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speech mom
12-06-2011, 03:54 PM
Anyone use their local public school for speech/ot/pt/social work?

We have in hand all the documentation the school requires proving that my son meets their criteria for autism, ADD, and math.

I would love to see if he would see any benefit from therapy. Our insurance won't cover any therapy because he has autism. So, free services from the schools sound like a great idea. But, I am not sure how to get through all their hoops.

I would love to hear how others deal with this type of stuff.
thanks

hreneeh
12-06-2011, 04:45 PM
I am starting the hoops for my daughter (possible aspie, ADD) who is only 3. When/if she qualifies we can either get it through my insurance or the school. A local friend who homeschools does it through the school and so far has great success. Another does it through a University in Baltimore to great success. I think it matters more who's there and how good the OTT is rather than where it is done. I'm planning on going through my insurance for now but that's only because the place in Baltimore is awesome, if/when we move it'll probably change to the public school system.

Not sure that was much help.

Batgirl
12-06-2011, 09:16 PM
Anyone use their local public school for speech/ot/pt/social work?

We have in hand all the documentation the school requires proving that my son meets their criteria for autism, ADD, and math.

I would love to see if he would see any benefit from therapy. Our insurance won't cover any therapy because he has autism. So, free services from the schools sound like a great idea. But, I am not sure how to get through all their hoops.

I would love to hear how others deal with this type of stuff.
thanks

You can go to your local elementary school, let them know his diagnosis, and request an evaluation for services. They are required by law to evaluate him if you request it. They will do their own evaluation, create an IEP plan and let you know what he qualifies for, which may or may not conflict with the paperwork you have in hand. The principal, special education teacher, a general education teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and possibly the school psychologist should be in attendance at this meeting. They may offer speech therapy, occupational therapy, a social group and specialized instruction in math and reading. You are free to accept or refuse any or all of these services.

I had my son participate in speech, OT, social group, and the specialized instruction, but all the running back and forth to the school got to be too much. It was 30 minutes of speech, then an hour of reading, then home for 45 minutes, then back to school for an hour--four separate trips each day. It also didn't seem worth it to drive home when I had to come back in 15 minutes, (for a 30 minute therapy session) so we did a lot of sitting in the car. Another catch was that they were not responsible for my son outside of his specific classes, so he couldn't stay on the premises when he had nothing going on, even if it was just for a short time. I also had to walk him back and forth to the classroom each time, instead of dropping him off outside and letting him go in, because no one was "responsible" for him in the halls, either. Still, I was happy with the services we received, just not the logistics.

speech mom
12-07-2011, 10:17 AM
I am pretty well versed in the special education laws. IEP, IDEA and FAPE just roll off my tongue in casual conversation. I am a speech language pathologist, so I know what we are entitled to and what they have to do by law. The hoops are actually getting them to do it. It takes forever for me to get phone calls returned. Right now we have been playing phone tag for 3 days on whether they have to provide services to homeschoolers and if we have to be registered homeschoolers to do so. (our state does not require we register and the school can't figure out if we have to be registered to get services.)

I am trying not to be confrontational with them because they could go through all the testing process and subjectively decide that his diagnoses do not carry an academic impact. Historically that has been a very common event in this district when parents push for what their children need. They do not like pushy parents. Me, I prefer parents who push for their kids, but that is a whole 'nother conversation about why I no longer provide speech services in the public schools.

The driving back and forth and scheduling is another concern. Our local school is not autism friendly, so we would be traveling to a different school.

ercswf
12-07-2011, 11:10 AM
We go through insurance or pay out of pocket full cost if needed for any things our son needs. Not always an easy thing to manage when we live below poverty level and are not on any aid programs (and I mean none) I just have not found much use in our local schools other then to piss me off.

MarkInMD
12-07-2011, 12:24 PM
My wife (former OT in the schools) seems to think that what Batgirl says is on the money.

Accidental Homeschooler
12-07-2011, 05:51 PM
Does this vary by state? I was pretty sure that here if you have an IEP you can't just decide to hs. You have to have permission from the Area Education Assoication. But maybe that is just Iowa. The AEA employs the therapists and social workers and serves several districts.

Batgirl
12-07-2011, 08:12 PM
I am pretty well versed in the special education laws. IEP, IDEA and FAPE just roll off my tongue in casual conversation. I am a speech language pathologist, so I know what we are entitled to and what they have to do by law. The hoops are actually getting them to do it. It takes forever for me to get phone calls returned. Right now we have been playing phone tag for 3 days on whether they have to provide services to homeschoolers and if we have to be registered homeschoolers to do so. (our state does not require we register and the school can't figure out if we have to be registered to get services.)

I am trying not to be confrontational with them because they could go through all the testing process and subjectively decide that his diagnoses do not carry an academic impact. Historically that has been a very common event in this district when parents push for what their children need. They do not like pushy parents. Me, I prefer parents who push for their kids, but that is a whole 'nother conversation about why I no longer provide speech services in the public schools.

The driving back and forth and scheduling is another concern. Our local school is not autism friendly, so we would be traveling to a different school.

But........if you were a speech therapist for public schools, wouldn't you know exactly what you need to do and what kind of roadblocks the schools are likely to throw up in your area? You must have sat in on multiple IEP meetings and watched the political machinations at work.
If advocacy is your concern, then my advice is: Be polite, be very, very persistent and organized, document every single conversation, require concrete action (such as calls back) by specific dates, not vague promises, bring another person with you whenever you talk to the school if possible, and let them know that you know the law. If you are not getting the answers you need, do not be afraid to go up the ladder up to the superintendent if necessary. If your state has an education ombudsman, contact them and ask for advice. They should be able to help you as well.
Whatever happens, whatever anyone says, make nice and keep the conversation constructive-- and call them on the bs. I suspect you already know all of this, though.

No school anywhere likes pushy parents. We are asking them to spend money they don't want to spend, and they hope, if they make it difficult enough, we will go away. But there's no magic trick to getting what you want either. It's always a fight.

speech mom
12-08-2011, 11:14 AM
You are right Batgirl. I know what I need to do, I guess I am just hoping that someone is going to tell me it is all going to be rainbows and unicorns.

I did get the special ed director on the phone this morning. He was pretty clueless as to what might be available and if it would be available to a homeschooler. I explained everything we were looking for, what evaluations might be required, who he could contact to get the info about how to provide services to homeschoolers, etc. All very polite and concrete. thanks for the boost.

He was kind of funny because he asked if we would "find it acceptable to enter a local school or the administrative building" for them to do the testing or if we would need to agree on another location. It almost sounded as if he thought we homeschool because for some reason we are opposed to entering public school buildings. sigh.

Alana
12-27-2011, 04:48 PM
I'm going to be starting this process as well. I was told to mail the school a certified letter. They have by law 60 days to respond and evaluate him.

Now the rest of what I'm going to say is just what I believe to be true. I'm not sure exactly why I think this and couldn't point you to any sources.

I believe that it varies state by state if they will provide the services to homeschooler. I'm in Illinois and we have duel enrollment here. Meaning you can go to school part time and homeschool the other half of the day. I'm pretty sure that I can use my school for the special services and bring him home the rest of the day.

I would post away on different forums on different message boards until you find people in your state that are doing what you are asking about. I'm sure the school has no idea and does not even know where to look. I think it is going to be up to you to find out if you can and prove it to the school. Please share if you find any information. I'm sending my district a letter next week asking for evaluation. I'm going to deal with the part about me also homeschooling later.

kewb22
12-27-2011, 10:22 PM
I know where I live you are either in the school system or your or not. They are under no obligation to provide services if your child is not enrolled. You should check with your state.

Alana
12-28-2011, 08:39 AM
I found this. This is Illinois law. I found it googling "dual enrollment illinois homeschool"


Part-Time Participation for Home School Students

Sec. 10-20.24. Part-time attendance.

To accept in part-time attendance in the regular education program of the district pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools if there is sufficient space in the public school desired to be attended. Request for attendance in the following school year must be submitted by the nonpublic school principal to the public school before May 1. Request may be made only to those public schools located in the district where the child attending the nonpublic school resides.
To accept, pursuant to the provisions of Section 14-6.01 [105 ILCS 5/14-6.01], in part-time attendance resident pupils of the types described in Sections 14-1.02 through 14-1.07 [105 ILCS 5/14-1.02 through 105 ILCS 5/14-1.07] who are enrolled in nonpublic schools.
History
(Source: P.A. 80-1509.)
Annotations
Note.
This section was Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 122, Para. 10-20.24.


Summary:
The criteria that needs to be met for part-time/ dual enrollment in a public school are as follows:

1. The student must be enrolled in a nonpublic school, i.e. your home school. You can provide this by a letter on letterhead for your school.
2. There must be enough space in the public school to attend
3. The home school principal has to submit a request for part-time attendance by May 1 of the previous school year.
4. The public school must be the school the child would attend, if enrolled in the public school district.

Part-time attendance must be granted by the school given the qualifications have been met.