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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Another IEP question **update**

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What reasons would there be for not wanting parents to have a copy of the evaluations to review before the IEP meeting?

 

**I just received an email stating the reports will be ready for me to pick up by the end of the day today and that they will keep the Friday meeting scheduled.

by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Replies (31-40):
DyslexiaParent
by on Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Not really.. You have already said a parent would have a difficult time understanding an evaluation report.   It is very overwhelming to a parent to hear all of the diagnoses, terminology, and have NO opportunity to digest the information, and then be expected to make meaningful IEP decisions on the spot in the same meeting.  

Schools have an obligation under IDEA to insure the parent has an equal say in the IEP of their child.   Historically, the issue of schools failing to treat parents as equal members of an IEP team has been addressed in legal interpretations of IDEA by the federal government, appended to IDEA legislation, and interpreted in the courts where schools undertake IEP meetings in illegal forms----Schools have been known to "outvote" parents on IEP changes, fail to give parents important information prior to the meeting, not providing parents with "Prior Written Notice," etc.   I'm not saying all schools do this, but there are a great number that do, and because the original poster here was asking the question.. Apparently she has concerns that are not being addressed adequately by the school.  That is not really an assumption... it is based upon the question she posted.

So I think it's important to note that schools who really want their parents to be equal IEP Team members COULD have a meeting with the parent to present the evaluation results separate from the IEP meeting to set goals.  This would let the parent have a week or more to research the disabilities the school has found, to better understand her child, relate the new knowledge to her personal experience with her own child, and thereby be enabled to participate in a more meaningful way in the IEP meeting.  

How IEP meetings and parental involvement is handled is a widely varied matter from school-to-school.  It is of no help to the children affected to try to brush over communication problems as if they don't exist rather than try to help the parent find effective ways of insuring she has the information she needs prior to the meeting. ;-)

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

You are making a lot of assumptions here. 

DyslexiaParent
by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 3:18 AM

That would depend upon the quality of the evaluation report.  I've seen reports with as few as two pages and others with 30+ pages, with the largest being 39 pages itself and several resource pages added to that.   A comprehensive evaluation with a comprehensive report requires little explanation outside of the report. 

For the two page reports I've seen, one was just a bunch of numbers from the testing with virtually no explanation at all.  That was by far the worst report I've ever seen because the data wasn't meaningful to anyone other than the psychologist who did the testing.   It really was a disservice to the entire IEP team because nobody could take that report as a stand alone document and determine anything about what the child needed.

The other two page report was where the psychologist administered an Aptitude test and an achievement test and concluded the child had ADHD.  WHAAATTT???  You can't possibly determine anything solely from an IQ test and an achievement test other than the child has some gaps in certain areas, which was probably evident even before the testing!

For the comprehensive reports, they explain the subtests, what they measure, what that means educationally for the child, and provides a broad spectrum of testing narrowing down on specifics to determine if a child has underlying working memory issues, processing issues, visual-motor integration issues, etc.  The comprehensive reports read like a book about the child and it tells which processes are strengths, which ones are weaknesses, and gives ideas for supporting the child in any deficit area.  By time you finish reading the comprehensive reports, there is little left open for interpretation and little additional explanation is needed.

SO, I think to a degree, how much interpretation is needed depends upon the quality of the report.  Given a well-written, comprehensive evaluation report, there is little reason not to give it to the parent ahead of time, let the parent read it, call with any questions, etc.  It gives the parent time to digest the information and fully understand the impacts of the child's disabilities upon the child's learning.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Because they require explanation. The psychologist explains it all during the meeting. Giving it to parents ahead of time would result in misinterpretations and confusion.


DyslexiaParent
by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 3:25 AM

I think Morrigan meant the evaluation report HAS to be sent home five days prior to the meeting.. YAY MD!! That is the RIGHT way to do things! :-D

Indeed, Kris, if an IEP is formulated BEFORE an IEP meeting, it would be a violation of the Federal IDEA regulations because someone had to make that IEP (suggested or otherwise), and the decisions would have been made unilaterally as to what to put in the IEP.  Thus, if any parent walks into an IEP meeting and the school has already made the IEP, the parent would have a right to file a complaint and/or seek due process remedies if it was an ongoing problem.  This particular issue of schools drawing up "draft" IEPs prior to IEP meetings has been a long-standing issue that is a violation of a parent's right to equal participation.    Most of the time in these cases, I think the schools are trying to be "efficient" because they have a lot of IEP meetings.  It totally depends upon the school personnel involved as to whether they are aware the IEP drafting circumvents full parental participation or not.

Quoting Kris_PBG:

Although - if the IEP is supposed to be designed as a TEAM with the parent's involvement, how is that done when it is written and sent home 5 days prior to the meeting?

Quoting Morrigan333:

 Doesn't work that way here in Md. They HAVE to release that to you. Like 5 days prior to the meeting.

mom22tumblebugs
by Gold Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

In my 7+ IEP meetings, I have never had an evaluation that was more than 1-2 pages each staffperson. And yes, it included "educator" jargon, but nothing that went completely over my head or that I couldn't ask in the meeting, what does that exactly mean? Also, dd's IEP is updated, not rewritten every time. So if I were to get the IEP sent to me prior to the meeting, it would be the same copy of the IEP that is already in place.

I think the best thing a parent can do going into these meetings is become educated about what they think is going on with their child. What they would like to see, as far as services go... and whether it is feasible and warranted, enough to push for it. A parent should be able to back up their reasons for wanting it. And also to learn some of the jargon that teachers/therapists might toss on the table.

 

EnnieN
by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I think for our first IEP (in CA), when my stepdaughter was first evaluated, they gave DH the evaluations at the meeting, so they could explain them.  He was pretty glad for that, becaue it turns out that my stepdaughter has a disability that he had never heard of, so it was great to have it explained!  I was  in the field of education for a number of years, and I had not heard of it...so it can be useful to hear from the people who conducted testing. 

Generally, you get a copy of the IEP before the meeting at the annual IEP meeting, to review so that you can bring comments/suggestions to the meeting before you sign it.  The IEP needs your approval, whereas once you approve giving the tests, the test results are part of the the student's records that do not need your approval. 

MsLogansMommy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I understand that at the IEP meeting they will be going over the evaluations and explaining things but I do not see what harm it is for the parents to get a copy of the reports ahead of time since it is the parents legal right to do so.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM


Quoting DyslexiaParent:

Not really.. You have already said a parent would have a difficult time understanding an evaluation report.   It is very overwhelming to a parent to hear all of the diagnoses, terminology, and have NO opportunity to digest the information, and then be expected to make meaningful IEP decisions on the spot in the same meeting.  

No decisions have to be made on the spot. IEPs are fluid documents. Changes can be made at any time. So if a parent reconsiders something after the meeting there's no reason why changes can't be made. 

Schools have an obligation under IDEA to insure the parent has an equal say in the IEP of their child.   Historically, the issue of schools failing to treat parents as equal members of an IEP team has been addressed in legal interpretations of IDEA by the federal government, appended to IDEA legislation, and interpreted in the courts where schools undertake IEP meetings in illegal forms----Schools have been known to "outvote" parents on IEP changes, fail to give parents important information prior to the meeting, not providing parents with "Prior Written Notice," etc.   I'm not saying all schools do this, but there are a great number that do, and because the original poster here was asking the question.. Apparently she has concerns that are not being addressed adequately by the school.  That is not really an assumption... it is based upon the question she posted.

How can possibly tell her what her school's motivations are without making assumptions?

So I think it's important to note that schools who really want their parents to be equal IEP Team members COULD have a meeting with the parent to present the evaluation results separate from the IEP meeting to set goals.  This would let the parent have a week or more to research the disabilities the school has found, to better understand her child, relate the new knowledge to her personal experience with her own child, and thereby be enabled to participate in a more meaningful way in the IEP meeting.  

In theory that would be great. But there's several very specialised professionals who need to be at those meetings. Schools don't have physiologists and staffing specialists on campus every day. Meetings are booked weeks in advanced and the schedules of the people involved are already fully booked. If each  IEP were to turn into two meetings we need twice as many staffing specialists, ESE specialists, and physiologists. 

How IEP meetings and parental involvement is handled is a widely varied matter from school-to-school.  It is of no help to the children affected to try to brush over communication problems as if they don't exist rather than try to help the parent find effective ways of insuring she has the information she needs prior to the meeting. ;-)

It's also no help to assume that the school is being nefarious.  I don't see anything in the OP that would lead me to conclusion that the school is trying to prevent her from advocating for her child. Several valid reasons for not releasing the reports have been offered. I'd also like to point out that The OP doesn't say the school refused to release them. She only asking why they aren't released. 

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

You are making a lot of assumptions here. 


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM


Quoting MsLogansMommy:

I understand that at the IEP meeting they will be going over the evaluations and explaining things but I do not see what harm it is for the parents to get a copy of the reports ahead of time since it is the parents legal right to do so.

What explanation did the school give you? Did they refuse to give them to you, or did they say they don't normally do it? There's a big difference. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:27 PM

So how do you suggest it should be done if entering the meeting with a draft is inappropriate?

 It takes me several hours to write an IEP. It would take even longer if I was discussing each section with a group of people. We have at least 6-7 IEP meetings each staffing day. If we didn't start the meeting with a draft we could only get through one or two a day. 

Quoting DyslexiaParent:

I think Morrigan meant the evaluation report HAS to be sent home five days prior to the meeting.. YAY MD!! That is the RIGHT way to do things! :-D

Indeed, Kris, if an IEP is formulated BEFORE an IEP meeting, it would be a violation of the Federal IDEA regulations because someone had to make that IEP (suggested or otherwise), and the decisions would have been made unilaterally as to what to put in the IEP.  Thus, if any parent walks into an IEP meeting and the school has already made the IEP, the parent would have a right to file a complaint and/or seek due process remedies if it was an ongoing problem.  This particular issue of schools drawing up "draft" IEPs prior to IEP meetings has been a long-standing issue that is a violation of a parent's right to equal participation.    Most of the time in these cases, I think the schools are trying to be "efficient" because they have a lot of IEP meetings.  It totally depends upon the school personnel involved as to whether they are aware the IEP drafting circumvents full parental participation or not.

Quoting Kris_PBG:

Although - if the IEP is supposed to be designed as a TEAM with the parent's involvement, how is that done when it is written and sent home 5 days prior to the meeting?

Quoting Morrigan333:

 Doesn't work that way here in Md. They HAVE to release that to you. Like 5 days prior to the meeting.


MsLogansMommy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 12:29 AM

 

They are very careful not to flat out refuse to give me the reports ahead of time since they have no legal right to do so however they are not cooperating either. They are telling me that they will go over the reports at the meeting and that they are finalizing the reports and if we need to schedule another meeting to allow me more time to review them then we can do so at the IEP meeting. I responded that I would like to reschedule the date now then since I am quite sure that I will need time to review the information in order for me to be an equal part of the IEP team. Basically my whole issue is that I don't want to be sitting in a meeting with 5 other people and be learning this info for the first time and possibly be shocked or saddened or whatever it is I dont want to experience those emotions in a room with strangers I want to be at home with family learning about the areas that my daughter struggles and I am sure I will have questions but I think is would make the actual meeting more efficient because I will have prepared my questions beforehand and if they answer my questions in the explanation that is fine but if I am feeling emotional I many not be as effective as I can be with preparation. and then there is that other small issue that it is my legal right to have the reports before the meeting.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting MsLogansMommy:

I understand that at the IEP meeting they will be going over the evaluations and explaining things but I do not see what harm it is for the parents to get a copy of the reports ahead of time since it is the parents legal right to do so.

What explanation did the school give you? Did they refuse to give them to you, or did they say they don't normally do it? There's a big difference. 


 

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