View Full Version : Is this Usual Procedure for Drafting IEPs?


amber3902
12-19-14, 03:20 PM
My D9 was recently diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD-PI. This diagnosis was done outside the school system. I took this diagnosis to the school and asked for an evaluation. After the usual feet dragging, they agreed to do it.

They came back and said, yes, she qualifies for an IEP under the learning disability category.

Now we are at the drafting IEP stage. This is new territory for me, my older daughter has a 504 for an auditory processing disorder.

The special ed teacher just emailed me a "Parent Input" form. The form is one page long, and asks me to list my daughter's strengths, child's successes, and concerns I have about my child.

That's it? Is that all they ask for from a parent when drafting an IEP? I thought the parent was involved in the actual drafting of the IEP. I've read online advice to parents on how they need to make sure goals are specific and measurable, etc.

dvdnvwls
12-19-14, 04:43 PM
It may be that that's only a required first step. I would get in touch with the person who sent you that form, and ask them if that's supposed to be your whole input or only your first step.

michaelaisabell
12-19-14, 04:57 PM
That's usually just the first step. When you go to the IEP meeting they will have goals with timelines prepared. They will ask you if you agreed with those and you will also be asked about any additional concerns you have and any other goals you would like to add on.

zette93
12-20-14, 02:23 AM
That sounds pretty typical based on my experience. I've been through this with 3 different districts. None of the three even sent home a form for parent input. The computer IEP template only has room for a small paragraph -- although maybe the space expands to fit whatever they type in. I once wrote about two pages of input, and most of it was not copied into the IEP.

The school will often write draft goals that will be reviewed at the next meeting -- that meeting is your chance to participate in establishing the goals and deciding on the final wording. (Although what you read about IEP's makes it sound like you all write all the goals together during the meeting, this would make the meetings last way too long to be practical in my experience.) If they create a draft, you have the right to request a copy of this draft and receive it 5 days before the meeting. It's also perfectly reasonable for you to bring some draft goals of your own to the meeting. I did this last time, and we spent a fair amount of time talking about whether a particular goal was a duplicate or should be included as a new goal. I felt this really worked well for me, and I got some things that were very important into the IEP this way.

There's a free webinar from the Dyslexia Training Institute called "How to make sure your IEP is in tip top shape" that has some very specific and well worded goals for dyslexia. I'll pm a link to you.

amber3902
12-20-14, 09:18 AM
That's usually just the first step. When you go to the IEP meeting they will have goals with timelines prepared. They will ask you if you agreed with those and you will also be asked about any additional concerns you have and any other goals you would like to add on.

See, that's going to be a problem. I have a hard time dealing with confrontation. At the last meeting I felt steam rolled over, they said a lot of things that I knew were wrong about IEPs, but I was like a dear in headlights, I couldn't bring myself to say anything.

I have a hard time standing up for myself. I think it's partly because I was abused as a child, and I partly due to anxiety. Even though I got therapy for the abuse, to this day, in my mind, I still sometimes revert back to a little 5 year old child. This always happens in confrontational situations where I need to speak up for myself.

I also worry so much about hurting other people's feelings, I let myself and even my child's rights get walk over.

I don't want to get to this meeting and try and "hash out" any goals or concerns I have. I am not going to be able to speak up. I have an advocate, but she is pretty useless. At the initial meeting where I asked for my daughter to be evaluated, the school psychologist said she wanted to wait.

I had to say I didn't want to wait any longer, that I wanted her evaluated now.

Then the school psychologist asked the other teachers if they thought my daughter should be evaluated.

I WANTED to say "It doesn't matter how the school feels about it, it is my right as a parent to have my child evaluated. The school has to evaluate her, regardless of whether you agree with it or not." But I couldn't say it. And my advocate didn't speak up for me either!

Fortunately the other teachers said they thought my daughter should be evaluated. But I felt steamrolled over, and again at the next meeting, I felt steamrolled over.

I was hoping I could add my input before the meeting. I can handle things pretty good via email. It's just in person that I have a hard time speaking up for myself.

I wish I could find another advocate, but this is the only one I've found so far.

zette93
12-20-14, 11:35 AM
In that case, here's how you can get your input in.

Send an email at least 24 hours prior that you plan to record the meeting. I like to say, "I wanted to let you know that I plan to record the meeting. I find that it helps me to concentrate on the meeting rather than on taking notes." Don't worry about how the school feels about it. It's your right and it's very important to have an audio record just in case you ever have to go through mediation or due process. When you arrive to the meeting, just take the recorder out of your purse, start it, and sit it on the table, very business-like. (You can get a good one for less than $50 at Best Buy).

Definitely make draft goals of your own and bring them to the meeting, print up several copies, and hand them out. Ask your advocate to help with the wording (google SMART goals) -- even below average advocates tend to be really good with goal wording. Say, "I wrote up some proposed goals for the team to consider. Let's go through them after we go through the ones in the draft."

Go through the meeting. Speak up about wording when you can. You can use non-threatening phrases like "What about..." and "How about..." to tweak the wording. Or write notes to your advocate (make it clear beforehand that you really want him or her to speak up more during this meeting.)

In my experience, most of the time will be spent going through the goals, with only a little at the beginning covering present levels and a little at the end discussing accommodations and services.

At the end, say, "I would like to look over the IEP at home with all the edits we've made today before I sign it." If they've been editing it while the meeting goes on, say, "Can you print me a copy?" If not, say, "When can you get a copy to me?"

Take it home, listen to your recording while you mark it up, and then email a list of changes to the case manager or person who was doing the editing during the meeting. Most likely they will prefer to work out the last details over email rather than having another meeting.

Is there any chance your daughter's dad can attend the meeting with you? Even if he doesn't say anything, sometimes just the presence of both parents puts the school on notice that the parents are taking this seriously. If he's more able than you to speak up in a meeting, and willing to learn how a SMART goal should be worded, even better.

Good luck! It's a frustrating process, and you'll never be 100% satisfied with the result, but hopefully you can get your daughter a reasonable amount of help from the school.

zette93
12-20-14, 11:54 AM
You might write the following on a post-it, and check each goal against it during the meeting:

S -- specific (CVC, CVVC words, multi-syllable (closed, open,...))
M -- measurable (read 50 words with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials by work samples)
A -- achievable
R -- realistic/relevant
T -- timed (by 12/15/15...)

amber3902
12-22-14, 10:27 AM
In that case, here's how you can get your input in.

Send an email at least 24 hours prior that you plan to record the meeting. I like to say, "I wanted to let you know that I plan to record the meeting. I find that it helps me to concentrate on the meeting rather than on taking notes." Don't worry about how the school feels about it. It's your right and it's very important to have an audio record just in case you ever have to go through mediation or due process. When you arrive to the meeting, just take the recorder out of your purse, start it, and sit it on the table, very business-like. (You can get a good one for less than $50 at Best Buy).

Definitely make draft goals of your own and bring them to the meeting, print up several copies, and hand them out. Ask your advocate to help with the wording (google SMART goals) -- even below average advocates tend to be really good with goal wording. Say, "I wrote up some proposed goals for the team to consider. Let's go through them after we go through the ones in the draft."

Go through the meeting. Speak up about wording when you can. You can use non-threatening phrases like "What about..." and "How about..." to tweak the wording. Or write notes to your advocate (make it clear beforehand that you really want him or her to speak up more during this meeting.)

In my experience, most of the time will be spent going through the goals, with only a little at the beginning covering present levels and a little at the end discussing accommodations and services.

At the end, say, "I would like to look over the IEP at home with all the edits we've made today before I sign it." If they've been editing it while the meeting goes on, say, "Can you print me a copy?" If not, say, "When can you get a copy to me?"


Thanks for all the advice. I'll try my hardest, but I have a feeling I will still have a hard time speaking up at the meeting. I will probably just have to say I want to take the IEP home and review it after the meeting.


Is there any chance your daughter's dad can attend the meeting with you? Having my ex-husband there would probably cause more problems. He's not very smart and has a bad temper. He can get very loud and not in a good way. Also, he's so ignorant, he would probably agree with them if they wanted to focus on sight words with D9! I've told him what's going on with D9, but he has no clue what dyslexia is and would not be able to effectively advocate for D9. I wish I could bring someone else along. While I do have some good friends that would probably be willing to come with me, they don't know the first thing about dyslexia and what's best for D9.

zette93
12-22-14, 07:33 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I'll try my hardest, but I have a feeling I will still have a hard time speaking up at the meeting.In that case, I would make up your draft goals, and then tell your advocate beforehand that you would like her to speak more during the meeting, and specifically to see that the items you are most concerned about make it into the IEP.

I will probably just have to say I want to take the IEP home and review it after the meeting.I NEVER sign to accept the IEP at the meeting (I do sign the paper that says I attended the meeting, which is different.). I ALWAYS ask to look over the edited copy before signing.

I thought of one other thing to mention. Since our experience the first two years was dealing with autism and ADHD, the services were pretty clear cut -- the district tended to give a standard amount of OT and speech. Once he was in the special ed school, the instruction was already small group or 1:1, so we didn't need to talk about resource time. Shortly after I figured out my son was also dyslexic, the director of the school brought in an Orton-Gillingham program, so I didn't need to argue about what reading program they were using. It may be more complicated with your daughter, and there may be more discussion about whether she needs time with the resource teacher, and what program they plan to use. Have some questions about how reading instruction is different with the resource teacher prepared beforehand.

amber3902
12-23-14, 10:22 AM
In that case, I would make up your draft goals, and then tell your advocate beforehand that you would like her to speak more during the meeting, and specifically to see that the items you are most concerned about make it into the IEP.

I NEVER sign to accept the IEP at the meeting (I do sign the paper that says I attended the meeting, which is different.). I ALWAYS ask to look over the edited copy before signing.

I thought of one other thing to mention. Since our experience the first two years was dealing with autism and ADHD, the services were pretty clear cut -- the district tended to give a standard amount of OT and speech. Once he was in the special ed school, the instruction was already small group or 1:1, so we didn't need to talk about resource time. Shortly after I figured out my son was also dyslexic, the director of the school brought in an Orton-Gillingham program, so I didn't need to argue about what reading program they were using. It may be more complicated with your daughter, and there may be more discussion about whether she needs time with the resource teacher, and what program they plan to use. Have some questions about how reading instruction is different with the resource teacher prepared beforehand.

Thanks. I found a few books at the library about IEPs. I found "Wrightslaw - Emotions to Advocacy" and "The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child", and "When the school Says NO, How to Get the Yes".

I started reading the "When the School Says No" book, and the one thing that was very helpful for me was it said do not attempt to memorize IDEA and every possible regulation.

When the school says "We can't do that" respond with "Can you provide me with a copy of that policy/law/regulation? Thanks." This is very important for me. I am using up so many of my brain cells trying to think up every possible senario and trying to memorize a "good" response for each one. It's impossible to think of every possible thing the school might say, and on top of that trying to think of every possible answer I could give in response.

And my problem is even if I DO have a snappy response, I will probably be too imtimated to say it in the meeting. And as the books says, having "gotcha" responses is not going to make the school want to work with you. You get more flies with honey, and while I don't want to be taken advantage of, I know it's far better to get the school to want to work with me, instead of grudgingly doing something because they "have" to.

It said in IEP ask "where are we?" "Where do we want to go" and "How do we get there?" Asking these quesitons is far better than demanding a certain program and putting the school on the defense.

amber3902
12-23-14, 10:35 AM
The Parent Input Form had four questions.

Here are the four questions that are on the Parent Input Form and I've put my responses underneath each one. Any input/advice is welcome.


1. Describe your child’s strengths:<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:p< b O:p<>

<O:p< p O:p<>
<FONT size=3>Strong visual-spatial processing skills – spatial visualization, perception of spatial orientation<O:p< O:p< font>
Strong visual motor integration – ability to copy drawings<O:p< O:p< font>
Strong analytic skills – problem solver<O:p< O:p< font>
Multi-sensory learner – Visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile learner<O:p< O:p< font>


2. Describe your child’s successes this year:<O:p< b O:p<>

100 on Dictionary man project<O:p< O:p< font>
100 on Pumpkin poster project<O:p< O:p< font>
100 on Native American diorama<O:p< O:p< font>
97 overall grade in Math – as of 12-19-2014<O:p< O:p< font>

<O:p< p O:p< O:p<O:p<>
3. Describe concerns you may have about your child:
<O:p< b O:p<>

Poor Phonological awareness - the ability to recognize the sound a specific phoneme makes<O:p< O:p< font>
Poor phonological memory skills – ability to store sound-based information in working and short-term memory<O:p< O:p< font>
Poor ability to efficiently retrieve phonological information from long term memory<O:p< O:p< font>

<O:p< p O:p<>
Inability to sound out words – pronounce one syllable at a time<O:p< O:p< font>
Inability to blend parts of words together – put parts of word together<O:p< O:p< font>
Inability to sound out nonsense words – this is to ensure she’s not memorizing<O:p< O:p< font>

Fluency<O:p< O:p< font>
Meltdowns when she encounters difficult tasks
<O:p< O:p< font>

<O:p< p O:p<>
<O:p< p O:p<>
4. Include any additional information or questions you may have:<O:p< b O:p<>

<O:p< p O:p<><O:pn/a

</O:p<>
---------------------------------------------------------------------

The book recommended stating the child's needs, then basing goals off of that.


I want to narrow this down to two or three needs. How's this?

1. Poor short term and long term memory<O:p< O:p< font>
2. Poor phonological awareness<O:p< O:p< font>

This would then dive goals, only I'm not sure what goal you would put for #1. For #2, the goal would state something about improved phonological awareness, ex. Karen will be able to say the sound for all 44 phonemes in the English language.</O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<></O:p<>
</O:p

zette93
12-23-14, 07:11 PM
I forget -- are you planning to continue tutoring outside of the school, or are you trying to get the school to provide an appropriate reading program?

The first two sections look great. I think Need #1 is too broad and vague. I would suggest:

Needs:
1.To be able to read grade level material to access the curriculum
2.To be able to write well enough to "show what she knows" on homework and tests
3.Support to access grade-level curriculum while reading and writing issues are being remediated.
4. (If pronunciation is an issue) To be able to speak clearly.

Goals -- I'll be a bit broad here, you'll want to get to the level of "do XYZ with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials..."
1. Phonological awareness -- goal for identifying first, middle, and last sounds in CVC words; goal for segmenting words into phonemes; goal for blending phonemes into words; separating
2. Separate goals for encoding/decoding each of the following: consonants, consonant blends, consonant diagraphs (sh, ch, etc.) short vowels, vowel teams, silent-e words, etc.
3. spelling

Gotta go right now, more later...

amber3902
12-24-14, 08:33 AM
I forget -- are you planning to continue tutoring outside of the school, or are you trying to get the school to provide an appropriate reading program?

I'm going to continue the private tutoring (two sessions a week, an hour each) and I am also going to try to get the school to provide an appropriate reading program. The private tutor says she's using an O-G approach to tutor my daughter. She says if the school uses an O-G program like Wilson it would not conflict with what she's doing with D9.


The first two sections look great. I think Need #1 is too broad and vague. I would suggest:

Needs:
1.To be able to read grade level material to access the curriculum
2.To be able to write well enough to "show what she knows" on homework and tests
3.Support to access grade-level curriculum while reading and writing issues are being remediated.
4. (If pronunciation is an issue) To be able to speak clearly.

Goals -- I'll be a bit broad here, you'll want to get to the level of "do XYZ with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials..."
1. Phonological awareness -- goal for identifying first, middle, and last sounds in CVC words; goal for segmenting words into phonemes; goal for blending phonemes into words; separating
2. Separate goals for encoding/decoding each of the following: consonants, consonant blends, consonant diagraphs (sh, ch, etc.) short vowels, vowel teams, silent-e words, etc.
3. spelling

Gotta go right now, more later...

Thanks so much for all this!
Questions - when you say "do XYZ with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials" what is a trial?
What does CVC stand for?

zette93
12-28-14, 01:33 PM
Sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to this thread. I'm in the middle of preparing for my son's IEP so I'm really focused on goals myself.

Questions - when you say "do XYZ with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials" what is a trial?

Now that you ask, I'm not entirely clear whether a trial is an individual attempt, or a session. For instance, if the goal was to spell 10 words with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials, I'm not sure whether each individual spelling word would be a trial, or each weekly spelling test would be considered a trial. I think it's the latter, although in practice the teacher doesn't always keep all the data and just bases the IEP progress report off a recent test.

What does CVC stand for?
CVC is consonant-vowel-consonant. Here are some examples of various word patterns:
CVC -- cat
CV -- do
CCV -- she
CVVC -- boat
CCCVC -- strap

You probably want to craft some goals that will nudge the school toward a Wilson or other OG program.

If it's ok with you, I'd like to continue this conversation over on the dyslexia board...

amber3902
12-28-14, 06:13 PM
You probably want to craft some goals that will nudge the school toward a Wilson or other OG program.

If it's ok with you, I'd like to continue this conversation over on the dyslexia board...

Sure, sounds good. Thanks.

zette93
12-28-14, 07:41 PM
Anyone else who is interested is welcome to PM me for the address of the dyslexia forum I'm starting (site rules here don't allow me to post a link.)