Missouri IEP meetings where parents hear double-talk

Parents now report school staff ask parents intimidating questions to redirect parents away from the topic of services that our children need. “Don’t you want your child to be independent?” is a common question parents are asked.

Within the last four years I have noticed the supports (paraprofessionals) that were a given for many students with inappropriate behaviors are no longer mentioned to parents. These districts are placing the overwhelming task on a classroom teacher of up to 30 students.  Unrealistic to all!rsz_asianteenmale-vert-199x300

Uninformed and inexperienced parents don’t realize their child is missing basic support services while at public school. This results in suspensions that are unnecessary and could usually be avoided.

Advocates at the IEP Center™ help parents with these civil rights’ concerns in public schools.

Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™ advocates are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.  We do not represent children or parents.  Contact an attorney.

Need help quick?  816 865 6262   set a phone consult:   bit.ly/iepconsult

©2016 Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC

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Help my child at school in Missouri

 

Parents call me describing how they have tried to get the public school to help their child for YEARS!  Usually they talk to staff at the school who brushes off the parent with comments like “he’ll grow out of it”, “wait and see”, or “we’ll test the kids in the spring”.  Then years pass and the student is so far behind and frustrated resulting in emotional and social issues becoming a problem. rsz_puzzlepiecewitheye-300x300

Parents who suspect a child is struggling at public school need to communicate it in writing or e-mail to the special ed director. As a result, many schools will then include the child in use of interventions.  If after a few weeks of intervention no progress is indicated, a parent should insist and request a comprehensive evaluation in all areas of suspected disability.  Parents aren’t obligated to pay for testing by outside professionals; the public school district usually is required to perform testing.   A reasonable person would believe that a school district would know to do these things without the parents insistence!

Some districts are difficult to work with, and make it difficult for parents to navigate.  That’s where the advocates at The IEP Center ™ can help. We help parents over the phone, and, often in one hour empower the parent!   Don’t let another semester go by with a child struggling needlessly;   Set a phone consult at   www.theiepcenter.com the-iep-center (800x640) Once there, click on the orange tab on the left.

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Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™ provides information to parents regarding the problems of children with disabilities.  We are not attorneys and do not give advice.  We do not represent parents or children.  Consult an attorney.

We help parents at low-cost.  We help parents prepare for school meetings and also go to mediation and IEP meetings with parents.  Go to our website to set a telephone consult.

©2016 Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™

Students get extra help from para (paraprofessional) at the public school

So you’ve been told that your child has a paraprofessional to help him while at school.  Sometimes these support people are called classroom aide, teacher’s aide, etc. What does this mean?
It may mean that the paraprofessional is also helping many other students in addition to your child. It may mean that your child gets help from a paraprofessional during certain portions of the school day. Don’t assume it is a one-on-one scenario. Some schools have wording in the IEP “student will have adult supervision”; I would hope so!  All public school children have “adult supervision”.

To what extent are your child’s needs met (or not) with or without a para?  Don’t assume that the teacher alone can meet all your child’s needs and all the other students’ in the room (in an IEP meeting, teachers won’t ask for extra staff in the room but parents can request para supports!)  Schools are now explaining that budget cuts result in less staff; your child who previously had a para may not now–unless you ask you may not know!  Our advocates can go to school meetings with parents. rsz_enthusiasticlearner-300x199

Ask the school:

  • how many students are served by the para?
  • at what times/scenarios does the para work/assist my child?
  • what real-life experience does my para have working with a student who has the disability my child has?
  • what training specific to the disability has the para attended?  if none, why not?
  • what training does my para receive that is different than   the professional teachers receive?  what does the para know about my child’s disability?
  • who will substitute for the para when the para is absent? how available is the sub?
  • what training/experience does the sub have?

Perhaps your child has a paraprofessional assigned to him and you are concerned that the para may provide too much or not enough support to your child.  Ask the school:

  • In what subjects/activities does the para provide direct instruction?
  • In what subjects/activities does the para provide social guidance/set or guide interaction with peers?
  • In what settings does the para fade to the background and serve only as a monitor?
  • In what settings does the para provide physical/hands-on support/assistance?
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These questions are best asked of the para privately and later to the staff in an IEP or 504 meeting.  A parent can request that these details be included in the IEP under supplemental aids/services.  In a 504 plan, it can be listed as accommodations.

The para may need ways to make his life simpler at the school.  Ask the para if he needs access to closets/storage areas at various points in the building for ease in acquiring extra clothing or a private area to change the student’s clothing.  Offer to provide extra clothing in an additional backpack close to the lunch area in case of spills. Don’t forget the para on the bus; she may need items as well.

When discussing your child’s needs at the school, be careful of the terms you use.  Yes, we all want our children to be “independent”; however, school personnel may interpret “independent” to mean that the student should be left to his own vices as much as possible—resulting in limited assistance from the para.  In primary settings, this may not be the desired scenario for some children. A standard Missouri had for our kids back in the early 90’s was “maximize the capabilities”.

If your child has been assigned a paraprofessional (para), more questions need to be asked!  A proactive parents helps prevent a child from incidents that result in suspensions or change in placement(s).

Accolades to all the hard-working wonderful paras!  Thank you.

Don’t be bamboozled by the school!  Our advocates inform parents about what Congress has for parents to help your child. We also go to those confusing IEP meetings!  Visit our website to set a phone consult;  theiepcenter.com

©2015 , 2017   Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™.  We are civil rights advocates.

We provide information at low-cost to parents so they can better advocate for their child with disabilities in the public school.  We can go with parents to meetings at the school.

Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.  We are not licensed to practice law in any state; we do not represent parents or children.  Consult an attorney.

IEP meeting: Okay to not agree in Missouri IEP meeting

IEP meetings can be frustrating; for both parents and teachers.  However, the information acquired from school staff can be quite helpful to the parent. Parents can ask about the specifics of a child’s schedule and staffing.  Parents can ask about the social dynamics of classes their child participates in.rsz_nclb2girlslookingateachother

One of the most important questions to ask is who has expertise in the child’s specific disability?  Does the district have such expert on staff?  Availability of that staff to work with my child?  Schools that have “programs” based on disability sometimes need to be reminded that the IEP meeting is not about a “program”, but rather about “individualizing” a child’s plan.  If you don’t agree with what is being offered, a parent can say so…and ask for more options.

Advocates at The IEP Center™ help parents solve IEP problems by providing information so they can advocate for the child with special needs.  Don’t be bamboozled!  Waiting and hoping for problems to go away allows our children to regress.  Hoping the problem will go away will only delay getting the problem addressed.  If you’ve had an IEP meeting and issues weren’t resolved, you need an advocate on your side! the-iep-center (800x640)

Never go alone to an IEP meeting; our advocates are available!

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Contact an advocate below:

Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™ provides information to parents regarding the problems of children with disabilities.  We are civil rights advocates for parents of children with disabilities.  We are not attorneys and do not give advice.  Consult an attorney.  We do not have a license to practice law.

We help parents at low-cost.  We help parents prepare for school meetings and also go to mediation and IEP meetings with parents.

©2015 Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™