Special Education/IEP

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Question
This is related to a similar question. Suppose I agree to the goals in an IEP and the services but I think my child requires ADDITIONAL services. How can I consent to part but also indicate I am not okay without the additional services? What is the next step after that? Is is the school's or mine? Please pardon my ignorance on this matter.

Answer
Jen,

This is a tricky question. If you like everything in the IEP being offered, but want more services such as increasing the speech from 30 min. per week to 60 min per week, you indicate in the IEP NOTES your dissatisfaction. If your child previously received 60 min. per week and the school is trying to cut it to 30 min. per week, you can not accept the new service in the IEP being offered (sign it saying, "I agree with this IEP except for reducing speech to 30 min. per week.") If you do this, then the previous level of speech (60 min. per week) continues.

But if you were receiving the same or less in the previous IEP, then you can't really do anything with the IEP except to make you desires knows in the NOTES section and agree with the IEP. When this situation occurs, I recommend that my clients get an independent assessment (many medical insurance plans will pay for this) and present the results to the school. Then ask for a new IEP where you again make your request for an increase in services. The law only requires that the school "consider" the recommendations made in an independent assessment. So there are no assurances that you will get more. This same approach applies when you want services that the school is refusing to provide. Unfortunately, the only next step is to file for Due Process.

If your assessment reaches different conclusions from the school's, you can ask for an IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation). This is another assessment paid for by the school and conducted by a mutually agreed to expert. Again, the results don't have to be followed by the school, but they usually are. The risk is that the school district can file for a Due Process against you instead of granting you this request.  

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Tim Runner

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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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
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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