Difficulty Getting an IEP/504 from School District
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- See also: Special Education in Public Schools for IEP/504 advice for specific districts
Editor note: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), website: www.dredf.org is frequently recommended on BPN. DREDF is an information center funded by the US Department of Education, serving families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with all disabilities: physical, cognitive, emotional, and learning. Provides parent training and Education Advocates to help with special education issues for parents in Alameda, Contra Costa or Yolo Counties.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Difficulty getting assessment for kid with an IEP
- Special education IDEA violation?
- Battling the school district on son's IEP
- How to get school to comply with 504 plan?
Hello parents, I'm looking for information/ advice from parents who have been able to secure an educational assessment from the Diagnostic Center in Fremont. My son has an IEP and continues to be academically behind (3 years). I believe the assessment will be helpful to all involved- especially the school district -to find the best way my child learns and to get him what he needs to succeed.
I've asked the school district for this assessment but they have denied my request. I will be having another IEP meeting and will bring this up again. I know some districts rather do their own assessments, but my experience with these is that they are not very thorough and are biased. I know I could pay a private practitioner to do one, but I strongly feel that the school district should provide this since they have not been successful in figuring out the best way to reach/teach him.
I'd like to hear from parents who have succeeded in gaining an assessment from the Center via the school district. What did you have to do to get the assessment approved? What happened when completed and did the school district follow the recommendation? I'd also like to hear from parents who have gone the private route and paid for an assessment. How did you present the results to your school district and what was the result? Did the district provide the services recommended by the private assessment?
Thanks Frustrated with school district
I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with the school district. I'm surprised that they are denying it since it is no cost to them. We were able to secure an assessment through the Diagnostic Center in Fremont (whom I thought was top-notch and incredibly thorough). Although I may not have much sage advice for you, but here's my experience: We did this immediately following the school district's assessment before we had an IEP in place (I don't know if that made a difference or not). I followed up on the school district assessment with a letter that highlighted some specific portions of the assessment that I questioned (e.g., a little bit of sloppy - or maybe just not well trained?-things were done) that I felt put a few of the assessment's conclusions into question. It helped to do some research here to back up what I was saying, like using research from sources familiar with the disability. The assessment didn't jibe with the issues that we had been describing that were of concern and so we made a strong case for why the district's assessment was not adequate. We didn't want to be adversarial and tried to present it as needing some of the questions left by the assessment further resolved and requested CDE (Diagnostic Center) as the third party - since that is a right! The school did accept the Center's diagnosis and some of the recommendations although it was my understanding that they were not obligated to. Good luck! anon
My 5 year old son has been seen by 2 mental health professionals who feel he meets the threshold for Asperger's, and will have another evaluation by the ASD Center to confirm. I put in writing my request for an evaluation of my son by the school district and was told by the principal that I would get a letter from the district saying they would not evaluate him until he was in second grade. Is this a violation of IDEA regulation? How do I go about getting him evaluated while creating the minimal amount of animosity at his school? My son will be there a long time! I am already feeling patronized by the principal, as she has said to me 3 times now that kindergarten is all new for me and my son but they have seen it all, and Asperger's is a ''popular'' diagnosis, much the same as ADD/ADHD was a few years ago. I am just trying to find the right tools to help my child. advocate
YES! This is a violation of IDEA. They're hoping to take advantage of your ''newness'' and not provide your child with the services that he's entitled to by Federal law, and if you don't know enough to make a stink about it, they'll be safe from a lawsuit. Good for you for being an advocate for your child, you are all he has and the system is designed to let our kids slip through the cracks unless they have somebody to fight for them. Special Ed services for an ASD diagnosis will need to start with your district's Special Ed department, but it also won't hurt to continually bug your principal about it. It's not okay for her to patronize you. Does your school have any inclusion support services staff?
Contact DREDF at http://www.dredf.org/ call and ask to speak with an advocate. They will inform you of the details of what your son's rights are and help you navigate your way through. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. Jill
The short answer is that refusing to evaluate is most likely a violation of the district's obligation under ''child find'', but it would help to have the letter to decide how to respond. In any case, you do have recourse. Dana
Yes it is a violation. If you request an assessment the District MUST assess. However, you should put it in writing. Once you submit your request the District has 15 days to develop an assessment plan. However, as a parent you should be specific about what you want the District to assess. For example, Speech, Occupational Therapy, reading, math, etc. The child's disability has to impact his/her education.
Nolo Press in Berkeley publishes a book called ''A Parents Guide to an IEP'' and Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE) publishes a handbook titled ''Parents Special Education Rights and Responsibilities.'' Both of these resources are great for parents. Both have websites. CASE also provides educational advocacy for families.
Good luck - and remember keep copies of all your documents and keep track of the timelines. Anonymous
What your principal said is not true. School districts must evaluate if asked (called ''self-referring'') starting at age 3 (before that, the Regional Center does the evals). Instead of giving the letter to your principal, mail it straight to the head of special education of your district. For Oakland, that's Lisa Cole, 2850 West St., Oakland 94608. OUSD Mom
Our 5-year-old son has gross and fine motor skill delays. He has been receiving OT and speech through our school district. In addition, he attends the district's special day preschool 2 days/week, and a mainstream preschool 3 days/wk. Last week we held an IEP meeting to discuss kindergarten. The district seems to have 2 possible options - 1)mainstream him in a regular kindergarten, with no accommodation for his motor skill problems, or 2) keep him in special ed, and try to mainstream him over the course of the year. Neither seem like good options to us - he needs something in between. What do other district do/offer, or how do I find out? I have no idea what is really out there, but I do know that our district is not great at innovative solutions! Also, is there some kind of a forum like BPN for parents of special needs kids? Thanks! E
You don't say what district your child is in, so it's difficult to answer your questions appropriately.
There is a solution in Oakland for kids with speech/language issues, and if the child also needs OT for fine motor delays, he will receive it on a ''pull out'' basis.
Perhaps the district is considering that kindergarten is not really a time of intense fine motor work. There's writing, and art, and fine motor play. But it may be that they think your child will do well socially and will be motivated to work himself on his fine motor projects.
If he's not very motivated in this area, you need to press on the issue and request additional OT, if that's what you think he needs. I'd be more concerned about whether he needs support in the speech area myself; depending on your district and school, kindergarten can be a highly verbal year. You don't want him to get frustrated because he doesn't understand what's expected of him and everyone else ''gets it''. That's where behavior starts to crop up as a problem.
Go back to the IEP table and ask for additional services if that's what you want. If he's more capable than the most capable child in the special day class, you will not want to place him there. Most important - visit each class so you can observe, take notes and visualize how you think he would fit in. hope that's a little help. - Nancy
It isn't legal for the district to refuse needed support services if your child is in a regular classroom. The law regulating special education states that a child should be in the ''least restrictive environment'' that meets his needs. Our child is in special ed in BUSD and, like most special ed elementary school students in this district, is in a regular classroom with supports. Different districts have different programs available, but if your child can function well in a regular classroom but needs therapy services, the district can't deny you that option. You can contact Disability Rights Education Foundation (DREDF) for help with IEPs, they're in the phonebook. A yahoo group you might want to look into is specialneedsnetwork. Good luck to you! Jessica
I am wondering if other parents in the Oakland Public Schools have suggestions for how to gain compliance with a 504 plan. I have a third grader who has been diagnosed with a mild learning disability called dysgraphia. We had a meeting with the school (his teacher, the resource specialist, the principal and the occupational therapist) and came up with a plan back in December. Part of the plan was for the child to receive OT through the district which he is, but other parts of the plan are not being met. What is the procedure for gaining compliance? I've talked briefly with the Resource Specialist, and she seemed surprised that it wasn't getting taken more seriously. Does anyone know of a good approach to take? Thanks.
I hate to say it, but after working in several school districts as a support professional, I know that the ''squeaky wheel'' gets the grease. The biggest fear that a school district has is having to go to court over a non-compliance issue. First of all, they know that they will lose; secondly, it costs the district more to even PREPARE to go to court than it does to appease a parent who is trying to enforce their child's IEP plan. You don't have to be ugly about it, but just letting them know that court is not your first choice in order to get things implemented will get your message across loud and clear -- good luck! anonymous