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Can I choose the general education representative for a middle school IEP?


Megan Gregory

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Can I ask for a different general education teacher to be the representative at the IEP meeting? This is the most basic of backgroud information... My 6th grade son (ASD, ADHD, SPD, PLD, suspected Dysgraphia) is VERY smart academically and successful when provided the correct support. When left to his default pattern, he can get 100% on the test but won't get the day-to-day work completed unless it is something he is interested in (can sit for days without anything done or finish something in 10 minutes). He struggles in areas of tolerance and processing speed. The teacher chosen to represent the general ed is of the  "This is how we do it/He is capable and choosing not to do the work" variety. No surprise, my son has not completed the day-to-day work in his class. There is another teacher who has a background in special education. She is able to adjust her style and all work has been completed. I’m not exactly sure how they choose which teacher participated but I would like the second teacher to represent the general education portion of the IEP team.

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Generally no.

If there is someone you want at the IEP meeting because they are a vital participant to your child's education, request that they be there. 
 

But it's not good practice to try and uninvite specific people to an IEP meeting. 

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The school is responsible for providing the representative members of the IEP team. Your solution will be to advocate for accommodation and modifications that ALL of the teachers need to adhere to. You will need to request a specific goal be included in the IEP in order to measure your son's progress throughout the year and require specific tools to monitor the progress (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) It is NOT up to the teacher to decide "how it is done" it is dictated by the legal document - the IEP. 

Susan

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Update: I spoke with the special ed. teacher last night at PTC. She said that Gabe is successfully accessing the general ed curriculum but decides not to complete his work. she used the word DEFIANCE... I about lost it... To me defiance is the same as saying a brain injury survivor is non compliant. It is a cop out. It means, 'I do not have the time or energy to investigate why the behavior is occurring and no desire to figure out a different way.' I asked how they choose the gen. ed. teacher who represents the school. She basically said it is randomly assigned and the school wont change it because my son "needs to learn to work with all types of teachers." The teacher I would prefer is his homeroom teacher. The teacher assigned is his 3rd hour teacher.
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IMO, defiant behavior warrants an FBA so the school can develop a PBSP/BIP and teach him to be less defiant.

Your child needs to learn to work with all types of teachers.  He might need to be taught this - specially designed instruction.  Conversely, teachers need to work with all types of students.  They are all different so different approaches might need to be used so their approach doesn't trigger his defiance.

I'd request that both teachers attend the IEP meeting.  You want the one that's good with him to work with the one that's not so they can be taught to use an approach that triggers cooperation & not defiance.

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I don’t have an answer for you but wanted to mention that we are in the exact same situation except my daughter is a Junior in HS and reached the point where she refuses to attend classes and continue to fail. We are now facing truancy and going through the juvenile court system because of the schools/District failure to do their job. My biggest advice would be if they refuse to provide appropriate support seek a change in educational placement. It quickly becomes toxic when educators view your child as defiant rather than in need of help.

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That PTC conference sounds so upsetting.  JSD has a good point about requesting an FBA to get to the underlying causes of the behavior and provide recommendations for addressing them.  It is so frustrating when impacts of a disability are blindly pegged as "lack of effort" a "choice" or "defiance".

Requesting the teacher you want to provide input attend the meeting will be more effective than asking a difficult staff member to NOT be included.  Plus--you may find that the more difficult staff member is more receptive to hearing the strategies that help from another staff member than yourself.  

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