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Special Education/no communication from school


My 7 year old is on the spectrum and also has ADD and OCD. He is very speech delayed but has excellent receptive language. He is extremely bright and at this point is doing very well in reading and math and writing.  He is a good kid usually. The problem is the school is clueless on OCD and has caused many problems. The worst is we have to beg them to tell us what is going on. What are my rights regarding communication? We make agreements and they keep breaking it. There is no way for me to contact anyone directly or even to leave a voicemail. Doesn't this seem odd? If I write a note, it will  be answered maybe 20% of the time. We discussed having a phone time, an email but it isn't being done.
They all say yes sure when we meet rarely but then it's off the table. It is quite frustrating. His therapists communicate, it's the classroom where most everything takes place that's a problem. An example of the OCD issue is that when they see it, we agreed they would state X and then ignore him and then try to distract him. Instead they accommodate him and we get the behavior at home and sometimes can undo it sometimes we cannot. We have been great with our son. We tried two therapists but they did not help so we are done with that. Unfortunately very few people can treat kids and it takes a big time commitment anyway. Any advice on how to get the communication going, to hold them to some type of communication? I have written official emails, doesn't help. Thanks

Elena R.

The only two ways I know to pressure school into communicating with you are to: (1) File for Due Process -- expensive and requires an advocate or lawyer; or (2) file a Compliance Complaint with your state's Department of Education. This only works if there are the communication requirements in your son's IEP. If there are, and they are not being met, then you can file this form (should be available online)and the state will investigate and order the school to abide by the IEP.

If communication requirements are not in his IEP, then you need to request one in writing and seek to have this added to his IEP. It is common for students to have daily planners or Journals in which teachers/aides and parents can communicate with each other.

If you have not already done this, you might writing a letter to the Superintendent of your school district.

I wish you and your son the best,
Tim Runner, Advocate
Advocates for Kids
Phone: (949) 582-3601
You can learn more at my web site:

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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