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Assessment/IEP prior to Homeschooling


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#1 cometkitty

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:22 AM

So I am a bit confused as to how the assessments work for an IEP.  My son is in 5th grade and reading at a 3rd grade level in a public school.  Had a student study team meeting this morning and they have finally agreed to assess him.  I had outside testing done about 18 months ago so I already know he is dyslexic.  It has just taken this long to get them to do anything!

 

Anyways my son is now having major anxiety about school and we are dealing with school refusal.  I am worried that the school is doing too little too late so I am researching some other options such as homeschooling or possibly a private school that specializes in dyslexia.

 

They said the assessment can take up to 60 days to perform and I just don't want my son to suffer for another 2 months.  

 

So a few questions:

 

If I pull him now would they still have to do an assessment or do I need to start that request over again as a homeschooling student?  

 

If I signed up with a Charter Homeschool would they be the ones that would have to do the assessment?

 

Also if he qualifies for an IEP would a public school still develop that for use in a private school (if we went that route)?

 

Just a little confused as to how I should proceed!



#2 Stibalfamily

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:29 AM

What state are you in, Charters in CA have to follow the same rules on IEP's as public schools. You may want to educate yourself on IEP's and 504's. But I would pull him from school. In my experience public schools are going to put forth minimal effort to help special need kids. Start here http://www.wrightslaw.com



#3 PeterPan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:37 AM

It sounds like you only recently made a formal written request or else only recently did the teacher put through the request to put through the process. You had the legal right to make that request 18 months ago using your documentation or even earlier when you suspected it. If you feel they violated the law, get a lawyer. If you have your paper trail and know they violated the law, get one, yes.

 

What they are currently quoting you is reality, yes. 30 days to meet, 60 days to eval, and another 30 days to write the IEP. Did they already do RTI? Do they have anyone on staff who is OG-trained?

 

They could have already started RTI and been giving him intervention. If they don't have anyone OG trained, it won't matter even if they do begin intervention. Our ps literally has no one trained in OG.  :svengo:  Fat chance getting appropriate intervention when they don't even have the person trained to do it.

 

So yes, it sounds like they are now following the legal timeline. If you think they have someone qualified to do the intervention, you could wait and thank them for their services. Yes, he will continue to fall farther behind.

 

No, your state law determines who writes the IEP and who does the evals. You can check your dept of ed website and the law for your state, but usually it will say something like the public school for the district of the school will do the eval and then it changes to the ps in the district of residence. So even if you change, you're probably dealing with the same district. Depends on your state law, where the charter is, etc. 

 

Yes, obviously a dyslexia school can be great. It can also be $30k a year and have a waiting list. You could pull him out of the ps, find an OG (or similar like Wilson, whatever) tutor and get him an hour of tutoring a day. You could buy Barton and work through it with him yourself, kicking butt 1-2 hours a day. 

 

I think you're right to take his self-esteem seriously. It's OUTRAGEOUS that they let him fall that far behind without intervention, and it sure makes it look like anything they'd do at the school for intervention would be worthless. If you pull him out to homeschool him, they'll be required, by federal law, to continue the evaluations but your *state* law will determine whether they write the IEP. So it's more a question of whether the IEP gets you anything in your state. In ours it's how you qualify for the state disability scholarship. 



#4 Crimson Wife

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:25 AM

If you switch him to the virtual charter, the charter will be the one to do the IEP.



#5 cometkitty

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:27 AM

I had put in formal requests in both 2nd and 3rd grade but I had not educated myself to how this all works. I assumed that what they told me was law....”students need to be behind 2 years before they do an assessment” or “that assessments are disruptive and they only like to do them for kids that are not making any progress” or “reading comprehension is a personal issue, not a deficit”.

So this third request I put in was just last week. I am just so mad at myself for not fighting harder for my son and letting his school fail him like this.

#6 PeterPan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:55 AM

You can't change the past. Yes, schools lie and make up things on the fly and add things to the law all the time. Ours blatantly says they let all kids with ASD1 walk the halls with no IEP, that they only put ASD for disabling condition for kids with support levels 2 and 3. The law doesn't say that, but they do. 

 

So make your way going forward. Here's the reality. At some point you'll conclude your school is Satan and standing in the way of progress, and the only question is how to get them OUT of the way and get your ds moving forward. A charter probably isn't going to give any better intervention, and you already have the diagnosis. So what do you need to have happen? Do you NEED this IEP for some reason? In our state it gets you a disability scholarship, but we can homeschool and get all that done. 

 

My two cents is it's January. Unless there's a compelling reason not to, follow the law (notify, whatever), pull him out, either order Barton or pay for a tutor, and start kicking some dyslexia butt. Between now and fall you could totally change his life. Where he is now is not what's written in stone, but continuing where he is, as he is, will probably continue to just get the same results.

 



#7 cometkitty

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:17 PM

I am thinking of pulling him out and homeschooling for the remainder of 5th grade and doing intensive remediation.  

 

I guess I want the assessment done because he actually loves the social aspect of school and I think he will want to go back next year or the year after if we can get him caught up a bit.  I don't want to have to start all over asking for an assessment at that point since it takes so long.  I feel that if we already had that in place he would get accommodations right off the bat if he moves back to public school.



#8 PeterPan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:41 PM

An IEP expires in a year and has to be renewed. In our state, they're not required to offer services to homeschoolers (it depends on your state law), so they are required to EVAL (federal law) but not write the IEP. So if your ps does not offer services to homeschoolers, they would not be motivated to renew the IEP and spend money and manpower to do that. 

 

You might just go ahead and follow the law and withdraw him and be done with it. You might find you need longer than a year to get him where you want him, and at that point the IEP would have expired. Accommodations and interventions are different anyway. They'll have to update for accommodations when he re-enrolls, even if you've done tons of intervention. And if they haven't bothered to intervene, they may not have good interventions.

 

Life changes. You might get into working with him and realize his needs are ongoing and that you don't want to send him back. You might intervene and decide he'd be happier at a dyslexia school. There are kids who just fit in great there and STAY. We have one near us and it's AMAZING, utterly amazing. 

 

I would do what is best for him NOW. An IEP is an easy thing to solve. You can legally make that request, written, starting the timeline, at the end of the school year before you want to send him back. That would mean, by the law, they have to have his IEP done by fall. They could say oh we want to wait and observe him a grading period, and that's their legal option. But if it's been more than a year since his last IEP renewal, it won't matter. You'll be starting over. Read the law, but I think that's what it says. It's all in the law. Like it will say if it has been x amount of time and the IEP has expired, this is what happens. Go look up the law on your state dept of ed. site or call your state dept of ed and ask. To me, what you gain by waiting is not enough to balance out the harm of not beginning intervention. They are going to do NO INTERVENTION for the next 4 months, school will end, and he'd begin intervention in June, after school gets out. Or you yank now and have 4-5 months of intervention by then. He could literally be on grade level by then. It's THAT BAD, at least to me, that outrageous for them to be leaving him without intervention.



#9 PeterPan

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:43 PM

If you want to leave him in the school, then as soon as they run the CTOPP, begin after school tutoring. He'll be exhausted, but it would be another plan. There are lots of ways to do this. My main point is you want to begin serious intervention and not let him continue to struggle without answers, without hope. As soon as they've done his CTOPP, boom I'd be all over that.

 

What are you wanting to use for intervention? You're buying Barton? Hiring a tutor? Getting trained in OG or Wilson?



#10 exercise_guru

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:58 PM

It is really easy to get upset because the school system sucks at trying to manage the IEP process. I have cried through meetings with both of my kids so I feel for you. Its upsetting and troubling.

 

These are some questions that would factor into what I would do next if this were my kid ( this is what I basically looked at for my son)

First how is his math? How is his ability to write a paragraph? How is his teacher to work with? How is the friend group? These all matter. OK for reading does he listen to your directions at home and respond? If the academics are slipping everywhere then I would seriously consider pulling him out. If some areas like math, friends and good teacher support are present I would consider afterschooling or before schooling for the rest of the year.  Then I would intensely re-mediate through the summer.  Could you do Barton before school or after dinner and do a short burst like 30 minutes to see how it goes? It would give you a good idea where he is at and help with ramping up homeschooling. If auditory is an issue I would consider letting him do hearbuilder before school. There are some parts that are babyish so my son wouldn't do them but the auditory memory part is very good as is the phonological listening. 

 

We were in a similar position in 2nd grade. He had a good friend group, was solid in math,okish teacher so we stuck it out. In the meantime I started searching for a school that was a better fit for him and I was able to pursue independent testing my insurance paid for. For my son I tried very hard to get him extra reading help at school even without testing. I would beg plead and bully to try to get that. Keep in mind my son did not have dyslexia but auditory issues. I made sure he could read all of the fry sight words either phonetically or visually. I did this with the snapwords because we could make visual pictures and stories memorize them through repetition and practice. This helped him move through a page of text without sounding everything out. Then I didn't know about barton so I used saxon phonics and All about reading. I worked on word groups each week and basically did 30 minutes of fun reading tutoring either morning or after dinner because after school he was exhausted. He earned prizes for doing it and it took a lot of dedication and prep work on my part. I knew nothing about it before I started so it was an all in experience. I eventually did need to do Fast Forword because getting him to read did not fill in all the spots that were missing. I did it privately so it was cheaper($1100) than there crazy expensive subscription($2000) and that takes dedication and money. My son does this 30 minutes before school. He did jump two years in reading just doing fastforword but again no dyslexia. Also even tutoring I still am working two years later to help improve writing skills but this year his new teacher is awesome... very good, He is at grade level but still needs support from me at home.  He would very much benefit from tutoring so since I know his skill set I provide that at home for 30 minutes 3 times a week and follow a homeschooling curriculum for that. The school here doesn't provide anything (even speech therapy) unless the child has a pretty significant diagnosis so some areas I  can get my insurance to cover. Over the summer I plan to pursue a Bravewriter type course intensely because this is the area he is still developing and I need him solid going into fifth grade. I tried to find tutoring but in our area it was a situation where he needed a lot of tutoring with someone who understood him. That person was his mom so I took on the job. I supplemented help he needed with OT and SLP through our insurance. 

 

Also how is your insurance? Could it pay for a private eval now? Mine paid for Language expression and reception, IQ testing and Vision Therapy Testing and Auditory Testing for CAPD. It did not cover achievement testing to make sure he was at grade level ( $250) 


Edited by exercise_guru, 06 February 2018 - 04:35 PM.

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#11 Crimson Wife

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:48 PM

I would do the IEP assessment before you start any intensive intervention. What you don't want is for the remediation to pull him up from qualifying to borderline low.

 

I'm running into that with my DD with her reading. The school won't put reading specialist services onto her IEP even though she's behind because her test scores are not quite low enough. She's getting RTI for reading (small group instruction with an O-G based program and a subscription to Lexia) and it helps just enough to pull her into the low end of the "normal" range. But I'm sure she'd be doing better if I could get her 1:1 reading intervention on her IEP.



#12 Storygirl

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:55 PM

You've gotten a lot of good advice. I just thought I'd boil down a few things for you.

 

1) The public school is required to evaluate for learning disabilities by federal law, including for homeschoolers.

 

2) If you enroll in a public charter, the charter would be responsible for developing an IEP.

 

3) If you enroll in a private school, it can go many ways. Public schools have to evaluate private school students. But many private schools do not want to work with the public schools. And many private schools will not accept or serve students with IEPs. Some private schools will have their own version of intervention services. So it completely depends upon the school. The reality is that most private schools do not have a mission of helping those with learning disabilities. It can be really hard to find one that will in our area.

 

4) If you enroll in a private school, it would not be that school that would evaluate and write the IEP. In our own personal case, the school district where the private school is located ran the evaluations. But then the school district where we are residents (not the same one) took that info and wrote the IEP. So there were 3 schools involved in our IEP process (private, plus two publics). This is just how it is where we live; it may be different in your area.

 

If you want my opinion, since it has taken so long to get the public school to agree to evaluate him, I wouldn't want to backtrack and refuse to let them do it. Be sure you understand the legal ramifications of not allowing them to evaluate -- if you opt out, can that cause problems down the line? I don't know. But you should know, before you make the decision. Read up on the laws of your state (go to your state department of education website). I have called my state department of ed to ask them questions about IEPs in the past, and they have been super responsive.

 

Ask your state how becoming a homeschooler in the midst of the IEP process will affect things.

 

To be honest, your school doesn't sound like one that is easy to work with. If they are going to get their hackles up if you switch things up midstream, it may make them more difficult to work with. Schools can make the IEP process a nightmare. Not to scare you, but it happens. So it's good to try to have a good relationship with those on the IEP team.

 

It's true that you have to update the IEP yearly. But that is generally a much easier process than the initial writing of the IEP. So I would vote to go ahead and do it (not that I really get a vote :p).

 

 


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