Question I requested an IEP to modify the BIP and add in academic goals for my 9th grade 15 year old child with autism. The school will only allow a 1 hour IEP meeting and we have had two meetings in the past 30 days. Problem is they do all the talking and only allow discussion towards the end of the one hour so I cannot verbally address my concerns. They just read, read, read the IEP and then the meeting is over. Today was this second one hour meeting and I requested another meeting within the next 7 school days to address adding academic goals and my other concerns, they replied 'we will not hold another meeting this soon but will work at having a meeting in the next 30 school days'. Can I request we have a meeting before 30 days? My child can learn and I feel they are wasting time by pushing this meeting out for the third time. Right now he only has life skills goals, nothing academically. thank you
Answer Yes, you may request an earlier meeting, however, they are required to be "reasonable" to your request for convenience. If the changes you are requesting are denying your child a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE) then that is your leverage to get things moving. Whether they drag it out or not I would contact my State Department of Education, Exceptional Children Division, Dispute Resolution and ask about filing a formal complaint against your child's school. You would do so because as long as the IEP is as it exists, your child isn't getting FAPE, and therefore losing skills, or at least losing his gain on needed skills. The academic goals are probably more important than behavior plan changes, but then, I don't know your child either. The complaint process is investigated by the State Department dispute resolution personnel, who are neutral and they complete that task within 60 days and render binding decisions. I am thinking that the least this would do for you is get some compensatory skills for the ones lost in the delay after delay. While it takes the school personnel's time, which they don't have enough of, to meet, it sounds like the meetings aren't very efficient. If I were chairing your meeting, I would allow you to tell us what you want and why, at the start. Then we could respond...I would have someone act as timer, give you 15 minutes, them 15 minutes, then jointly debate, and take the last 15 minutes to make a decision and we would have a decision done in half the time.
I wish you luck with this process. Sometimes we all tend to look at things only through our own lens, forgetting how frustrating it can be for the parent and the child who has unmet needs.
I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.
I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.
Organizations Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.
Publications Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.
Education/Credentials I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.
Awards and Honors Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching)
Multiple local awards