IEP Help – Part 3
|January 8, 2012||Posted by Laura under Apraxia Awareness, IEPs, Special Education, Treatment|
In the previous post in this series I stated that assessments will become your new best friend. While this is certainly true, it is also true the CASANA’s Apraxia-Kids website will become your Bible.
If a child has a CAS diagnosis and the school district is not recommending individual speech therapy, it is most often because of a lack of knowledge on their part. Only about 1% of children have CAS. ASHA did not come out with a position statement on CAS’s existence until 2007. Most SLPs, if they finished their schooling more than just a few years ago probably did not cover CAS in any of their classes. Expertise comes from experience and continued training. School districts generally don’t have a lot of money for continued training and when paying for their own training, not all SLPs are going to seek out training for a relatively rare disorder.
It’s helpful to try to keep this in mind when dealing with the school system. It’s not that they don’t want your child to get the services that s/he needs, it’s that they don’t know what the services are that s/he needs. It is your job as a parent, to educate the school system about CAS the same way that you educated yourself.
1. Go to the Apraxia-Kids website and look at their Apraxia-KIDS library. There are a lot of things written about CAS on the web, but the most trustworthy depository of RELIABLE information and PEER-REVIEWED research is found here.
2. Print out every article in the library and make an organized binder with tabs. You can use the same sections the Apraxia-KIDS library uses. Title the binder something along the lines of “Apraxia-KIDS Library from CASANA.” Write on the binder “To be placed in (Your Child’s) cumulative file.”
3. Write a very cordial letter to the Director of Special Education for your school district where you state that you are aware that CAS is a relatively rare diagnosis and that not all clinician’s are up to date on PEER-REVIEWED research and current BEST PRACTICES. State that you would like to help the District so you took the time to make this binder. Ask that it be placed in your child’s cumulative file to follow him/her through the school system. Thank the Director for his/her time and state that you are looking forward to working with him/her in the future.
4. Mail or drop off (since it will be expensive to mail) the binder.
5. The reason for creating this binder is two-fold. One, the District probably truly does need more information about CAS. In reality, there is not much likelihood that anyone in the District will read this binder. That’s okay because of the second reason. Two, if you ever go to due process, everything in your child’s cumulative file is evidence. You have just placed all of the current PEER-REVIEWED research and current BEST PRACTICES in your child’s cumulative file. You have now entered all of this into evidence. While the District will probably not read it, they are supposed to and you can hold them responsible for any decisions they make about your child’s therapy that are not in line with the research presented here.
6. Monitor the Apraxia-KIDS website and if any new articles or research come along, send a copy along with a nice letter requesting it be added to your child’s cumulative file.