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View Full Version : Does anyone have an IEP?



zette
04-30-2011, 09:38 AM
My son has Asperger's syndrome. We're with a homeschool charter in CA, and while we the school contracts with an excellent outside provider for speech and OT, the special ed director tells me that they "don't do behavioral goals." The special-ed services are a "consultative only", and they will not provide an aide during the one day a week "enrichment" class. DS doesn't really need an aide, just a designated adult available to help calm him down (for instance by taking him to get a drink of water) if an incident occurs.

If you're homeschooling, and also have an IEP, what are you getting from the school district?

dbmamaz
04-30-2011, 09:52 AM
My son's IEP had just been renewed right before we decided to home school, but I couldnt find anyone to talk to me about continuing it - but i was mostly interested in if we came back to school. My son never got any services, but also needed space to calm down.

but my school district doesnt offer any classes, so we simply havent taken any. I wonder if only taking one class, knowing you drop him off and pick him up, he wont have as many issues? You also dont say how old he is - signatures are good for this so even when you forget to tell us, we know!

Ariadne
04-30-2011, 09:58 AM
We haven't decided yet if we want to pursue one. When I hear about all of the help that school districts offer [/sarcasm] then I don't want to bother.

farrarwilliams
04-30-2011, 10:35 AM
When I was teaching in private school, we had a few kids receive services from the district and in at least one case, the kid had been homeschooled and I think got services then. However, the services are limited to OT, speech therapy and... that might be it. That can still cover a lot though. And I think it can vary by district and state as to whether the schools have to provide anything at all if you're not enrolled in public school. Ack, not much help. I would ask on a local listserv. Is there a homeschool list for your district that you know of? Having sat on IEP meetings, read a lot of IEPs and had some experience with them, if I had a kid who needed an IEP and was planning to homeschool for the duration, I wouldn't bother trying to get it renewed and all that. Even for kids who really need interventions, they can be such a waste - just a random, disconnected list of accommodation, some of which might be good, others of which are completely irrelevant, but they just check boxes and fill things in. But if you want access to the OT, the speech pathologist, etc. then you might be able to get it and it's obviously cheaper than paying out of pocket. Or if you plan to send him back to public schools. I understand getting one renewed and keeping it up is massively easier than getting a district to start all over.

Batgirl
04-30-2011, 11:21 AM
We have an IEP for Batman. He has high-functioning autism. He receives 30 minutes of speech, OT, and social skills each week. He also qualifies for specialized instruction in reading, writing and math for two hours, four days a week. Were he in a regular class he would also qualify for 1-2 hours of aide support each day.

If your son's behaviour affects his ability to learn, then he qualifies for support in that area, at least in public school. I have no idea how charter schools work, but if they are accepting federal funds for their special-needs students, then they may be accountable for this. At the very least, some strategies s/b in place like the one you described, like "If so-and-so becomes upset, so-and-so will take him to get a drink of water." At our public school, Batman used to go for a walk to the principal's office, where'd he play with Legos and she'd write out a social story for him. After five minutes or so, he was ready to go back to class.

hth

Allison

ercswf
04-30-2011, 11:49 AM
The Schools started to do a IEP for my younger son before we pulled them. No, we do not use ANY of the schools resources for him. He is on the spectrum. We have access to all the services we need on our own and don't see a need for the IEP in our home setting or for a school district that totally failed us to be involved in our lives. IF I was ever going to put him back into school I would look into getting him one again but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

zette
04-30-2011, 12:02 PM
We have an IEP for Batman. He has high-functioning autism. He receives 30 minutes of speech, OT, and social skills each week. He also qualifies for specialized instruction in reading, writing and math for two hours, four days a week. Were he in a regular class he would also qualify for 1-2 hours of aide support each day.

If your son's behaviour affects his ability to learn, then he qualifies for support in that area, at least in public school. I have no idea how charter schools work, but if they are accepting federal funds for their special-needs students, then they may be accountable for this. At the very least, some strategies s/b in place like the one you described, like "If so-and-so becomes upset, so-and-so will take him to get a drink of water." At our public school, Batman used to go for a walk to the principal's office, where'd he play with Legos and she'd write out a social story for him. After five minutes or so, he was ready to go back to class.
hth

Allison

My son is 5.5, and in kindergarten. We're in CA, and this is an authorized homeschool charter. The special ed director says that they will only do speech and OT goals, not functional goals. I'm wondering if they can really get away with that? The handbook states that if a child is disruptive in the on-site classes, they can require a parent to attend class with the child, so no aides. The one day a week class *almost* works for him -- but the teacher is allowing him to sit with his back to the other kids during circle time, and to wander instead of sitting with his classmates for lunch. Kind of defeats the purpose of attending the class for socalization purposes. He is capable of sitting at circle and at lunch -- did so in preschool because the teacher was firm about the rules. He is also not sticking with an activity when the kids do stations. Again, with a little support he could master this.

I'm torn between putting him in public school where there will be 30 kids in the class and a lot more behavior problems, but at least they will be worked on, or continuing homeschooling and having no support in teaching him how to behave in a group setting (skills he will need later in life). Sure, we can do social skills classes, but 1-3 structured hours a week is not very much, and does not include typical peers. In theory homeschooling should be nice because we can do academics at home and concentrate on group skills in the classes provided by the school, but the school is not supporting this very well.

dbmamaz
04-30-2011, 02:40 PM
Two thoughts. First of all, have you asked the teacher to enforce participation in these things? many parents would prefer their asperger boys to be allowed to participate only when they want to. If you knows your goals explicitly, she may be willing to put some effort in to it.

The other thought is that many us find that public school does not teach our specail kids any socail skills worth having. My son (who's dx is bipolar, pdd-nos, tourettes, processing issues) went to public school from K through 7th grade. He was in a stand-alone gifted program for half of 4th grade, regular classroom with specail ed on a consultative basis the second half of 4th grade, a stand alone emotionally disturbed classroom for 5th, and an autism home room with varying levels of specail ed classes for 6th and 7th.

As I was discussing with his homeroom teacher / caseworker about possibly home schooling, one thing she nodded in agreement with me was "we've spent 7 years trying to teach him to sit quietly at a desk, and it hasnt worked". IMO, its fine if our kids dont learn how to sit quietly at a desk until they are teenagers and have the ability to understand, on an abstract level, why its important to them, and can learn to use coping strategies on their own. They really DONT need 12 years to learn how to sit still.

My focus is to home school my boys so that they have a strong education and strong self-esteem, and to gradually work with him on mastering the various skills he needs. He has made SO much more progress in the almost 2 years since he left school

Of course, my kid has a LOT of issues. If your child just has a mild aspergers, perhaps he will get something positive out of being repeatedly corrected in to sitting still and being quiet. But i would not call that socail skills. Socail skills is learning about the back and forth of interacting with peers, no? i found that being with my kids at home school socail events, I was able to occasionally call my child aside and point out what he is doing wrong, ask him what he thinks would work better, and give him some reminders or tips on how to get along with the other kids. I know him and i can give him instant advice which really reaches him - teachers with 25 or even 15 kids couldnt really do that. He never had a one-on-one aid, but the classroom aids were too busy teaching kids who were having trouble learning the material.

Of course you have to do what you think is best for your child. But after 4 years of battling with the school, I discovered I could teach socail skills a LOT better than the school could, and with a lot less trauma to everyone.

Batgirl
05-02-2011, 12:07 AM
I don't know if they can get away with it, but I agree with Cara that it might be a good idea to discuss enforcement with the teacher. Maybe with a couple of reminders and some positive reinforcement he can do it. Also, if you can be in there, maybe you could model and reinforce appropriate behaviour for a few classes then gradually fade back your support. It is useful to be able to participate in a class and to understand the "rules" for doing so, but being at school all day was too much for my son. He got tense and extremely insecure and was developing a negative attitude about himself and his ability to learn. The school did work on his behaviour, but it was more along the lines of managing his disruptions than anything else. He needed a lot more aide support than he got. To their credit, he would have received more aide support this year. He has a much easier time participating and behaving appropriately when the class lasts for 30 minutes to an hour. Currently he attends a music class at public school and does Cub Scouts. All other activities occur either in a small group or one-on-one. Mostly, this works very well for him.
About social skills: the school staff tends to believe that (for mainstreamed kids) a big benefit in being in school full time is being able to observe the speech and behaviour of other kids; I guess, to learn from observation what is and is not appropriate and how to fit in. I am skeptical of this. Sometimes it may be true, but what my son was learning was how to act out to get the other kids to laugh. He was also becoming heavily dependent on his peers for approval. Too much for a five year old, at least imo. This issues to me outweighed the supposed benefits. Since I've pulled him from school, he has had a huge leap in emotional maturity and is actually better able to handle the kind of back and forth social interactions Cara described. He has more emotional energy for it now. It is also a huge benefit to be able to receive advice on the spot from me. Teachers and ps staff rarely have the time to give that kind of feedback and support, no matter how much they care.
I think I'm rambling now.....

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-02-2011, 01:42 PM
About social skills: the school staff tends to believe that (for mainstreamed kids) a big benefit in being in school full time is being able to observe the speech and behaviour of other kids; I guess, to learn from observation what is and is not appropriate and how to fit in. I am skeptical of this. Sometimes it may be true, but what my son was learning was how to act out to get the other kids to laugh. He was also becoming heavily dependent on his peers for approval. Too much for a five year old, at least imo. This issues to me outweighed the supposed benefits. Since I've pulled him from school, he has had a huge leap in emotional maturity and is actually better able to handle the kind of back and forth social interactions Cara described. He has more emotional energy for it now. It is also a huge benefit to be able to receive advice on the spot from me. Teachers and ps staff rarely have the time to give that kind of feedback and support, no matter how much they care.
I think I'm rambling now.....

Based on my brief experience when my son was in kindergarten, I agree that learning social skills is limited at school (unless the child who has an aide who can really shadow him and help him along). Most teachers do not have the time or the training to do it. I feel like my son was punished more than he was taught, as far as behavior went. Kids on the spectrum can be oblivious to proper/improper behaviour unless it is explicitly explained to them, so mere observation of typical peers is not enough. My son was so frazzled by six hours a day of navigating interactions with his classmates and trying (so hard!!) to stay in physical and emotional control. Shorter periods with one or two kids is a much more managable.

Also, I heard from the mother of one of my son's classmates that even in first grade the kids are kept working all day with one short recess and 20 minutes for lunch, during which they are instructed not to talk so that they have enough time to scarf down their food. It sounds like my son has much more time "socializing" with me and his sister than he would at school anyways.

zette
05-03-2011, 12:14 PM
Batgirl and MonkeyMama, do your children attend any classes offered by the school or a coop? Do you remain there the entire time? If not, is your kid getting any kind of support such as an aide or a plan for what to do if class gets to be too much?

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-03-2011, 05:21 PM
Not currently. We were in a science coop in the fall but dropped out because he didn't like the "listening" part of the lessons (he's like this at home, too--likes to be read to, hates to be "lectured") and I couldn't supervise him closely enough when he was playing with the kids outside in a one-acre backyard. Unstructured play with a group is the hardest thing for him.

Jilly
05-03-2011, 05:46 PM
We also homeschool through a charter in CA, and we have not had much support from our school. My son has selective mutism, and although it does not disrupt his learning at home, he is unable to communicate with our ES (educational specialist), and he cannot talk to any teacher in a class setting. Our ES wanted to get him an IEP for this, but the school said no. They said they are not equipped to help with this problem. Our ES was quite shocked about their response.

Tammera
05-03-2011, 05:58 PM
My daughter has an IEP....has since preschool. We started homeschooling this year, and I chose to keep her IEP in place and active. She receives PT, OT, Speech, Adapted PE and Social Services. I also have her taking two classes (gym and home ec) through the school district (they call this a "partial" placement lol), during which time she has a 1:1 aide. Any actual paper/pencil type work is modified per IEP instructions and her gym class is modified to accommodate for her physical challenges. For us, this has worked very well...she has had the best school year between our homeschooling and her "classes" (we don't say "school" because it really upsets her) that she has ever had. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I wish I would have pulled her out earlier to homeschool. :)

Batgirl
05-03-2011, 08:06 PM
Yes. We started the year doing Art, Music and PE, but dropped Art and PE because they're only 30 minutes long and the times were inconvenient. I don't remain there at all--unless I'm volunteering I can't even be on the premises. Batman's disruptive behaviour has dropped tremendously since he's left full time school and he hasn't had a major problem in class all year (wow). His music teacher has known him since he was three, though, and can handle him really well. I assume if she had enough of a problem, she'd call the principal and he'd go to her office again, but it hasn't even been an issue.
A couple of weeks ago (and this warrants a separate post, I know) I put Batman back into school for specialized instruction in Reading and Math, which he qualified for at the end of last year. He is being taught in a small group by a special ed teacher in the "resource room" or class for kids with special needs who are mainstreamed most of the day. This takes about two hours. The teacher is very experienced and handles anything that comes up very well. Right now, this is a nice balance for me and my son loves it. He is very outgoing and is already planning playdates with some of his classmates.

There is a secular coop in our area, but I haven't tried it yet as this is our first year hsing and we've had so much else going on. I confess to some trepidation about it as I've always had difficulty knowing how much to tell people and worry about how accommodating people will/ won't be. Or their kids. I would be willing to be in there as Batman's aide but as I have another, younger son I'd either have to have a sitter or have him in class at the exact same time--an additional complication. I would definitely be getting together with the teacher to discuss things in advance, though.

Persikka
05-12-2011, 09:01 PM
My middle child had an IEP as a preschooler, but was declassified once she hit school age. The only reason we haven't pulled her yet to homeschool (although we've been considering it for over 2 years) is because a couple years ago NY pulled some crap about not giving homeschooling families services. Since we're already fighting for her evaluation to be done (she hasn't had one since age 3 1/2, and she'll be 8 next month), and not knowing what BS NYS might pull with budget cuts, we're waiting until she has a new IEP or 504 before pulling her. Most of her problems are social/behavioral, and at this point she doesn't have a diagnosis. She'll be moving from the elementary school (K-2 grades) to intermediate school (3-5 grades) come this fall, and I'm already worried about it all.