IEP Help – Part 2
|January 8, 2012||Posted by Laura under Diagnosis, Early Intervention, IEPs, Special Education|
Services (amount and type of speech therapy) are determined by goals. Goals are determined by areas of need. Areas of need are determined by assessments. Assessments are your best friend.
1. If for some reason the district is not planning on conducting a speech and language assessment, ask for one in writing. Be sure to date it as this sets a time line the district will have to follow.
2. If you know your child has CAS then s/he must already be in some type of speech therapy. If s/he is in Birth to Three then the SLP will already be writing a report for the transition meeting. If your child is getting speech therapy privately, ask your SLP to write a report with suggested services and goals. The suggested services should be in line with ASHA’s recommendation of individual sessions three to five times per week for thirty minutes.
3. If you know your child has CAS then you already have a diagnosis. Make sure this is written in the report. If your child is quite young, the SLP may yet have been able to make a differential diagnosis. The report should at least say “suspected CAS” or “probable CAS.”
4. Give a copy of this report to the District at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the IEP meeting. Show them the same respect that you expect them to give you.
5. You will now have two speech and language reports to discuss at your IEP meeting. The district does not have to agree with your private report but they have to at least discuss it. If they do not, then they are infringing on your rights as an EQUAL PARTICIPANT in the IEP meeting.
6. If the two reports mesh and you can agree on goals and services, then you are good to go.
7. If they do not mesh, then you tell the IEP team during your meeting that you disagree with the district’s speech and language assessment because of X, Y, and Z. Then request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) in speech and language. Follow this verbal request up with a written request as well.
8. You now have a choice to make. You can choose not to sign the IEP and consent to services (sign as a participant only). If your child is transitioning then s/he will not receive any services from the district while awaiting the IEE. If your child already has been receiving services, then Stay Put will be followed and your child will continued to be provided with the service from last signed IEP until the next IEP meeting.
9. If there are some services that you agree with, you can consent to only part of the IEP. Be sure to write this next to your signature. For example, “I agree and consent to the OT goals and services but not the speech and language goals and services.” Remember, do not do this at the IEP meeting. Take it home and mull it over.
10. An IEE is basically a second opinion at no cost to you. When presented with an IEE request, the district has only two options: grant it or take you to due process and prove that it is not warranted. The vast majority of the time the district will grant the IEE because they will most likely spend less money on it than on a lawyer at a due process hearing. If the district does choose to take you to due process, you can take back your request.
11. Once granted an IEE, you need to find a CAS expert in your area for the assessment. Ask around. Check message boards. It might be worth it to you to make a little bit of a drive to get to that expert.
12. Assuming your child does have CAS, the expert is going to recommend speech therapy in line with ASHA’s recommendation which is individual therapy three to five a week for 30 minutes sessions.
13. Your IEE will be the topic of discussion at your next IEP meeting.