AnamCara, you are speaking directly to my heart.
Now that I am over the shock of the IEP meeting (happened this past
Tuesday), I have just been boiling over with anger and tears.
What you say hits the nail on the head. I want to go back into the meeting
and expressly explain to them that they are making this decision based
upon ONE set of numbers taken on ONE small morning.
And I feel like telling them that by denying these services, they may
actually be planning for disastrous results later. Is this why the sudden
rise in ADD diagnoses in the elementary grades? I know my daughter for
one is prone to "act out" or "clown around" when the root issue is that she
fears that she cannot accomplish a certain task.
It is simply not good enough for me.
As nice and as well-intentioned as the school district representatives may
be, I am no longer falling for it.
Thank you for your support, everyone. This can be a lonely process, and
your comments cheer me on immensely.
Maura in upstate nyI am not sure, but 12 months, if she is 4 is 25% delay, no? Whar age do they give her for her skills? I think, I
if I were you, I would seek a diagnosis sooner rather than later.
Thanks 23red. She meets with a new Pediatrician the end of the month. We'll
go from there.
[QUOTE=maura101]I have no problem with a PDD-NOS diagnosis, however she is "clear" enough
now that her symptoms are masked. The doctors I have seen until this point
kind of shrug them off. Only my husband and I are tuned in enough to see
them, e.g., how she reacts socially in groups, how she disconnects when
exposed to an allergen, doesn't process auditory instructions in a group,
sensory issues to the extreme, withholding and "mega-poops."
I23red, I think the school district seeks a 12 month delay. How does that
compute in comparison to a 25% delay?[/QUOTE]
It's good that you're going ahead and getting the medical testing/diagnosis done. That will help you in the long run on many fronts, not just educationally.
As far as educationally goes, it's wonderful she's made so much progress that she "doesn't need supports" but the reality is that she's made that progress BECAUSE of the supports. For some reason, school districts think that children with non-visible disabilities either outgrow them, or outgrow the need for supports on a consistent basis - and it usually winds up biting them in the tail end down the road. A child who can't walk and uses a wheelchair may take PT to keep those legs strengthened or learn to use, but they will still more than likely continue to need the wheelchair or a walker. Our children have similar issues - just not visible to the naked eye, particularly those who are high-functioning on the spectrum.
Your comments above are actually what need to be used educationally to keep services in place. The school is required to address functional skills as well as academics; in other words, they need to address her social skills as well. You're the ones at the IEP table who have to translate those issues you mention into something the team sees and can address... Just because she is not a behavior problem does not mean she's not floundering (or won't as she ages). If she has issues in a group, then she is going to have difficulty working on a class project, may be ostracized by her peers because of it, have difficulty taking turns in games, etc. Self-esteem and group skills are important to be successful in class, and in life. As she ages, if she hasn't learned how to do this, she will have difficulty working with co-workers when employed. All of that needs to be addressed by the school. Inability to process auditory instruction will also impact her ability to access her education. Visual supports (picture schedules, etc, at first, then being given written instructions rather than copying from the board, etc.) need to be put in place to help her in understanding expectations. Sensory issues? If she's distracted by tags in clothing, loud noises (which may also be part of her bathroom issues - my son can't handle the noise bouncing off the walls or the toilet flushing), etc., she will not be able to focus in class and will be easily distractible or constantly fidgety. All of that needs to be addressed and supported for her to succeed as she continues. Transitions from preschool to kindergarten are huge, particularly if mainstreamed, and going from 1/2 day to full day (if that's the case) is also huge. Supports (visual schedule, aide for transitions in loud places, extra processing time for certain tasks, etc.) should be there for her or she will begin to fall short and fail. Even if she is currently up on content, as she continues to struggle with mechanics of things (writing, following directions, etc.) she will begin to fall behind on content...not something you want to see happen when she's supposed to be able to stay up with her peers academically.
You're at the right place in starting the journey to really learn and understand how her disability impacts her education. The parent is a team member of the IEP team for a couple of major reasons. (1) You're the 'expert' on your child and how her disability works with her to know whether a strategy/service the educational/therapy 'experts' of the team want to use will or won't work for your child; and (2) You're the only one at that table with the long-range view of where you want her to be at adulthood and can see all the little steps in reaching goals will either get her there or not. In order to function successfully as a member of the IEP team, you need a thorough education in both special education law and what the schools are required to do, and a thorough understanding (in the language of the educational team members) of how your daughter's disability impacts her in accessing her education. Every state has a parent training organization that is required, free of charge, to help you learn that. Find out in your state where and when the trainings are held. www.wrightslaw.com is also an excellent resource and, if you're out in the middle of nowhere and can't get to trainings, has some excellent trainings you can purchase and go over again and again.
The medical diagnosis will help you on several levels - state funding, Social Security, etc. and provide a springboard for understanding the educational supports needed, but also learn the law, understand her disability and it's impact on how she accesses her education, be able to articulate that to the school, and you can't go wrong :)
I would request a private evaluation too. What kinds of tests did the SLP give?
As far as prescriptions... the school system only has to "consider" this and is under no obligation. Same goes for private evaluations... BUT once you have all the information you need, request an eligibility meeting and invite everyone and anyone you can so that you will have plenty of members on the IEP committee who feel the same way you do. Remember any decisions made are suppossed to be from the team... not just individuals. They need to consider the whole child.
I have a question...How old is she? In Maryland, the Dev. Delay coding does not work once the kids are in 1st grade. They need an actual IEP code (of which there are 15 or so?). In other words...the kids need an actual diagnosis. msdoie, that's great info. In fact, her previous Social Worker from NY said