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Special Ed: Can a school deny making an accommodation for a child with special needs simply because they do not want to set a precedent?

I asked for a simple (no-cost) accommodation for my child who has a traumatic pre-adoption history. The school refused, saying they did not want to set a precedent. I am now going to request an IEP or 504 plan, asking for this accomodation, and additional ones as well (all very easy for them to do).

Any advice on how to respond to their argument (about a precedent)? If she qualifies for an IEP or 504, can they refuse the accomodation - assuming we have provided expert opinions that it will benefit her? Any tips or advice will be appreciated.

Thanks!

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 8:00 PM on Oct. 6, 2009 in

This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • I'm a certified teacher. You have done the right thing requesting a IEP / 504. If your DD qualifies, then no they cannot deny making the accommodations.

    From the school's perspective, here is why they are wanting to avoid making the accommodations. No child left behind makes it more difficult for teachers to educate with a child in the room with accommodations. If a student in the class complain to his/her mom about the accommodations your child is getting, then the school will have to make the same accommodations for the entire class or the other parents can claim their children are being "left behind."

    However, if the school as an IEP or 504 dictating that your child requires the accommodations, then the school is protected legally and not required to offer the other students the same accommodations. My guess is that the school is glad you started the paper work. It protects your DD and the school.
    ThrivingMom

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:34 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Everyone on this country is entitled to a free education and all that it requires....If you have an IEP that states her needs...then they can not deny them......I would contact a lawyer who works a lot with special needs or handicapped issues. They should be able to guide you and give you the support you need to fight the school.

    Sorry they are making it hard for you. What is it that she needs....an aide maybe? I am a teacher by the way ;)
    mom2twobabes

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 8:17 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • *in this country.....(is what I ment to type) lol
    mom2twobabes

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 8:17 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • you need to go to google (skip the lawyer, once they kow you know the law they wont mess with you) and search - rights of children with special needs.... you are looking for the government (federal) link.... i work in schools, yes if you have an iep written they have to follow it or pay for the school that can follow it.... if the iep is not written, and she qualified, they do not have the right to refuse your demand for the process to continue, they should set up an iep meeting, you should be there and include your personal goals for her - that the school is required then to work on and document. contact me if that doesnt work, yes what you have descibed is 100% illegal ....
    AmaliaD

    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:00 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Just curious, what is the accomodation needed? My son needed help with focusing. He cannot stay on task. The teachers refused to do it and he was kicked out of special ed. They said he was too advanced. We homeschool now. I have to help him focus on every task. I forsee a very difficult life. :(
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:08 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • NO, they cannot deny a reasonable accomodation. I just went through that with my son. I threatened to call the state board of education and now all my accomodations are in my son's IEP. Do NOT back down and advocate for your child. Keep emailing, keep calling, keep doing what you have to. Find out who oversees IEP's in your school district and call that person. Get your child's doctor involved. You may have to sign a release of information at the doctor's office and at the school for the doctor to be able to talk to the school and vice versa. Whatever you do, do NOT back down.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:45 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I'm the OP. My daughter has PTSD. Transitions are very hard, because she changed caregivers and homes so many times. Because of that, the end and beginnings of the school year really increase her anxiety, because she is losing what is familiar. This leads to behavior issues, which then cause more damage to her self-esteem. She is terrified of this 'unkown' new adult, because she has a pre-adoption history of abuse. So I asked if she could meet her new (fall) t eacher in June, to ease some of her anxiety over the three months of summer. Of course, her increased anxiety make it difficult for her to concentrate and learn new material in school. They principal refused saying he didn't want to set a precedent. He also questioned whether this was a case of the child's anxiety or the parent's. She has other issues as well, so I think a IEP will be good if we can get one.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:21 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • There is no way that is something they should be worried about in this instance! My daughter always met her teachers before the next school year as did the rest of the Intervention class she was involved in for the very reason of some kids needing that continuity. I would talk to everyone involved, at the school level, the district level, and the state level if necessary. I could see if it were something expensive but to me the only reason they don't want to deal with this is because they don't want parents "picking" their child's teachers. In most of the districts I've been in this isn't a problem because there is only one Intervention teacher per grade level. Either that or they honestly don't know who her teachers will be because they go over the records and group kids together based on ability, during the summer. I would still ask if at the earliest they knew, she could meet them. (Cont.)
    Lesli

    Answer by Lesli at 12:21 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Also remember though, that just because your child meets a teacher in the spring, doesn't mean the teacher will be there in the fall. New job opportunites, budget cuts, life events can all cause last minute staffing changes, and that could also cause a great deal of harm.
    Lesli

    Answer by Lesli at 12:22 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • My son is on an IEP, I asked for many accommodations when he transitioned from elem. to middle school and I had no problems with the staff seeing it my way. I asked for and was granted permission to come to the school early and get his locker so we could work with him on how to open it and put a few things in it, the school even had his teacher meet us to get the locker (the teacher list had not been posted and was not to be released but they did it for us) Our elem schools have all the children come in the week before school starts to see their classroom and meet their teachers. You are not asking for anything extraordinary, I feel that your principal is being lax in their job. Pursue the IEP or 504 depending on what you qualify for, it sounds like this will come in handy in the future. Also be prepared many schools do not follow the IEP's so you have to stay involved by checking in frequently.

    3_ring_circus_

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:32 AM on Oct. 7, 2009

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