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Trisomy 21 & Suspected Autism - School Re-Eval


Motivated_Mom
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My son has trisomy 21 and I believe could also have autism (my younger son was just diagnosed and he displays signs for a dual diag). I told the school I’m working on getting him evaluated for it (don’t know the timeline yet). The school psychologist said she could work in 1-2 additional autism-specific assessments during his re-evaluation he’s due for anyway. Is there anyway agreeing to this with them could back fire on me? We do not have an official diagnosis for Autism yet, but I do think he could have it. She said she cannot make an official diagnosis BUT could see if he meets the ‘educational criteria’ for it. 

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She is correct, schools cannot diagnose.

They can only find him eligible/ineligible in the 13 categories. One is autism, one is IDD. I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, with trisomy 21 that he's currently eligible under IDD.

Category shouldn't drive supports and services but it often does. It also shouldn't drive placement, but often does.

 

Ideally, the newly identified needs will be found thru these assessments, and then a better IEP can be drawn up.

She can say "we don't find him eligible for the autism category" based on the evals. Fine, then he's a kid with Trisomy 21 who also has sensory needs, pragmatic language issues...whatever else. Just make sure the actual needs are identified.

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He has always been OHI. I do not see that changing, even if she does think autism should be included in there somewhere. He is medically complex with a feeding tube. I’m not sure the autism would change much in fact, he is very much globally developmentally delayed, with the sensory needs and the communication issues intertwined. I’m not sure where the benefit would take us either, aside from hopefully helping them understand his specific needs a little better. The placement piece is where I’m scared, I don’t want them to try to push him out to a different school based off that alone. He is currently ~60% life skills class & ~40% gen Ed at his neighborhood elementary school. 

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The downside is that if another evaluator wants to use the same test, they can't.  You cannot redo the same assessment unless it's been 12 months.  With an ASD identification from the school, he will get more appropriate to ASD support.  The support you provide w/ ASD is a bit different from DS alone.

When you go to apply for SSI or a waiver, having the ASD dx will open up a few extra options.  If you do not have an appointment for an ASD eval outside of school, I'd be OK with the school doing these assessments.

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  • 2 months later...
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I think this depends on what you are wanting from the school.  If you think the benefit of "understanding his needs a little better" is outweighed by the possibility of a different placement, then you might not want to risk it.  My advice would be to have the outside evaluation done as planned, but don't consent to a school evaluation until you receive the results.  The outside evaluation results will give you a better idea of whether or not you even want/need any services for his suspected autism.  If not, there would be no reason for the school to do an evaluation - so don't consent to one.  If you do, they would then have the right to do an evaluation before considering additional services.

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