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4KookieKids

How and why do you write an IEP while homeschooling?

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Title pretty much says it all. Seems to be this would be relevant for classes and testing outside the home, but I know that testing accommodations are usually based on accommodations you already have in place. But it’s hard for me to even know what kind of accommodations we have in place because, well, this is just our normal. So kids get breaks when the need breaks. They get extra time if they need it. I help them write when there’s much writing. I probably do a lot more that I don’t even realize is accommodating. 

Ds9 will do his first standardized test next Spring and I want to make sure I’m doing things “right!” 

FWIW, only diagnosis are ASD and ADHD, but EF struggles are real! Lol. I’m sincerely worried about distractions during the test.

ETA I confess that I don’t understand the differences between all the different plans you can have (504, IEP, etc).

Edited by 4KookieKids

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My ds has an IEP through the ps because it's required to qualify for our state's disability scholarships. I've seen advice online that homeschoolers write their own, and I really don't get why. My ds' IEP is a legal document, something I can take to any school anywhere, any provider (therapist, etc.) and they know exactly what I'm looking at. There's no way for a homeschooler to replicate that reasonably, and I don't see the point. And I know it was like HSLDA or someone saying to do it, but sorry around here they'd just laugh you out of town. 

My dd has ADHD, so for her a 504 would have been the document. It's accommodations, no services. IEP means they need an individualized education plan (services, specialized education or therapies, etc.) to access their education. Sometimes some schools I think will tack a little therapy on a 504 even. But an IEP is the actual plan, so it has goals, benchmarks, etc. and everything flows from the evaluation the school team did indicating the need for those goals.

If you're very thorough, you're defacto doing it in a way. Like you've probably written out for yourself all the areas of his education (academic subjects etc) and you probably made goals for the year. Making goals is normal homeschooler advice!! The IEP steps this up by making it legally enforceable, something the school is agreeing to provide, something I could sue them over if he were enrolled and it was demonstrated he was not making adequate progress. 

If you have a psych eval, you have documentation of what his testing accommodations should be. Present that documentation and use the accommodations. For outside classes, I NEVER had anyone ask for anything more with my dd, and we were pretty assertive. I simply said these are her accommodations for her ADHD (questions in writing ahead of time, extended time, blah blah), and the teacher did them, boom.

If your dc has an IEP, is he taking outside classes? Depends on what the IEP areas are. They don't put EVERYTHING in the IEP. Anything where he's able to access the general curriculum is not in the IEP, only things where he needs specialized services. So if you're going to a tutor, you probably already have a meeting of the minds. If he's enrolling in a co-op class or other general/mainstream setting, he probably isn't receiving specialized services for that area, yes?

What are you wanting to make happen? Breaks, extended time, etc.? That's all 504 realm, and the co-op teacher can be talked with. The dc is going to need to be taught to advocate. For testing, you already have the documentation you need. 

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  Oh that is all interesting. No, we are currently not doing outside classes through anyone, not even a co-op. So my main concern really is having things set up for the testing next year, as well as having any sort of trail that I will need for testing down the road or potential he having him in classes, even though that’s not currently on the table. I guess I just don’t want to find out in five years but I should have been doing something more all along and I never even thought of it! ?

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29 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

So, to clarify: it is the psychologist diagnosing the ADHD who should suggest appropriate accommodations?

The psychologist diagnosing the disability should write a report which includes the accommodations. That is your paper trail. 

An IEP is not necessary for receiving accommodations (testing, college, etc.), nor is a 504. It's possible to go through the ps and have disabilities and not qualify for or receive an IEP or 504. At our ps, for instance, they utterly refuse (beyond the law, mind you) to give ANYONE with an ASD diagnosis ASD as their disabling condition on an IEP unless the support level is at least 2. So if they dc doesn't qualify under some other issue, the dc might conceivably have no 504/IEP and yet have documented disabilities that get services in college, accommodations for high stakes testing, etc. 

So see if your official report has the documentation. If it does, you're golden. You'll just update within the time range the place wants, usually in the last 3 years. In fact, my dd's university threw a hissy fit and wanted the evals updated AGAIN for her 2nd year, if you can imagine. That was absurd, but we did it. That was form dorm accommodations. For the academics, they didn't care, just so long as they were within the last 3 years from when she first applied for them. Once in, she was in for academics. So it just varies with the org and what you're asking for as to how recent, etc.

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All students including homeschoolers are legally entitled to an IEP assessment though their district under the Child Find Law. If the child meets eligibility criteria, the district would have to make an offer of what services the student would receive if enrolled in district PS. Now in many states, districts can legally decline to provide services to HS and private school students. But they do have to tell you what things your child would be eligible to receive if you agreed to enroll him/her in PS. You would then turn around and sign the paperwork stating you wish to decline the offered placement in PS.

A 504 is applicable to private school students including HSers but I'm not as familiar with that process because my SN child is on an IEP as her disabilities are significant enough to qualify for one.

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IEP's and 504 plans are legal documents, depending on the need/assessment of your child.

What homeschoolers should at least consider doing is coming up with something less formal (even if it's just a few notes for now that you could always rewrite later)--a written education plan. This will be based on recommendations from your child's practitioners based on his or her diagnosis. It's helpful for keeping track of what accommodations your student needs and uses each year both for day-to-day learning and during tests. You can see the progress over time as your child improves and doesn't need certain accommodations any longer--and you can also see more significant needs--a student who has always needed a certain accommodation for example. It gives you a paper trail that's helpful later on when applying for formal accommodations too (for example, both college board and ACT want to see a copy of your written education plan and to know that the student has a history of needing specific accommodations--but they also want to see that backed up through formal testing.) I found keeping this information helpful both for me personally and for helping my student apply for accommodations. 

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