my state it is. As children are not required to attend school until first grade. I would follow the above advice mentioned. I also wanted to inform you that in my experience and from others I've spoken to the district pushes back more with preschool age children.  

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Thought I would update on our progress. PPT is scheduled for next week-Up to this point, head phone accommodations have been fulfilled ( Granddaughter is noise sensitive). The school acknowledges that there are shortages with regards to teachers and they are sharing teachers among other schools in the district.

SO here were are again.. The school has refused an IEP because her behavior is " good enough" for Kindergarten despite the diagnosis and struggles with adhd and anxiety and she has been out with pneumonia for the last week and was only in school for 1 week. There appears to be intimidation and I believe it has everything to do with money. The sense that 10 minutes can present an accurate assessment of the struggles of an ADHD 5 year old in the classroom without taking the diagnosis and expert  assessment into account is mind boggling and extremely frustrating.  My daughter is beside herself and we are discouraged.

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The teacher is going to be the loudest voice in saying if an eval is needed or not - at least it should be.  They are the one dealing with the day-to-day.  My thought is to wait & see.  Once your granddaughter is comfortable with school & the teacher, behaviors might get worse where they will say she should have an eval.  You can also request an IEE at school expense.  https://adayinourshoes.com/iee-independent-education-evaluation/

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You're right- wait and see is our only option at this point. They completed a  "screening " ( generated from the PPT meeting) and it looks like they have deemed that an IEP isn't necessary. There is a potential 504 meeting scheduled but I have little hope this will be done because they state they "accommodate every student" at this kindergarten age.  It's interesting that the  outside evaluations and diagnosed conditions carry no weight and all of the professionals readily recognize that the this struggle isn't uncommon for parents. 

My daughter will continue outside speech and OT. My sense from the discussion  with the outside speech pathologist is that in-school speech therapy is limited in scope and private practitioners can do more . I can see why parents struggle-

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With schools, services and accommodations are based on need - not diagnosis - but you do need a disability/diagnosis to qualify for an IEP or 504.  Outside evals are 'considered' by the school.  They don't need to be followed.  With speech, you'd think that the scope would be the same inside & outside of school.  You want to look at intelligibility.  How many correct words out of 100 = percentage of  intelligibility.  My assumption is a child's rate of speech errors would be the same independent of their location.  I'm not sure if there is a different threshold for when they intervene in school vs when medical insurance covers SLP services.

With screenings, they are quick and less accurate where evals take more time (cost more for the school to do) and you get more accuracy - provided it was the right eval done in the right way and the child met the criteria for who the eval works on.  I would ask how much worse would they need to have done on the screen for the school to move forward with a full eval?  If they missed the full eval by a few points, you can argue that the outside services are why they are doing this well & they didn't take that into account when they determined that moving forward with an eval wasn't needed.

I remember talking to a mom where the SLP told her, off the record, that her son did qualify but if they gave him therapy (this was for pragmatics due to autism) they would need to take time away from a child who was nonverbal.  If this is your school's situation, I don't see this being a good situation to put your grandchild in because it could lead to retaliation.  I've seen where outside services are more intense and there's a lot more progress & more quickly than with school therapy.  They might be doing your grandchild a favor by pushing you to outside therapy so long as the cost & getting there isn't a big burden.

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