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Does my 2nd grader need self-contained classroom?

Ann Briggs


My 2nd grader in inclusion class was diagnosed with autism, adhd and receptive-expressive language disorder in kindergarten (private neuropsych eval). He was classified Autism and OHI, but denied speech and language services because school eval showed average scores. Last year, first grade, I brought in a comprehensive language and literacy eval that again diagnosed language disorder, as well as specific reading disability and disorder of written expression. The school again did their own test and determined no language or learning disability. They gave him 30 mins a week of speech and language services in a group , I believe to keep me quiet. By the end of last year it was clear to me that he was falling behind academically. I ask for an IEE and got another neuropsychological eval done in October. Results show receptive-expressed language disorder and learning disabilities in reading, writing and math. Test scores from school have him at kindergarten level in math and reading. He seems completely lost, classroom observation shows him not engaging in any of the work, he’s having meltdowns every time I try to do homework with him. 
IEP meeting is on Wednesday. Neuropsychologist is reviewing evaluation with the team. She seems to be suggesting that he be placed in a self- contained classroom. I’m so angry with the school for not acknowledging his language impairment and trying very hard to keep my emotions in check. Wanted to put this out here to get some feedback, especially on the prospect of going from inclusion to self contained. This all feels like a huge setback 

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Seems to me the school would need to try more services (certainly more than 30 minutes a week, for crying out loud!) and accommodations to meet the least restrictive environment requirement before going directly to a self-contained classroom.

If the neuropsychologist report is showing him so far behind that she's recommending self-contained, maybe another approach (assuming you want to keep him in the regular education setting) would be to argue the school failed at "child find" and now owe compensatory services - instead of putting him in a self-contained class due to their error.

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Placement needs to be the LAST decision made by the IEP team.  He's got a lot of needs that the IEP has to address (because there seems to have been a delay in identifying 'all areas of suspected disability').  How will the areas be addressed?  Is the only place that can do this a self-contained classroom?  Answer the questions and you will figure out the LRE placement for your child.

I agree with Carolyn about child find issue & that your child might be owed compensatory services.  This would be for not identifying & remediating his LDs sooner when there were evaluations showing he had these issues.

Goals should be for him to catch up to same-age peers/classmates.

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