IEP for speech not working

Some students have an IEP that has the public school providing speech services.  Many students, however, have more special needs’ than just speech.  Many of our kids have “hidden” disabilities, such as processing delays and reading and writing problems, as well as impairments that effect their ability to be successful in a classroom setting.

A parent has provided medical documentation to the public school about the student’s diagnosis, yet the school believes that since the child has an IEP for only speech so the IEP is sufficient. The school leads the parent to believe that is all that needs to be done and indicates there’s no need for an IEP meeting. It is suggested to the parent to discuss concerns with the principal.

Talk is cheap.  Unfortunately parents grew up with the mindset that the folks at the school know what they’re doing, and, they are “experts” in what our children need.  As long as parents keep talking, the school will continue to promote the “wait and see” approach.

Paper is power.  A parent can submit in writing concerns to the school about the student’s needs that have gone unaddressed. Parents need to know the right buzzwords to use in communicating with the school in order to work the “system”.

This is another scenario that a professional advocate at the the IEP center encounters.  Parents get bamboozled and don’t even know it.  Advocates at the IEP center are available for telephone consults where a parent can learn the buzzwords and approaches parents can use to work the “system” for the child with special needs.

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Summer school is not Extended School Year

Spring IEP meetings often cover programming for a student (who has an IEP) for the summer.  Parents need to understand the difference between “summer school” or “extended school year”.

Typically, summer school is something the district offers to all children in the district, regardless of any disability.  Many times it lasts a few weeks and has enrichment activities,  or often in high school provides credit recovery.

“Extended school year” is specifically for students who have IEPs, and is an opportunity for the student to work on specific goals in the IEP.  The intent is for the student to maintain skill(s) across the summer.  Since this is an IEP team decision, it is individualized for the student and written into the IEP.

When school district folks on the IEP team present a student’s eligibility for ESY, they sometimes mention only “regression” they’ve seen perhaps over winter or spring break.  However, that is not the only criteria for determining ESY eligibility.

Parents can take an advocate to an IEP meeting.  Avoid being bamboozled.  To get information from a professional special ed advocate, please complete the form:

Missouri special education due process — avoid it!

Parents who are frustrated by IEP meetings where nothing is accomplished can pursue approaches other than “due process”.  “Due Process” is a lengthy process and is emotionally draining, and often puts a child’s education on hold while “lawyers” wrangle. 

If your child’s needs, which are listed in the IEP, are not being addressed by the public school, then a parent might want to consider filing a “child complaint” with our state dept of Education in Jefferson City.  A “child complaint” is where a parent presents allegations of how the school district is not following the IEP…and the state department of education follow-up by doing some fact-finding then making a decision of whether the district is “in compliance” or not.  

It is important to have accurate record-keeping so that if/when a parent files a “child complaint”, the documents exist to support an allegation.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice***I am not an attorney and am not licensed to practice law in Missouri or any other state.  Nothing in these communications should be considered to be legal advice.



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