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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Can the school district deny services even with a medical diagnosis? *UPDATE IN RED*

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM
  • 88 Replies

A week ago DS (3 years old) got diagnosed with ASD, Level 1. He is very high functioning with very mild presentation (for now at least), but the specialists did recognize his differences in social skills and play. I mean ... WE DID GET AN OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS!

This morning a person came from Child Find (associated with the school district) to talk to us about options. DS is in a day care and for now is doing well there, but the day care is not part of the public schools. It is a great place to be, I love the teachers and the attention DS gets there, but we are looking at a possibility switching to a public preschool, were there adventages in terms of services. So the lady came to my home this morning and she was apparently expecting to see a different kid. She did say she did not expect to see such a high functioning kid... DS is highly verbal and smart and can be engaging.. So this lady basically went on to tell me that he will have to be assessed by the school and then they will decide if he is eligible for any services. She didn't say it out loudly, but she hinted me at every step that he probably won't qualify. A team od specialists at the Autism Clinic observed and interacted with my kid for over 4 hours, and this lady comes to my house, and based on what she sees in 20 minutes she dismisses his diagnosis?? I asked her about an aid in a mainstream classroom (that's what the eval team suggested would be the best for DS). She said it may be possible, but we won't know until they are done with all their testing, which will take 2+ months.

Have any of you mommas been in a similar situation? What did you do, and what was the turn out? I am determined to get for my DS whatever he needs, I just need to learn all the loopholes ...

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your replies and for helping me understand better the situation we are in. I thought once you have a DX,  you have opened doors to all kinds of services. I now know that the school district provides services only to those who have educational needs. Therefore, they do their own testing. I also garthered that sometimes (quite often) they try to deny services even to those who obviously  need them badly.

Based on what I learned from various sources these days, and talking to DS's social worker, and on my gut feeling, me and DH made a decision. We will go through the educational eval process. They may grant some services, but it is more likely they won't. Currently, DS has very mild presentation and it is all in social interaction.. He is not speech/language delayed, intelecually he is great, and he doesn't have any major sensory issues. Just the social quirks.. which I understand the school is not responsible for treating. So we decided DS will stay at the private day care (it is actually the best option in town for ages 2-5, and they have preschool and pre-K curicula). We will likely get him private OT to work on his play skills and que interaction with peers. We are also on the waiting list for the Parent Home Training (PHT) program - trained people come in our house to teach us how to go about DS's needs on specific issues. This is a state funded program and they will come 6 times (bi-weekly, I think).

So that is what we are doing for now. And also doing play dates. As DS gets older and new behaviours and issues arise, we will re-evaluate with the school district.

Again, thank you everyone for your input, each opinion counts!

by on Jul. 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Jul. 25, 2014 at 4:48 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes, they can deny services even if he has a medical diagnosis. Public school uses the educational model and so it has to be proven that not only does he have a disability but this disbility is severe enough to affect his ability to learn in an educational setting.

When my daughter was evaluated, even though they said clearly she'd be placed in the special ed public preschool room, they were actually on the fence for giving her the autism disability code. After they all discussed together (and I assume the school psychologist was like hello .... it's clear as day she has autism) they did agree to give her the autism code. But I was shocked by the fact that they had to consider it ... my daughter has moderate to severe autism.

ballerina.2006
by Member on Jul. 25, 2014 at 4:55 PM
Yup. Child Find is a damn joke for us too. They will ONLY take his ADHD dx but refuse to acknowledge the ASD dx. But he's being placed in SpEd, can ride the short bus, etc etc.he needs the ASD treatment help but the school basically said "f u" to us in regards to helping his autism. He is hugh functioning. The behavioral therapist we met with this week said he would fall into the aspergers category (they still use the term there but it is no longer a valid dx).

He starts K on 8/21 so we'll see what happens. He has made leaps and bounds with OT but still hasn't started any behavioral therapy.
Nickmom1118
by Nicole on Jul. 25, 2014 at 4:59 PM
I don't have much experience with this type of thing. I was lucky that my son was already involved with infants and toddlers before he got diagnosed. So, that helped us because his OT had been with him for 2 yrs. she went to our meeting. I know that before hand, I was told that if the school psychologist didn't want to take the medical evaluation, then they could so their own testing. ( she actually told me that, our evaluation was one of the best reports she has seen) so she accepted it.

Big hugs and I hope you get what he needs.
Anoronlight
by Member on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:02 PM
Our school district tried the same thing with my dd, yeah I had an advocate who got in their face and told them they had no choice, that we had the documentation AND visible proof by what they saw in the class and they HAD to accept it.

Now they have and now they are slowly listening, but it took me getting an advocate to step in before I got listened too.

I don't know if they can at that level, but I would keep ll documentation handy and provide them with names and numbers of those who observed him. I would also find an advocate to see what steps you can take.
JennaPBug
by Bronze Member on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Yes, I was scared my high functioning kid would be denied too, since ECI had basicly said that if he did as well for the schools evaluation as he did for ECI's then he wouldnt get services( he didnt get any for ECI). The school specialists were indeed very on the fence about it after doing a play based evaluation, but he got in since they thought he'd do extremely well with a little help.

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AJsMom81507
by Member on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

they can deny services and they can do their own evaluations.  once you reach school age, its up to the school district to evaluate and give services.  if your child has had no issues in a regular day care, and is doing fine, more or less he might get pull out services or services in that daycare.

if you believe where is at now is not a good fit then you need to hire an advocate

samomama
by Sally on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Well, I am glad to hear that your DD did get services. They can act oblivious, can't they?

Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

Yes, they can deny services even if he has a medical diagnosis. Public school uses the educational model and so it has to be proven that not only does he have a disability but this disbility is severe enough to affect his ability to learn in an educational setting.

When my daughter was evaluated, even though they said clearly she'd be placed in the special ed public preschool room, they were actually on the fence for giving her the autism disability code. After they all discussed together (and I assume the school psychologist was like hello .... it's clear as day she has autism) they did agree to give her the autism code. But I was shocked by the fact that they had to consider it ... my daughter has moderate to severe autism.


samomama
by Sally on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

They would place mine is SpEd, but there is only one classroom here, with different kind of disabilities and most of the kids there are with severe disabilities. If I place DS there, he won't have role models. Zero. And he for sure won't be challenged to learn.

I am glad to hear your DS is doing well. Mine also belongs under the Asperger's s. umbrella.

Does your DS go to any social groups? I would like to find that for DS. Good luck with kindy! I've heard that is when the differences become more obvious.

Quoting ballerina.2006: Yup. Child Find is a damn joke for us too. They will ONLY take his ADHD dx but refuse to acknowledge the ASD dx. But he's being placed in SpEd, can ride the short bus, etc etc.he needs the ASD treatment help but the school basically said "f u" to us in regards to helping his autism. He is hugh functioning. The behavioral therapist we met with this week said he would fall into the aspergers category (they still use the term there but it is no longer a valid dx). He starts K on 8/21 so we'll see what happens. He has made leaps and bounds with OT but still hasn't started any behavioral therapy.


samomama
by Sally on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Thanks Nicole. I am really waiting forward to seeing how will they accept the full report. Maybe they will surprise me. My son definitely needs support for social skills. If they don't provide any, we will have to think of commuting to the big city and do some private social groups. I know DS would benefit from OT. That is one option for us to do outpatient OT, with a referral from our Pedi.

Quoting Nickmom1118: I don't have much experience with this type of thing. I was lucky that my son was already involved with infants and toddlers before he got diagnosed. So, that helped us because his OT had been with him for 2 yrs. she went to our meeting. I know that before hand, I was told that if the school psychologist didn't want to take the medical evaluation, then they could so their own testing. ( she actually told me that, our evaluation was one of the best reports she has seen) so she accepted it. Big hugs and I hope you get what he needs.


samomama
by Sally on Jul. 25, 2014 at 5:54 PM

This lady will be observing him in the day care, several hours a day, for several days... I hope DS displays the difficulties he has and they recognize his needs for support. Otherwise, we will think of hiring an advocate. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

Quoting Anoronlight: Our school district tried the same thing with my dd, yeah I had an advocate who got in their face and told them they had no choice, that we had the documentation AND visible proof by what they saw in the class and they HAD to accept it. Now they have and now they are slowly listening, but it took me getting an advocate to step in before I got listened too. I don't know if they can at that level, but I would keep ll documentation handy and provide them with names and numbers of those who observed him. I would also find an advocate to see what steps you can take.


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