View Full Version : IEP cateogories and Assessment conditions


ajaxblu
02-17-17, 01:18 PM
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> Hello all - I have background and a couple of questions...


After years of the school shrugging us off, this last year we finally took our (now 15yo) daughter to an outside psychiatrist and therapist, both confirming moderate ADHD, Anxiety, mild-moderate ODD, and suspected Selective Mutism.



I’ve known something is wrong since she was a toddler, but the therapist suspects the Anxiety, ODD and SM have masked her ADHD symptoms enough at school for her to fly under the radar.



Not helping matters was the fact that we have always allowed her to stay up late, till midnight if needed, to get her HW done (with our help/redirection). So once she eventually turns her work in, she gets good grades (till test time).


After the psychiatrist diagnosis, the school gave her a 504, but not much help. We demanded an IEP assessment and requested study hall (only offered at our school for those with IEPs or 504s (can’t recall which)).


It’s been a month and she is now doing wonderfully with ADHD and Anxiety meds, and the study hall. She had her school assessment this week – I assume she did well due to the meds – will find out at meeting in a couple of days.




Question ONE: Since she has ADHD and multiple other issues, my understanding is that she would qualify for an IEP under either Other Health Impairment or Multiple Disabilities – so not much room to deny her. Am I correct?



Question TWO: Since she's now doing so well with her meds and study hall, do they have legal standing to say she's obviously fine with the meds so she doesn't need an IEP?





Thank you so much for any advice.


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Hiddencreations
02-17-17, 02:20 PM
Question 1: Depending on the assessment results, and whether she is eligible, they could decide Multiple Disabilities or Emotional Disability. OHI wouldn't really apply for the anxiety, but depending on what state you are in they can specify the secondary categories with Multiple Disabilites. ADHD is a toss-up for categories--it all depends on other factors--sometimes it is OHI, Specific Learning Disability, or Emotional Disability. Schools will pick a primary category that seems to best describe the student and their challenges, so I could see ED as being on the table too.

Question 2: The school could certainly make the argument that study hall seems to be an accommodation that is an effective intervention, therefore at that moment she does not need an IEP or modifications to the curriculum. They can't use meds as the basis, but they can use the fact that she is receiving study hall on a 504 and it is effective.

Now, if the study hall is only for IEP students then eligibility would be easier to determine. However, it seems like maybe study hall is available for both 504 and IDEA students (unless an exception was made until assessment results were obtained).

sarahsweets
02-17-17, 02:46 PM
In NJ once the formal assessment is complete and the student has the IEP they do not retest or do that assessment for three years, so it stays in place. Have you read PRISE? Also google wrightslaw dot com.

ajaxblu
02-17-17, 04:32 PM
Thank you so much for your replies. :) I will keep this info I mind and I'll check out PRISE.

Have a great weekend.

Caco3girl
02-20-17, 10:31 AM
In my sons case they tried a 504 and it wasn't enough. If your daughter is doing well on the 504 they may not escalate her to the IEP. I have to admit that when they told me he only qualified for the 504 and not an IEP I stopped "helping". I would ask him in general how school was or if he had anything coming up but I didn't stalk the teachers websites anymore reminding him when he had a test and what was coming due.

This "inaction" on my part began his plummet into failing nearly every subject. My thought process was "If you they think he can do this without any further assistance then let's see"....he couldn't. When we reconvened again they said he needed co-taught classes to keep him on track and they gave him the IEP under OHI for his ADHD. Since then it has gone MUCH better for him. His lowest grade right now is an 82% and I haven't seen grades like this from him since he was in elementary school!

Bottom line, I had to let my kid fail miserably before the school would give him his IEP. I told him that the school thought he could do it on his own so we needed to see. I told him to try his best, but until all this 504/IEP stuff was sorted out he wouldn't be in trouble at home over grades as long as he really was trying his best. He got very frustrated, told several teachers he was too stupid to go to school, and it was heart breaking to watch but I also know I won't be with him in college and the school needed to see what he could do on his own...which wasn't much.

The co-taught classes are streamlined, much more straight forward telling the kids you need to know THIS...they don't have stream of thought discussions where the kids come to their own conclusions, they are highly structured. My hope is that by the time he is in college his mental processes will have caught up to at least where he should have been in 10th grade and then he will be okay. For now I have a 9th grader with a 6th graders brain trying to work out his teachers thoughts and come to his own conclusions...and he isn't ready for that. That is why the IEP is vital.

Lunacie
02-20-17, 12:11 PM
:goodpost: Caco3girl

We had to do something similar with my granddaughter ... twice.

First they thought she was ready for inclusion classes in 2nd grade. We disagreed.

But they did that anyway. Huge failure. She was throwing things at the teacher,
hiding under her desk having a meltdown.

The school relented and even hired a good special ed teacher. Third grade she
was doing better, making progress, actually learning and catching up.

But in 4th grade she moved from the primary wing to the elementary wing and
had a different teacher. Clearly they didn't get along well. We asked if the two
teachers could switch places. No, they said, sorry, we can't do that.

By the end of the year the teacher was calling us halfway through the day to
come and take her away at least ... at least 3 days a week. Unacceptable.

But instead of switching teachers, they chose to send my granddaughter to
the special school for kids who are considered to have bad behavior, used to
call them delinquents.

She did so well there that she wasn't allowed to return the next year. But no
way were sending her back to the local school. What to do?

Luckily the district school advocate managed to snag a really wonderful
teacher and set up a special class in another school for middle and high
school kids with autism. My granddaughter has blossomed, caught up in most
subjects, and enjoys school now. She has made friends and enjoys going to
school dances. So bloody much depends on the teacher and the principal.


And all of this after getting an IEP going into kindergarten because the pre-
kindergarten teacher recognized her problems. In the wrong school, even an
IEP isn't enough sadly.

ajaxblu
02-20-17, 12:36 PM
Caco3girl... I'm so glad you've gotten him the help he needs. Stream-lined classes sound perfect for him. Is he happy with the new set-up?

Lunacie - absolutely ridiculous the hoops you had to jump through to get her help. Why on earth are the schools so against helping our kids?

ajaxblu
02-20-17, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the advice, Everyone. So, they denied us the IEP. :mad: I understand why - she's now doing better with meds and study hall.

We actually did let her fail for a while as Caco3girl did with her son, but I realize now that we did things backward. I had hoped we could have enough help at school to get her off of meds. We should have waited to do meds and request study hall till after we let her fail so she could get the IEP. Now we'll have to keep her on the meds to keep up at school.

Also, since she wasn't diagnosed till this last year, at 14, she's embarrassed about her issues and denies all over the place - acts like it's either not true or no big deal. So they ask her if she's happy and has friends and she says yes (she has none). The anxiety meds have helped her not get as irritated by others as she always has been, so now, instead of not getting along with anyone, she's the class clown and everyone gravitates toward her - but not to be her friend, just to be entertained by her. so the teachers see this and think everything is sunshine and roses and how could we possibly think this kid needs help? Like my husband and I are imagining it all. (sorry... I AM grateful that things are better)

They did say she could keep the study hall; and the special ed teacher in that class will work with her everyday on remembering what assignments are due when, remembering to turn them in, etc. We'll see how that goes. I have high hopes.

Does anyone know how not having an IEP in high school will affect getting help in college (if college actually happens)?


Thank you

sarahsweets
02-21-17, 05:58 AM
Thanks for the advice, Everyone. So, they denied us the IEP. :mad: I understand why - she's now doing better with meds and study hall.

We actually did let her fail for a while as Caco3girl did with her son, but I realize now that we did things backward. I had hoped we could have enough help at school to get her off of meds. We should have waited to do meds and request study hall till after we let her fail so she could get the IEP. Now we'll have to keep her on the meds to keep up at school.

Also, since she wasn't diagnosed till this last year, at 14, she's embarrassed about her issues and denies all over the place - acts like it's either not true or no big deal. So they ask her if she's happy and has friends and she says yes (she has none). The anxiety meds have helped her not get as irritated by others as she always has been, so now, instead of not getting along with anyone, she's the class clown and everyone gravitates toward her - but not to be her friend, just to be entertained by her. so the teachers see this and think everything is sunshine and roses and how could we possibly think this kid needs help? Like my husband and I are imagining it all. (sorry... I AM grateful that things are better)

They did say she could keep the study hall; and the special ed teacher in that class will work with her everyday on remembering what assignments are due when, remembering to turn them in, etc. We'll see how that goes. I have high hopes.

Does anyone know how not having an IEP in high school will affect getting help in college (if college actually happens)?


Thank you

APPEAL. Know your rights and appeal it asap. You have to understand that your daughter having an IEP is not in the school's best interest which is why they would rather deny and older child and push her through the cracks. You dont have to take 'no' for an answer. Having an IEP in college for a child that has learning issues and struggles is ESSENTIAL. My son is 21 now and his IEP carried over and thank God. He has good grades but without the IEP the way in which he was evaluated would have been unfair to him. He is able to use his laptop all the time for anything that involves writing and if its math and the teacher cant make it out, he is allowed to verbal explain what his work says for the teacher to grade. The accommodations he receives are whats going to make him be able to transfer from community college to a 4 year school because his grades will actually reflect his ability instead of the adhd and learning issues getting in the way of how he is able to demonstrate his knowledge of the subjects and work. Look at wrights law and get started.

ajaxblu
02-21-17, 12:02 PM
Thank you. I will research this.

Hiddencreations
02-21-17, 06:55 PM
Does anyone know how not having an IEP in high school will affect getting help in college (if college actually happens)?


Thank you

IEPs do not carry over or impact obtaining accommodations in college. IDEA and IEPs DO NOT apply to college or anything beyond high school.

Colleges follow ADA and Section 504. Anyone, regardless of being on a 504 plan or a IEP in high school, is able to apply for accommodations in college if they have a disability as defined by section 504:

"Any person who (a) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, (b) has a record of such an impairment, or (c) is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include caring for one's self, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, performing manual tasks, and learning."

There are more major life activities now than stated above.

The IEP evaluation, which you have, will be helpful for providing documentation that determines eligibility for accommodations in college, especially if testing was done within 3 years...this tends to mostly apply to learning disabilities and ADHD. You still will be required to have something filled out by your daughter's psychiatrist and/or psychologist in addition to providing assessment results.

Again, IEPs, IDEA, and modifications end when a student graduates from high school. Colleges and Universities use Section 504 when determining eligibility for accommodations. You don't have to have either in high school to receive services in college, however it does help to have a paper trail of needing accommodations--but that plays a small part in how colleges decide who can receive accommodations. Regardless, nothing automatically carries over, each university has something called Disability Services and each university has their own documentation requirements and application process.

Hiddencreations
02-21-17, 07:13 PM
Also, most colleges will not call their accommodations "504 plans". My undergrad and my current grad school university calls them "Faculty Accommodation Letters". Same thing but it tends to list out the student's responsibilities, faculty's responsibilities, Disability services responsibility, and the academic accommodations broken down into a test/exam section and a classroom section. It also explains that colleges provide accommodations in accordance to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Hiddencreations
02-21-17, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the advice, Everyone. So, they denied us the IEP. :mad: I understand why - she's now doing better with meds and study hall.

We actually did let her fail for a while as Caco3girl did with her son, but I realize now that we did things backward. I had hoped we could have enough help at school to get her off of meds. We should have waited to do meds and request study hall till after we let her fail so she could get the IEP. Now we'll have to keep her on the meds to keep up at school.



You have the right to appeal and the school should have provided you with a due process procedure packet. Do you agree with their evaluation results? If not, you could request a Independent Evaluation but the school may feel very confident in their testing and are within their right to deny that request. I'm not sure how successful the appeal.

What other accommodations or modifications were you looking for or feeling that your daughter would benefit from?

My person opinion...see how the 504 plan with study hall and meds work out. If you continue to see the same level of functioning and/or improvement, then it seems that a 504 Plan is able to match her needs. If there is a decrease in functioning or you feel that she needs special education services, you have (I believe) 45 days to appeal from the date of the last meeting. Beyond that you can always request another evaluation, however that would likely be denied this current school year if it is requested without a dire need.

Caco3girl
02-23-17, 08:48 AM
Yes, my son is doing MUCH better with the stream lined classes. We actually spoke about it last night, he asked me when he was going to start figuring things out like the other kids in his school year do...and we went over the idea about his brain just needing a bit longer to get there but that he WOULD get there. He's hopeful.

As for college. Bottom line having a documented condition that requires some special intervention is what is needed. In my second year of college I was diagnosed with having moderate to severe dyslexia. My accommodations were as simple as extended time and being in a separate room where I could talk to myself. This was easily accommodated by all teachers. Had i required someone to read to me or other more complex accommodation I likely would have had to jump through more hoops.

So I guess my point is that your child can get accommodations in college, but what those accommodations are will be the deciding factor on how extensive the hoops she will have to jump through to get them, and it WILL be her jumping. My mom paid for the psych testing but I did all the communicating with the psychologist and the school.

sarahsweets
02-23-17, 09:13 AM
I Found this info very helpful:


Q: My child wants to go to a competitive school. Will he have access to disability accommodations, or does he have to go to a community college?

A: All colleges—private and public, community colleges, and Ivy League schools—have to make accommodations for students with disabilities (except for about four in the country). But they work differently because colleges are covered by different laws. In K–12, students typically receive adjustments under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its amendments (IDEA 2004). IDEA 2004 says schools have to find students who might have disabilities, test them and, if they qualify, offer them specialized instruction and other supports; but that only applies to students in the K–12 system.

Colleges are covered by Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its Amendments (ADAAA), which are anti-discrimination laws, not education laws. These laws say colleges have to provide students with disabilities accommodations that offer them access to their programs to level the playing field. Accommodations are available to those who qualify, but there aren’t formal plans or annual meetings with professors and other staff members. Other services in high school, such as individualized instruction and special classes, also are not available.

Although Section 504 covers colleges, high school 504 plans are not valid for use at college. They essentially expire when students graduate from high school, as do IEPs. This means colleges are not required to honor anything written into one of these plans, although they may choose to do so.

Q: What is the disability services (DS) system like at college?

A: Because college students are legally considered adults, they’re responsible for asking for accommodations; many schools won’t allow parents to do this because arranging accommodations for students who won’t use them (which would seem to be the case if they don’t ask for them) doesn’t make sense. Also, college students have to handle other paperwork responsibilities (like class registration), so asking them to register for services themselves is appropriate.

For those using minimal accommodations (e.g., extended test time or handheld spellcheckers), there may be little or no change. But colleges aren’t required to offer accommodations they think go beyond providing access to programs. Just because a student has used an accommodation in high school or an adjustment is recommended in the testing report, it doesn’t obligate colleges to offer it.

For instance, some schools don’t offer extended time for projects and papers because college students aren’t in class as many hours a week as high schoolers; they’re expected to use the extra time to manage their assignments. Instead of extended deadlines, the more appropriate accommodation may be for them to take fewer classes. And students typically have to complete other tasks, such as letting DS know they have upcoming exams or requesting their textbooks in alternative formats. Schools don’t check with professors about exam schedules or reading assignments. Students must handle these responsibilities themselves to receive their accommodations.

http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Family/October-2011/What-Learning-Disabled-Students-Can-Expect-at-College/

I dont know if its different in NJ but before starting community college we met with the school and most if not all of the accommodations he received in High school carried over to college.

Hiddencreations
02-23-17, 12:44 PM
I Found this info very helpful:



http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Family/October-2011/What-Learning-Disabled-Students-Can-Expect-at-College/

I dont know if its different in NJ but before starting community college we met with the school and most if not all of the accommodations he received in High school carried over to college.

Right, most of the time accommodations can stay the same (as long as the college sees them as reasonable). However, receiving on college accommodations does not hinge on an IEP or 504 in high school.

All colleges and universities, nationwide, are required to provide students with accommodations if they provide documentation that they have a disability as defined by Section 504.

The OP should be fine receiving accommodations in college as long as her daughter goes at age 18 because most universities require ADHD or LD psychological assessments to be completed with the past 3 years. Beyond 3 years, colleges often will require new testing for LD or ADHD.

ajaxblu
02-23-17, 02:45 PM
Thanks so much to all of you who have been so kind to reply and offer information and suggestions.

I'm mulling over all that's been said here, trying to process the differing POVs on whether it's actually essential for her to have an IEP or 504 or neither to get help in college. (I've recently learned that I'm also apparently ADD. Timely research and making decisions is not a strong suit of mine). :o

ajaxblu
02-24-17, 04:51 PM
Update...

I wanted to clarify, so I emailed the school psychologist with: "You still have her on the 504, right?"

She just replied, "She did not qualify for a 504 when we discussed this last year. She still does not qualify."


In referring to "last year":

After being ignored by the school the previous year, when the school psychologist claimed our daughter was just manipulating us, we took her to an outside psychiatrist @14yo. DD was not happy about this and did not want to believe that there was anything wrong with herself. She reluctantly saw this 1st psychiatrist (who was great with her) and then she did almost an hour testing with the assistant before she just shut down and walked out of the room to find me in the waiting room. She refused to go back.

The psychiatrist herself, who is well-respected in our area, said in her written letter that she believes my daughter to have moderate ADHD, anxiety, depression and selective mutism. She said without finishing the testing she recommended a section 504 at the least, and hoped to have more once she finished testing, which has not yet happened b/c DD won't go back.

We then took her to a therapist that the 1st psychiatrist recommended. She didn't cooperate at first but eventually warmed up to it. The therapist convinced us to try meds and sent us to a 2nd psychiatrist, also well-respected.

At this point, and before we started the meds with the 2nd psychiatrist, we had another meeting with the school in November 2016 (DD now 15yo) and took the letter the 1st psychiatrist had written. We demanded an assessment, and after seeing the letters from the 1st psychiatrist and the therapist they appeared to at least listen to us and consider that we weren't making it up. In retrospect, I realize clues I should have seen to indicate otherwise.

At this time they agreed to allow her to be in a study hall for the then-following semester (which is happening now). "Regular" kids are not allowed study hall at our school but the psychologist had stated that DD was then eligible for the study hall. We believed that comment meant that it was because she was then given a 504. Apparently that's not true.

We never received a written account of the meeting. I remember now that I did email the counselor a few weeks later asking for it, and never received a reply from him. I don't have much faith in the validity of anything I'd receive from them at this point.

At the end of last semester (December 2016), after the meeting where we demanded the assessment, the 2nd psychiatrist started DD on Adderall and, and month later, Fluoxetine. They've been very helpful. The study hall, and the coincidence that she happens to have mostly understanding teachers this semester have been helpful. As I said, her grades have come up quite a bit.

The school psychologist waited until the last possible date to do the assessment last week. I had made a point to ask DD to cooperate with the psychologist. Since seeing the therapist, DD has accepted that she has ADHD and the other issues, but now has decided - hey I'm on meds and getting along fine so there's no problem - nothing to see here, move along. So she adapted very well to her assessment. At the meeting to go over the assessment, we had said that we still want her to be in the study hall throughout the rest of her time there. They said that she doesn't need an IEP to be in the study hall, there just has to be a discussion between parents and counselors to justify that it's needed. They did not say "she doesn't have to have a 504" so I didn't think to question whether she still had it. Turns out, she never did.

On paper, I understand why they denied the IEP. But in person, I feel as though the school has completely screwed us over. I feel that we'll regret not having that 504 at the least, but I don't want to drag DD through more of this upset just to get it if we don't really need it.

Thoughts?

Hiddencreations
02-24-17, 05:36 PM
Is the school psychologist at your school the IEP and 504 coordinator? What is the school psych or school's justification for 504 denial? They would have had to put that in writing and informed you of your due process, if they did not they are in violation of Section 504 and a complaint can be filed to the Office of Civil Rights for denial of due process.

Given the new information and the resistance from the school psychologist to even consider a 504, which she should be eligible for, I would appeal the IEP decision and request an Independent Educational Evaluation. The purpose being that it could force them to reconsider IEP eligibility or at the very least refer for 504 eligibility.

I would also forward them the Office of Civil Rights Guidance on Students with ADHD (also called Students with ADHD and Section 504: A Resource Guide ) with the warning that you plan on filing a complaint for an inadequate, rushed evaluation and inappropriate decisions in terms of general education and/or special education services and placements.

Finally, I would send them a formal request of a 504 plan stating that the diagnoses of anxiety and ADHD impact her ability to concentrate and learn, so much so that the school themselves have allowed her access to study hall that is supervised by a special education teacher. If they deny a meeting or even consideration, you can also go through due process proceedings that route as well.

The fact is that the school cannot consider the mitigating factors, such as medication, in whether she needs a 504--no more than a school could claim that a deaf child with a hearing aid is not in need of 504 or special education services because now they have some access to sound.

She needs a 504 plan at the very least, even if it doesn't seem like it right now, 504 plans can serve as protection if there were to be a change in the effectiveness of the medication or if symptoms became worse. Also, the way the school is going, I'd want a 504 plan in case issues pop up with teachers or school staff.

Hiddencreations
02-24-17, 05:43 PM
If you don't mind me asking, in the school psychologist's report what did they state as your daughter's cognitive, academic, emotional, and social strengths and weaknesses? Did they acknowledge the outside diagnoses? Did they interview you?

Feel free not to answer, if it is more comfortable you could also PM it. I'm just curious how thorough the assessment actually was and whether the school psych identified strengths and weaknesses.

Lunacie
02-24-17, 05:50 PM
Is the school psychologist at your school the IEP and 504 coordinator?

Given the new information and the resistance from the school psychologist to even consider a 504, which she should be eligible for, I would appeal the IEP decision and request an Independent Educational Evaluation. The purpose being that it could force them to reconsider IEP eligibility or at the very least refer for 504 eligibility.

I would also forward them the Office of Civil Rights Guidance on Students with ADHD (also called Students with ADHD and Section 504: A Resource Guide ) with the warning that you plan on filing a complaint for an inadequate, rushed evaluation and inappropriate decisions in terms of general education and/or special education services and placements.

Finally, I would send them a formal request of a 504 plan stating that the diagnoses of anxiety and ADHD impact her ability to concentrate and learn, so much so that the school themselves have allowed her access to study hall that is supervised by a special education teacher. If they deny a meeting or even consideration, you can also go through due process proceedings that route as well.

The fact is that the school cannot consider the mitigating factors, such as medication, in whether she needs a 504--no more than a school could claim that a deaf child with a hearing aid is not in need of 504 or special education services because now they have some access to sound.

She needs a 504 plan at the very least, even if it doesn't seem like it right now, 504 plans can serve as protection if there were to be a change in the effectiveness of the medication or if symptoms became worse. Also, the way the school is going, I'd want a 504 plan in case issues pop up with teachers or school staff.

:goodpost:

sarahsweets
02-24-17, 06:09 PM
In addition to everything that Hidden said, here is what I had to do and it worked.
First I read up on PRISE. Then I wrote a letter to formally request in writing that my child be evaluated by the child study team/special services/whatever your school calls those that do the testing. I explained why and included copies of the psychiatrists report. I also cited some of my specific rights according to my state in the letter and acknowledged that I was well aware of these rights and my child's right to a free and appropriate education. I sent these letters to the school, the principal, guidance counselor, school board and superintendent.
I sent them all certified usps with return receipt. I also informed them that they have 60 days to do theses evaluations and that I would be checking in weekly to hear about the process and progress. EVERYTHING has to be in writing, with proof that you sent it, and that they received it. Having the school board involved made it clear that from now on, everyone was going to have the same knowledge and documentation.

When the time came for the meeting to go over the results...yes meeting, not a letter saying no or yes, I brought a child advocate who knew all the laws. She was 60$ and hour and I only needed her that one time. The school knew who she was and knew they were in for it when I walked in with her. She did all the "arguing" and advocating, and simply put-she shut them down.
They knew there was no point because I had brought in an expert-who would not get emotionally out of hand.
Its horrible and ridiculous that it has to be this way- but special education and related serviced costs them more money-money that they would rather use to enhance the sports teams or whatever-and schools who think a child may be able to squeak by would rather push them through, then spend more money than their precious budget allows for these services. Not my problem. Not your problem either. I never had to fight for anything for my kids again after that.

ajaxblu
02-24-17, 09:46 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the replies. I truly appreciate it. I really like the idea of hiring a knowledgeable advocate. I wish I'd thought of that ahead of time.

All the elementary teacher ADHD surveys since 1st grade had been scored as just below the cutoff to be considered for a school assessment. The teachers would help her with this/that each year, but again, she's moderate so not overly obvious, and we made sure she got her work done by staying up late.

I'm trying to weigh my annoyance at her falling through the cracks all these years with being realistic about the fact that she IS doing really well right now.

In high school before meds and study hall she was getting Bs, Cs, Ds and staying up till midnight to get the work done - and often having a handful of missing assignments (which disappear from her record once they're turned in so teachers don't remember).
Now with meds and study hall she's getting As and Bs (& a D in Chemistry) and turning her work in (mostly) on time, not staying up late anymore. I have just looked to see that her grades are slowly starting to slowly creep down.

ajaxblu
02-24-17, 09:47 PM
If you don't mind me asking, in the school psychologist's report what did they state as your daughter's cognitive, academic, emotional, and social strengths and weaknesses? Did they acknowledge the outside diagnoses? Did they interview you?

Feel free not to answer, if it is more comfortable you could also PM it. I'm just curious how thorough the assessment actually was and whether the school psych identified strengths and weaknesses.


Thanks for asking.

The meeting was the first time we saw the assessment report so we went in blind. In the report the school psychologist did fully acknowledge the diagnoses from both psychiatrists and the therapist. She made NO mention of those diagnoses verbally in the meeting, yet made a point to say that the 1st psychiatrist stated that DD was of average academics, rather than below average.

The school psychologist's report states average on everything - cognitive & academic. She stated that DD acted completely normal emotionally and mentally during the assessment. I'm not saying she's lying, but if you're going to make things overly fun, DD is going to be happy and in the mood to be cooperative.

I'm not certain what you mean by interviewing us - we spoke to the psychologist and counselor verbally in the meeting when we made the formal assessment request in November, and I filled out the survey. The report, though truthful in what I stated in the survey, smacks of a mother imagining it all.

ajaxblu
02-28-17, 01:28 PM
If you don't mind me asking, in the school psychologist's report what did they state as your daughter's cognitive, academic, emotional, and social strengths and weaknesses? Did they acknowledge the outside diagnoses? Did they interview you?

Feel free not to answer, if it is more comfortable you could also PM it. I'm just curious how thorough the assessment actually was and whether the school psych identified strengths and weaknesses.


Thanks for asking.

The meeting was the first time we saw the assessment report so we went in blind. In the report the school psychologist did fully acknowledge the diagnoses from both psychiatrists and the therapist. She made NO mention of those diagnoses verbally in the meeting, yet made a point to say that the 1st psychiatrist stated that DD was of average academics, rather than below average.

The school psychologist's report states average on everything - cognitive & academic. She stated that DD acted completely normal emotionally and mentally during the assessment. I'm not saying she's lying, but if you're going to make things overly fun, DD is going to be happy and in the mood to be cooperative.

I'm not certain what you mean by interviewing us - we spoke to the psychologist and counselor verbally in the meeting when we made the formal assessment request in November, and I filled out the survey. The report, though truthful in what I stated in the survey, smacks of a mother imagining it all.


As I've read some other threads, I'm wondering... Could "average" be whatever the psychologist declares it to be since she's been against us from day one and is the only one performing the tests and making the decisions? I mean, I agree DD's probably average in mainstream academics but... some of the tests they referred to sounded pretty childish. And the charts in the report are confusing.





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The fact is that the school cannot consider the mitigating factors, such as medication, in whether she needs a 504--no more than a school could claim that a deaf child with a hearing aid is not in need of 504 or special education services because now they have some access to sound.







I understand your example, but I'm confused on how this applies to our situation:



So legally, it doesn’t matter if meds are what’s helping her get better grades. But then my question would be – then what [I]is the criteria? Wouldn’t everyone with ADHD then be eligible? Would that mean that an ADHD kid who gets straight As all throughout school, whether or not the kid is on meds to do so, would still be eligible for a 504 or IEP on the basis that their needs could change at any time?... And that the school is legally bound to help that child in the event that those needs might change? A ‘just in case you need us’ type of safety net?


If that’s the case, then I don’t understand how they could, even underhandedly, deny us.


Or to put it an opposite way - if the meds are allowing her to get good grades (let's put study hall out of the equation for a moment), and she's graded average in her school assessment, how can the meds logistically be factored out of any school's 504/IEP decision when they're allowing her to get the better grades? How would they then be able to assess her accurately unless I took her back off of the meds?



My goodness, I think I’m confusing myself here the more I type.



At one point, the 1st psychiatrist warned us that the school will not give an IEP until the parents have exhausted all methods of helping the kid with meds and therapy first. But I'm now not sure whether she meant that our Indiana rules state this or that the schools try to pull this backward thinking on unwitting parents.



If I had waited to put her on meds until after the school assessment last week, and her grades were low because of it, could they have said "We won't consider an IEP till after you try meds?"




According to DD, she believes that what is helping her now is: Meds, study hall, and the particular teachers she just happens to have right now. In the class where she has a jerk for a teacher, she's getting an F; but to be fair, it's chemistry.



(I notice her other grades are starting to drop a bit now, mostly from missing assignments. During the time of the assessment, she had As, Bs and a D. Now it's Bs, Cs and an F).






I have contacted InSource for help and am waiting for a reply. I'm trying to research the resources you all have been so kind to tell me about.

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Hiddencreations
02-28-17, 07:48 PM
The school psych, unless they are deviating from the test publisher or they are taking part in unethical behavior, can't significantly change qualitative descriptors (average, below average, above average, etc.) depending on their feelings for you. Some of the test used do sound childish on the face, but the tasks are based off of decades of research.

Second part--its stating that the effectiveness of medication cannot be the sole determinant on whether they need special education or 504 services. The brief version of the criteria for special education is that a student has a disability that impacts their access to some aspect of education that requires special education or related services. With that definition, she can still be denied from a IEP because although she does have a disability that impacts aspects of education, she doesn't need special education or modifications to curriculum rather she needs a study hall that apparently anyone can have access to with guidance counselor permission. Eligibility for a 504 plan would still be on the table though.

Hiddencreations
02-28-17, 07:50 PM
Also, only 504s can serve as a protective document because it accounts for disorders that have "flare-ups" or can enter remission. An IEP is a here and now type of document, does the child need special education at this moment. IEPs are not for possible later impairment.

Lunacie
02-28-17, 09:31 PM
Also, only 504s can serve as a protective document because it accounts for disorders that have "flare-ups" or can enter remission. An IEP is a here and now type of document, does the child need special education at this moment. IEPs are not for possible later impairment.

In most states both an IEP and a 504 Plan are reviewed every year and a
reevaluation is done every three years. The 504 has a broader definition of
who qualifies than an IEP. The 504 doesn't have to written out and signed by
all parties so it can be harder to get some staff to cooperate.

ajaxblu
03-01-17, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Guys.

Caco3girl
03-01-17, 12:08 PM
Agreed, an IEP is only given when all else has failed, and that includes the 504.

I may be wrong here but I was under the impression that a 504 was given anytime there was a medical issue, other times too but always if there was a medical issue, such as a diagnoses of ADHD. It falls under the Americans with disability act so if your child has a documented disability (which ADHD is one) then I thought a 504 was an automatic thing.

I had to have a conversation yesterday with the IEP coordinator. Apparently one of the accommodations went too far and the state flagged it. I had to listen AGAIN to how my child was in the "average" range and didn't qualify to being read to on a state test...yup 19th percentile for reading comprehension is AVERAGE....whatever!

ajaxblu
03-01-17, 12:11 PM
I had to have a conversation yesterday with the IEP coordinator. Apparently one of the accommodations went too far and the state flagged it. I had to listen AGAIN to how my child was in the "average" range and didn't qualify to being read to on a state test...yup 19th percentile for reading comprehension is AVERAGE....whatever!



Ridiculous! Which state is this again?

Caco3girl
03-01-17, 03:47 PM
Ridiculous! Which state is this again?

Georgia. The accommodation was that if there are passages on a test, such as in Lit class or on the standardized tests that the passages would be read to him. Not the questions, just the passages.

Apparently you have to not be able to read, like phsycially can't see or understand the words to have the test be read to you in the state of GA. Since his testing showed that when they showed him a single word he was able to read that word, or attempt to sound out the word using the "correct decoding" techniques he does not have a problem reading words.

My point was that while he could read individual words, when you put them in a sentence and that sentence in a paragraph he can't tell you what he just read! They agreed that was true, but since he COULD read he didn't qualify to be read to on a state test but they would keep the accommodation at the school level, just not for the state tests, or SAT's or ACT's...etc.

ajaxblu
03-01-17, 08:54 PM
ugh. again, ridiculous. who creates these rules?

sarahsweets
03-02-17, 05:46 AM
I had to have a conversation yesterday with the IEP coordinator. Apparently one of the accommodations went too far and the state flagged it. I had to listen AGAIN to how my child was in the "average" range and didn't qualify to being read to on a state test...yup 19th percentile for reading comprehension is AVERAGE....whatever!
The state can flag stuff? I have never heard of that!

Danibee
03-02-17, 02:15 PM
I was listening to a CHADD poscast and heard a webinar called "Department of Education Guidance Broadens Understanding of 504 Rights for Kids with ADHD". There is a Part 1 and a Part 2.

So far, in part 1 they have addressed nuances regarding eligibility, eligibility while on medication, etc.... I instantly thought of this thread. Great listen. I'm going to listen to Part 2 on the way home tonight.

LINK TO WEBINARS (http://www.chadd.org/training-events/Ask-the-Expert/Ask-the-Expert-Archives.aspx)

ajaxblu
03-02-17, 03:55 PM
Thank you!

ajaxblu
03-03-17, 03:35 PM
Falling in line with HiddenCreation's info, the supervisor from InSource sent me the "Know Your Rights" section from the DoE today. The part about the meds is in there...

When conducting the disability evaluation, your school district
cannot consider the positive effects of mitigating measures in determining if a student has a disability. For example, if your daughter uses medication to address ADHD, the school district cannot consider the positive effects of that medication as a basis to determine she does not have a disability.


And also the following. Of course I'm biased, but when I read:

Not every student with ADHD needs the same set of services, or any services at all. School districts cannot simply provide the same aids and services to all
students with ADHD. Each student’s needs may be different, and Section 504 requires school districts to provide for those individual educational needs.

... I feel that this does NOT say that if a student with ADHD doesn't currently need "services," she does not qualify for a 504. It doesn't say they do, either - it's ambiguous. Wouldn't a kid that wavers like my daughter does qualify for a 504? Since they now claim that the 504 is not needed for the study hall, theoretically one would think everything will be hunky dory.

But no matter how much they claim that she can always have the study hall and how much guidance the current study hall teacher (they change each semester) is willing to provide on keeping track of her late assignments and understanding what those assignments are, I can't trust or force the school to continue that, or add other services that she may need in the future once this novelty of meds wear off.

She's moderate - so any services she'll need will always be pretty innocuous on the school's end anyway, and I thought that was the point of a 504 as compared to an IEP, which is apparently off the table.

Am I just reading into it what I want to believe?

ajaxblu
03-03-17, 04:48 PM
Forgot to say... InSource has provided us with guidance in requesting a 504 evaluation, and they will support us throughout the process. The person there I spoke to thought it very odd that, considering they're giving her much of what we want already, they won't put it in writing with a 504.

Caco3girl
03-06-17, 10:18 AM
The state can flag stuff? I have never heard of that!

The state flagged the accommodation on the STATE test. Pretty much they can do what they want within the school but when you ask for a waiver/accommodation on a state mandated test each accommodation must meet an exact criteria to be allowed...and he doesn't meet the state criteria to be read to.

It doesn't help that there was a HUGE scandal with state tests in GA. All state tests are under a microscope at the moment.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/13/atlanta-school-cheatring-race/2079327/

http://www.georgiapolicy.org/2015/04/the-atlanta-public-schools-cheating-scandal/

Danibee
03-06-17, 01:53 PM
Agreed, an IEP is only given when all else has failed, and that includes the 504.

I may be wrong here but I was under the impression that a 504 was given anytime there was a medical issue, other times too but always if there was a medical issue, such as a diagnoses of ADHD. It falls under the Americans with disability act so if your child has a documented disability (which ADHD is one) then I thought a 504 was an automatic thing.

I had to have a conversation yesterday with the IEP coordinator. Apparently one of the accommodations went too far and the state flagged it. I had to listen AGAIN to how my child was in the "average" range and didn't qualify to being read to on a state test...yup 19th percentile for reading comprehension is AVERAGE....whatever!

Send your IEP Coordinator this:

(i) The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as—

(I) medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

(II) use of assistive technology;

(III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

(IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

(ii) The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

(iii) As used in this subparagraph—

(I) the term “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and

(II) the term “low-vision devices” means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.


https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html

ajaxblu
03-06-17, 04:17 PM
Send your IEP Coordinator this:

(i) The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as—

(I) medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

(II) use of assistive technology;

(III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

(IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

(ii) The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

(iii) As used in this subparagraph—

(I) the term “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and

(II) the term “low-vision devices” means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.


https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html


Thank you.

When I read things like this I think... what other things CAN they use to deny it then? To me this reads that anyone diagnosed with ADHD qualifies, regardless of how well they might be doing. But I know that's not technically true, either, so.... what on earth?

Is the problem that the rules are not explicit enough? Why make it so difficult? They would waste less money on all the evaluations and appeals to denials of eligibility if they'd just include a ADHD diagnosis as qualification without exception for a 504. It's not like kids get that much accommodation with it.

Danibee
03-08-17, 06:05 PM
Thank you.

When I read things like this I think... what other things CAN they use to deny it then? To me this reads that anyone diagnosed with ADHD qualifies, regardless of how well they might be doing. But I know that's not technically true, either, so.... what on earth?

Is the problem that the rules are not explicit enough? Why make it so difficult? They would waste less money on all the evaluations and appeals to denials of eligibility if they'd just include a ADHD diagnosis as qualification without exception for a 504. It's not like kids get that much accommodation with it.

I interpret the intent as this (I enjoy reading statutes):

The school has determined that your child having ADHD affects a major life activity. At the time this was determined, you were issued a 504 Plan. Now that mitigating measures are in place, they can not revoke your 504 Plan just because she might be successful with the mitigating measures.

Basically this - if you take away the mitigating measures, you'd be back at square one which would start the whole process to start up again. This yo-yoing is what that the line in the statute addresses and protects children against.


Here is a more legal analysis:

Before January 1, 2009, school districts had to consider a student’s use of mitigating measures in determining whether that student had a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited that student in a major life activity. In, "The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008", effective January 1, 2009 however, Congress specified that the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures must not be considered in determining if a person is an individual with a disability.

Ask your IEP coordinator how Section 4(a)(4)(E)(i)(I) of "The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008" affects your situation since under this Act mitigating factors are not to be considered when determining whether a student qualifies as having a disability (thus being eligible for accommodations such as a 504 Plan....).

Here is the Act for your reference:
https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa.cfm

ajaxblu
03-09-17, 01:15 PM
Thank you.

For those who are farther along than me in the realm of ADHD and in college procedures...

If a student does poorly in the first 2 or 3 years of high school, then suddenly does better the last 1-2 years, will colleges be leery that the student won't be able to maintain good grades when deciding whether to admit them?

'Cuz at this point I feel I need to let her fail to get a 504, then let her work her way back up. I feel I should stop reminding her to turn in her work, to do her homework, etc. And let her fail. But I'm scared to do that since we're so close to college.