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Can I ask for totally revised goals at revised IEP meeting?


BWmom

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Hello,

My son has ADHD combined type. He is in 5th grade but academcially he performs at 3rd grade level in reading and writing and ELA. He had his first IEP meeting but the goals were put together at the 1st meeting that reveiwed his evaluation and testing material (discussed by the psychologist) and they slammed down last minute goals that are only focused on one goal:self monitoring and checking off a checklist at only 5 hours a week , in classroon. He got super behind with the Covid online schooling 2 yrs ago and is deficient in phonics, can barely write a sentence (except super basic like: The bird sang a song.)  He is having a  difficult time with grammer, spelling and reading comprehension. Can I ask the team to just dodge the slef monitoring goal and do the BASICS in reading and writing instead? He is not super hyperactive in the classroom, but he does have problems with keeping on task and organizing his work. Any thoughts? I am looking at super basic reading and writing IEP goals..is this the wrong direction to go in?  I welcome your thoughts....

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IMO, this is a great ask.  I wouldn't ask at an IEP meeting.  I'd write down the sort of things I feel the school should be working on from your perspective and send this to the school in the form of a parent concerns letter.

Dear school-

I feel that my son, XXX, does need the support of an IEP to learn to read.  He seems to lack a foundation in phonics, spelling & grammar which makes it hard for him to read and write.  He needs for these basic skills to be taught so he can master them.  Only after he has a good grasp of these fundamentals should he look to self monitor his reading & writing.  I'd like to meet to discuss changing the goals in his IEP so that we can strengthen his ELA foundation.

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Wow ☺️!!! Thank you JSD for this valuable input. I could not say it better than you did here.

What you wrote sounds perfect and makes perfect sense. 🤞 They dont give me a hard time. Can I also ask the Special Ed Department to do more testing to see if he actually has more learning disabilities that are adding to his difficulty in school? I know that would be separate from the IEP goals/ meeting. But I could bring it up at IEP meeting and it would be in the notes?

I am so new to this, I dont know what I can ask or what I cant ask for..the whole process of the IEP is so intimidating.

 

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When was the last evaluation done in any area and in what areas?  You can request an evaluation at any time (it helps to include reasons why you want an evaluation, such as the things you mention above, grades, teacher comments).  You can bring it up at an IEP meeting, but you MUST request it in writing (email), so I would do that now rather than waiting for a meeting.

Some things to keep in mind.  If the school has done an evaluation in an area (for instance, academics), you must wait a year before requesting another one.  If you don't agree with the school's evaluation (for instance, they did not find him eligible in a specific learning disability, which it sounds like they didn't, since he doesn't have any goals in that area), you can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).  The school may ask, but you do not have to give a reason for requesting the IEE other than you disagree with the school's evaluation.  (You might want to specify what areas you disagree with; for instance, you may agree with their behavioral assessment but not with their academic assessment.)  If the school refuses to provide the IEE, they must take you to court (so schools usually just provide them). 

It sounds to me like he needs to be found eligible for a specific learning disability in both reading and written expression and given goals and services for both.  If that hasn't happened yet, definitely ask for an evaluation - in writing.

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I should have further explained the process to you.  I'm not sure what state you are in so the process might differ in your state (I would suggest reaching out to your state department of education and see if they have something like a parent handbook to explain the special education process - many do), but here is what may happen after you make your request for an evaluation.  The school will hold a meeting to go over existing data (a RED meeting - review of existing data).  Then they will either grant or decline your request for an evaluation.  (If they decline, so straight to asking for an IEE.)  Once granted, they will have you sign a consent form.  They should have the consent form ready to go at the RED meeting, but if they don't, pester them until they get it to you, because the date you sign consent is the date the timetable starts running (60 days), and you want that to start that running as soon as possible.

After the results of the evaluation are in, they will schedule a meeting to go over the results with you (will probably be called an "eligibility meeting").  Ask for a copy of the results ahead of the meeting.  (Your success in getting this will depend on the state you are in - some states require this by law and some don't.)  Try to go over them with someone who can explain them to you - an advocate, your pediatrician, etc.  If you son is found eligible at this meeting for a specific learning disability, the school will then schedule another meeting to revise the IEP and put in goals and services for this new eligibility category.  If he isn't found eligible, request an IEE (in writing).

By the way, you don't have to punt the goal for self-monitoring just to add additional goals.  It's not an either/or situation.  If he needs both, he should have both.

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In theory, the school should evaluate in all areas of suspected disability.  If they missed an area, ask for them to assess it.  If he's in 5th and at a 3rd grade level in reading & writing, it definitely seems like there could be a disability.  You might want to look over the evals they did to see what was evaluated.  If you have questions about the evals the school did, feel free to post back with them.  It's not always obvious what evals look at.  They may have found issues in this area but didn't dig deeper to get to the specifics.

There is a saying in education:  If it's not in writing, it didn't happen.  My advice is to make requests in writing.  (I'm not sure about how IEP notes work.  My state doesn't have them.)

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