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View Full Version : Finally, an IEP where I feel I was listened to!!


6TimeMomma
04-20-2007, 03:28 PM
Today was Garrett's (Down Syndrome) IEP for next year. My biggest complaint over the past 4 1/2 years was them not providing him with individualized speech therapy.

He had recieved speech therapy since he was involved in the ISD at the age of 2 months and in the school year 2003/2004, the dropped it and told me they weren't going to offer individual therapy, but were going to work with him in group therapy in his class. They also said they would just do sign language as they didn't feel he would progress any further speech.

Well, I didn't like it, but if they didn't offer individual therapy anymore :confused3 what could I do?

So, today I go to his IEP and there are 3 new people there. They ask me if I liked the program and if I was dissappointed in anything. So I say I am disappointed that he no longer gets speech therapy as I thought he could benefit from it.

One of the new people whips open his chart and reads how he had it for 12 years. He's like "Yea, I wonder why they dropped that. We can get him back in that." :confused3 :confused3

What's up with that? His teacher said a few things to try and "explain" that they did stuff in class. :rolleyes:

I still don't quite understand why they wouldn't offer it to him before even though I have expressed this concern every year since they stopped, but at least he'll be getting it back now!!

*KeepMovingForward*
04-20-2007, 05:24 PM
I am assuming DS is in the public school system? My DS is also in special education and over the years (he is a teen now) I did manage to get a few people to explain the REAL reasons why they are sometimes denied services or taken away. Not to be crass, but for the public schools (I can't speak for the private schools), it all comes down to MONEY. If their budget is okay, then you get everything, but the moment the budgets don't pass or their funding is cut, thats when services suddenly seem to be deemed unnecessary or unavailable. I had it happen with my DS-not with speech therapy, but with his classification in general. They actually tried to mainstream him (against my HUGE protest). DS is mentally, about 3-4 years below his actual age. Well, the hierarchy in the school proceeded with the mainstreaming anyway and after two marking periods of failing everything (and extreme torture and depression on DS part-to the point of medication), they put him back where he belonged in a self contaned class. Believe me, I had to be a complete pain in their butts to initiate the change too.

As a parent of a child with special needs, I just can't fathom taking away ANYTHING that may produce a positive result. Speech therapy...wow...I can't see there being a negative to DS continuing with that. At the absolute worst, there is no improvement, but he should at least be afforded the opportunity to see if an improvement can be made. Some kids it takes longer than others to show progress. I really hope that you don't have to go through this turmoil again. I spent countless days, weeks, months and years fighting with schools...getting doctors to come in on DS behalf...such a nightmare. I'm happy for you that your son's speech therapy has now resumed-as it should have been all along! Good luck! :flower3:

Scutapipig
04-20-2007, 05:36 PM
Fabulous! I'm thrilled someone actually listened and that he'll be getting the services you've been requesting for the last few years. I think the most frustrating thing is when the school district thinks they know what's best for your child more than you do. (Where's that rolling eye smiley?)

I can hardly wait until until my son's IEP in a few weeks where for the first time ever, I plan on giving them a whole load of what's on my mind about the changes they are making to the program...none of them good. It throws me into a tailspin and makes me ill every time I think about it.

*KeepMovingForward*
04-20-2007, 06:09 PM
I can hardly wait until until my son's IEP in a few weeks where for the first time ever, I plan on giving them a whole load of what's on my mind about the changes they are making to the program...none of them good. It throws me into a tailspin and makes me ill every time I think about it.

Good luck! I hope everything works out to your son's benefit. I feel bad for the parents who trust the schools and the educators to make the decisions about what is best for their kids. I'm not knocking the teachers either-they have their hands full (and then some). But, if you don't fight for your child and educate yourself, nobody will hold your hand or help you. Shouldn't be that way! Grrrrr! :sad2:

I have to attend DS IEP on the 24th. Luckily, for once, I am not anticipating a struggle. :woohoo:

lunabkat
04-20-2007, 07:13 PM
You want to know what really irritates me? Looking on these boards and listening to people whine about how thier "gifted" and "talented" child is being denied "special classes" because the money is being spent on the children with "issues" whose parents don't really care and don't know where the kids are anyway because they miss so much school. And that THEIR child deserves to get a vacation while school is going because THEY have no problems. It makes me want to reach out and "touch" someone ya know :furious:

Any child deserves to get a Disney Vacation, especially the ones who have to work so much harder because the schools are geared to the average child and the Board of Ed doesn't want to cough up the money for all the children who really need the help. It was much easier for them to point the way to Ridalin and other medications a few years ago than understand that many of these "disabilities" are just the way our kids happen to be wired. Some kids just need a different way of learning. My dd (8) has Central Auditiory Processing Disorder and it took until the 2nd Grade to get her IEP, even tho I have been campaigning (choice word that) for her to have one since before she started Kindergarter. I am truly blessed with a dsil who is a speech pathologist who specializes in this, since it runs in the family. Try and tell these people YOU know what's going on and the practically laugh in your face, until you are there for sooooooo long they know you are not going away.

If these whiners knew HOW MUCH time and energy we put into getting our kids in these programs, maybe they would just shut up. They don't give this stuff away, not around here anyway. You have to do your homework and work,work, work with your child so that they can keep up and keep current with their work. The school only does so much.

Good luck to you , thanks for the chance to rant like a lunatic :rotfl: . Take care,

*KeepMovingForward*
04-20-2007, 07:29 PM
Good luck to you , thanks for the chance to rant like a lunatic :rotfl: . Take care,

You didn't say anything that I haven't thought myself! Like everything else, the system doesn't work for you, it works against you. The people that really need services don't get them and the ones that shouldn't get them do. Maybe it is all in who you know.

NJ is terrible for special ed (IMO). I have two teachers in the family and they even agree. It's not the teachers fault though, it is those guys in the suits that don't even know who your child is and they just hand down these arbitrary guidelines for the counselors and teachers to abide by. I think a lot of times these administrators just throw up as many roadblocks as possible in hopes that the average person will get tired and give up. It is very sad. :sad1:

Donnask8pro
04-21-2007, 06:15 AM
I have to say, I live in NJ and get everyting I need for DS12 Cerebral Palsy. My best advice for anyone is to remember the word that the law dictates by is "ADEQUATE" They need to give adequate education or services. But my favorite word is "REGRESS" Use that word often in all IEP meetings. Legally they are responsible to not let any child regress. If they do than they are open to a lawsuit. I get our school system to get and or follow through on most if not all of my requests due to the fact I have called them to the mat many times. Not its pretty much my way. Use your states Adovcacy program to help with dealing with school systems. NJ's is good, or have been before I learned how to work the system. Good Luck. :thumbsup2

*KeepMovingForward*
04-21-2007, 06:37 AM
I have to say, I live in NJ and get everyting I need for DS12 Cerebral Palsy. My best advice for anyone is to remember the word that the law dictates by is "ADEQUATE" They need to give adequate education or services. But my favorite word is "REGRESS" Use that word often in all IEP meetings. Legally they are responsible to not let any child regress. If they do than they are open to a lawsuit. I get our school system to get and or follow through on most if not all of my requests due to the fact I have called them to the mat many times. Not its pretty much my way. Use your states Adovcacy program to help with dealing with school systems. NJ's is good, or have been before I learned how to work the system. Good Luck. :thumbsup2


I think every town varies greatly...not just state to state. We lived elsewhere in NJ up until about 7 years ago and the school system was HORRIFIC! That is where I had to do all my fighting. We moved a few towns away and they are like a dream here. Very rarely do I have an issue now. A few miles a a new school system made a massive difference for us.

MandM-Mom
04-21-2007, 07:16 AM
Good for you!!

We know our children the best, and we have to fight for there rights! The thought of having to do this makes me cringe at times but if I have to call out the school system at some point in time I am not going to hesitate....it is our right as residents of that town or city school district and I know I sure the H***** pay for it with my hard earned tax dollars.

DD 9mths has a IFSP now (qualifed with an Evaluation and Diagnosis of Down Syndrome at 11 days old) and she qualified for OT PT Speech and Special Ed but when we started they had no Special Ed teachers available so they never put it in for us and kept me in the dark about her, later on at 6 month IFSP review the speech therapist asks about implementing the Special Ed now, I was shocked and sure let our service coordinator know I was unhappy that I was uninformed and I wanted it implemented now ASAP. I think they bank on parents not caring to save the districts and county and state $$$$.

belle&beast
04-21-2007, 07:27 AM
Hi everyone. I am a speech therapist in the public school preschool in my area. I am glad to say we are not cutting services the way many of you are experiencing and so far we have not had any unhappy parents at our IEP meetings. (So far, so good...) Anyway I wanted to offer a few suggestions that might help your process go more smoothly. First of all, we always give a draft copy of the proposed IEP a week in advance. This way parents have a chance to review and think about the suggested services and times and nobody is hit with a surprise at the meeting. Also, keep in mind that you are allowed to bring other people with you to your conferences. A parent's advocate is a great resource and they will be able to help you present your concerns. I work for a great school corporation and we always welcome advocates because they help parents and teachers to see each other's points of view.

Blondiex46
04-21-2007, 07:29 AM
unfortunatelly if you don't have people in your corner then you will lose things cause they will do whatever they can unless they are called on it. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing how to get it back. In the future speak with all the professionals you can try to get them to go to a meeting, get an advocate if you can (there are free ones I am one in PA). He should have speech within a group, whether they "offer" it or not is not the point. If the "team" agrees (and you as part of the team)he needs individual then then it is requested. If they say they don't offer then you tell them he needs it figure out a way, if they disagree then have mediation or a pre-hearing conference. AND if he should have gotten it the whole time and they "don't know why it was dropped) then they night owe him compensatory S&L, if you want check into it and good luck.

6TimeMomma
04-21-2007, 05:12 PM
Good for you!!

We know our children the best, and we have to fight for there rights! The thought of having to do this makes me cringe at times but if I have to call out the school system at some point in time I am not going to hesitate....it is our right as residents of that town or city school district and I know I sure the H***** pay for it with my hard earned tax dollars.

DD 9mths has a IFSP now (qualifed with an Evaluation and Diagnosis of Down Syndrome at 11 days old) and she qualified for OT PT Speech and Special Ed but when we started they had no Special Ed teachers available so they never put it in for us and kept me in the dark about her, later on at 6 month IFSP review the speech therapist asks about implementing the Special Ed now, I was shocked and sure let our service coordinator know I was unhappy that I was uninformed and I wanted it implemented now ASAP. I think they bank on parents not caring to save the districts and county and state $$$$.

I just have to say I absolutely love your signature about princesses can have DS too!! That is awesome!!


And thanks to everyone for your comments. So many things I wished I known 15 years ago about special ed and iep meetings and such!!

Oh and he is not in public schools. He is in a special needs school. He was in a special needs classroom in a public school for 2 years as part of their program, but now is back at the special needs school.

RACHELSMOM1
04-21-2007, 06:02 PM
You want to know what really irritates me? Looking on these boards and listening to people whine about how thier "gifted" and "talented" child is being denied "special classes" because the money is being spent on the children with "issues" whose parents don't really care and don't know where the kids are anyway because they miss so much school. And that THEIR child deserves to get a vacation while school is going because THEY have no problems. It makes me want to reach out and "touch" someone ya know :furious:

Any child deserves to get a Disney Vacation, especially the ones who have to work so much harder because the schools are geared to the average child and the Board of Ed doesn't want to cough up the money for all the children who really need the help. It was much easier for them to point the way to Ridalin and other medications a few years ago than understand that many of these "disabilities" are just the way our kids happen to be wired. Some kids just need a different way of learning. My dd (8) has Central Auditiory Processing Disorder and it took until the 2nd Grade to get her IEP, even tho I have been campaigning (choice word that) for her to have one since before she started Kindergarter. I am truly blessed with a dsil who is a speech pathologist who specializes in this, since it runs in the family. Try and tell these people YOU know what's going on and the practically laugh in your face, until you are there for sooooooo long they know you are not going away.

If these whiners knew HOW MUCH time and energy we put into getting our kids in these programs, maybe they would just shut up. They don't give this stuff away, not around here anyway. You have to do your homework and work,work, work with your child so that they can keep up and keep current with their work. The school only does so much.

Good luck to you , thanks for the chance to rant like a lunatic :rotfl: . Take care,

My oldest daughter has auditory processing disorder also, and I know your frustration! She is now in a private school, and is on A/B honor roll. She was on a track to fail in public school, and until I took her to a special clinic at FSU for speech problems, they did not listen to me. The IEP was written immediately for her because the university had identified her problem. She spent 2 years in Kindergarten,and finally I was able to get McKay scholarship for her, and the private school she is in does wonders for these kids - for a lot less money per year per student than government schools do. And, she has blessings from administration to take family vacations - family time is considered very important. The values are just different. My youngest has down syndrome, so her IEP was done automatically. The special school she attends is wonderful, and she gets all services she needs.:banana: :cloud9:

It is frustrating to listen to the whiners you talk about - I just wish they could walk one day in our shoes.princess: :grouphug: :bride:

Val
04-21-2007, 10:54 PM
Congrats 6TimeMomma! Way to go. I have followed Garrett's story for, oh, do I say years now. I was remembering the hearing aids out the bus window incident after my DD left hers on the table, the cat knocked them on the floor, and golden retriever ATE one! Garrett has become so mature. He is growing up so much, and becoming so much the man. I have a feeling he is going to do great things and visit great places. All your kids are growing so fast, and they are all doing SO well!

We are moving my DD9 from parochial school to public school in the fall- and have her IEP meeting scheduled for May 19th at the new school. HOPEFULLY, they will be more understanding of what a child with moderate hearing loss has as adaptation needs.....our neighbor is the principal at the new school, and actually said he is looking forward to having my DD and knows how well she will do. They have 2 full time speech therapists on staff- as opposed to the itinerant therapist.

It is tragic that we have to be so well educated on our rights, the laws, and what schools should have to provide. For years I sat on the "other" side of the table, as a behavioral consultant for several agencies. I saw the "dark" side of placement and really got burnt out dealing with the districts, so I went back into academics. NEVER did I imagine that I would be sittings on the parent side of the table at IEP meetings- of course, do any of us expect to be visiting Holland, nuch less deal with the government red tape once we got there!

I can say that I should do major, major time in purgatory (hopefully not worse) for each and every time I didn't listen to a parent and his/her needs! I get the chance to guest lecture to school psych students now- and I talk to them as a parent, not as a professor! Thank goodness I have a knowledge base to work from for my own DD, and as a result, can be a good parent advocate for her. I am scared to death about this move- so keep the pixie dust coming my way. 6TimeMomma-well, all of you, you give me inspiration and hope!

lunabkat
04-22-2007, 09:03 AM
If this board does nothing but help one parent who is in the dumps because of all the hoops you have to jump to get help for you child (in most cases, some districts are wonderful...so I hear...not actual experience in that), than it will be a wonderful thing. Reading all your posts is inspirational and it heartens me to know that there are other, hard working, parents out there who persivere in the name of their child. Its so frustrating sometimes, but I have at least gotten to see the light at the end of the tunnel and have gotten some help, tho to help my child best we do an awful lot of work at home, including Fast ForWord, Metronome and other studies.

Its nice to have some "real people"support, thanks guys, as Brittany (8) would say "You're a doll.":goodvibes

We go to disney in October so we have lots of planning left to do. I was wondering if anyone on this board had done the BBBoutique, is there anyway to see the different looks? When I reserved the girls spot the phone operator said they only had a princess package, yet online they offer Diva and Popstar as well? Thanks, LL