Ok, my son is having so much trouble with school. He is struggling and has been since he started school. Well, after years of starting over trying to get some things accomplished, the new school is finally going to get him tested for a learning disability. I really feel he has some sort of problem. His father has one, had to have special classes as a child, his grandmother does, he has four cousins and two aunts with a learning disability. So, next week i meet with the student services team, and i was wondering if there are any tips you may have for what to ask or expect or insist on. I am not their adversary, we are a team, but i also don't want to take the course of least resistance. I appreciate any and all advice!

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Good Luck! I have no advice for dealing with the schools. I took my kids out of the school to homeschool them because I felt the Spec Ed department was a joke here.


try to find othher moms in youur area who have dealt with IEPs in your school district.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 12:53 PM As a special ed teacher and a mother of two kids with speech disabilites, I can tell you that there are things that you can do if you want help.  First, don't get offended by what they say about your child, even if they make him sound worse than before.  You don't need to build him up.  I was told my son had an attention problem and they wanted to get him help for it from an Occupational Therapist.  I felt and was right that it was his hearing(he later got tubes).  But, I let them test them and give him help for it.  It helped him.  You have to learn how to play the game if you want help.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:23 PM

I just had my first IEP meeting last week, for my 8 year old 3rd grader! And I went in, wondering the same thing.

But when I got there they had already done their own evaluation of what would work best for my son, and had it written up. I just had to approve everything they had in it, or suggest anything new I wanted. in his case his iEP has in it:

Regularly scheduled speech therapy, whie his class is having free time. Which is good because he can't handle free time.

Regularly scheduled group meeting of other children with the same bahavior problem as him, so they can be instructed how to recognize thier own warning signs and learn and try different tecnniques to focus and remain calm. This is during his class's story time, which is another time of day he couldn't sit still for anyway.

 Is allowed to take longer on state exams, if necessary, although they admitted he problably wont even need it. it's just in there so he can if he needs to.

 Although other occupational therapies may be added later, we all incluing me agreed that adding any more pull-out sessions would interfere with his regular classroom day.

What a friend of mine told me to watch for, so that I could say "no" if they suggested it. Although in my case it didn't come up:

 Regularly scheduled pull-out sessions that caused him to regularly miss the same subject in his regular class, such as math or science, that could risk him falling behind in that subject.

Or over compensation for your child's disability that you don't want . In my friend's example, the school offered to allow her son's oral presentations in front of the class to be shorter than the other students'. But my friend said no to that because she wants him to work on his speech, she felt that his speech impediment wasn't so terrible that it required that kind of exception, AND making an exception for him like that calls attention to him and make him more different from the other kids.

 At oine point, before this meeting, some of them suggested that since my son's motor skills are so poor , and hand writing takes him so long,  they could possibly include in his IEP that he could computer-type his reports. My husband and I discussed it at home and said we would not agree to that, and when I arrived for the IEP meeting, they had already come to the same conclusion as us and did not include it. We all agree that he can improve his motor skills through practice and that typing his reports would have prevented him from improving his skills.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:25 PM I do want to clarify that before this IEP meeting, we had met as a group several times during the course of his evaluation by them, so they did include us in the evaluation process also.

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