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Evaluation ? IEP, same thing? FAPE?


Sammy

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Our local school system has set up an appointment to evaluate my 4 year old non verbal (knows 100s of words but is barely able to ask for things, is a gestalt learner) grandson. He attends a full time ABA therapy in a preschool setting, and thrives there. He still has some behaviors we are working on. Academically, he seems gifted, has been reading since age 2, and much more. We had reached out through child find to start the IEP process. From what I understand, this is done by your local public school system. We have no intention of him going to school here. This is because he is so different, we don't think they'll be able to meet his needs regardless of accomodations. We would prefer he go to a private autism school and are looking at several of those and applying. We have started the ESA process because these schools are not affordable without the scholarship. I am just now learning about FAPE. I do not understand what will happen at this evaluation they have scheduled. He has already been there once for them to attempt a vision and hearing screening. He refused at that time to cooperate, and threw a major tantrum because he wanted to go outside, as he seen other kids outside playing on equipment and ride on toys through their glass partition. They seen him at his worst on that day. I am not sure if this first meeting/evaluation they have scheduled is his first IEP meeting? They have not labeled it as such, I'm just assuming it is. Does he have to go to this? We already know how he will react, his will or will try to remove his clothes except for his pull ups, and he will likely not cooperate. In this scenario, I expect them to tell us they cannot handle him or his needs. Will they want to refer him out to another learning setting? There are special needs schools we DONT want him to go to as some use the old ABA methods that are punitive, etc. That is not how our current ABA therapy is. Do we get any choice in where he goes if they refer him to somewhere specific? Does that mean the school system pays for it? Should I be concerned about this, as I expect him to get funding through ESA? Can they trick us into signing away on FAPE, is that a thing? What does it mean if we sign anything? Can we refuse to sign? Sorry, for all the questions. VERY new here. 

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I would assume this evaluation is pursuant to the local school's obligation under Child Find.  An evaluation has to come before a determination of eligibility for special education, then after a determination of eligibility (assuming eligibility is found) a meeting to draft the IEP is held.  So no, what is scheduled is NOT an IEP meeting and only an evaluation.

You do not have to consent to having the child evaluated.  Did you sign anything?  It would have been a consent for evaluation form.  If you did, you can reach out to the school and revoke your consent.  In extreme cases, the school could take you to court (due process) to order the evaluation, but I don't think they would do that if you explained to them you are in the process of getting him into a private school.

I don't know what ESA is and so can't speak to how funding would be affected.  I would suggest reaching out to that process and ask that question directly to them.

This level of disability is not my expertise, so hoping others will chime in to correct or add to my answer.

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The school does the eval to see if a student qualifies for special ed & an IEP.  You cannot have an IEP meeting until after the eval is done.

The eval can be used to see what services are needed in whatever school he ends up at.  If the public school cannot provide FAPE, they need to pay for another school for the child.  (Not sure if this would be the school the parents would pick.)  The public school need to evaluate all areas of suspected disability.  Some states require gifted IEPs so they might need to look at that if giftedness is suspected.

With an IEP, the student gets special instruction (504s provide accommodations & only accommodations).  They must provide what the student needs.  Your child does not need to be present for IEP meetings.  He will need to be there for the school to evaluate him.  I feel that vision and hearing are done so the child becomes familiar with the school and the 'strange adults' who will need to work with h to do the eval.

You should read what you sign.  Not all private schools will provide FAPE.  When a student is parentally placed and no sp ed eval has been done, you don't know what FAPE is so you can't tell if the school will provide it.

I've seen parents have the public school do an eval & they take it to a private school so they can do their best to support the student.  BTW, this sort of eval would cost $3000+ if a parent had to pay & not covered by insurance given it's educational & not medical.

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