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Old 03-05-12, 10:29 PM
Aurock Aurock is offline
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Finally getting an IEP, but not what I expected

I posted here a year or so ago when we were having trouble trying to get an IEP for our son. We were denied an evaluation last year, but this fall the school agreed to do an eval, and we have just finally met to get the results.

Quick description of the kid, just to put things in perspective-- Kiddo has had behavior issues since pre-school. He has been suspended several times a year since Kindergarten, but has also been in the gifted program except for half a year in 3rd grade when he was moved out due to poor grades. He hasn't had very good grades for years, maybe ever, usually due to not doing homework and/or being out of class a lot for behavior issues. Even so, he still gets results well above average on the standardized tests, somewhere around the 85-90th percentile depending on the category.

He was diagnosed ADHD in about 2nd grade, and in the couple of years his psychiatrist has said that he meets the criteria for ODD and emotional disorder, but they aren't willing to get any more specific than that.

Back to the present: The school classified him as eligible for an IEP based on emotional disorder, and made no mention of ADHD. I'm not surprised, but I really think the ADHD should have been listed as a qualifier as well. Regardless, they said he's eligible, so we went on to putting the plan together.

The school wants to focus the IEP exclusively on behavior issues. They suggest moving him from the gifted classes he is currently in to a special ed room. Since he's currently failing all but 1 of the core classes anyway, I'm not worried about taking him out of the gifted classes necessarily, but I don't want to completely forget about academic progress to work on behavioral progress. They said that he'll be using a web based "Plato" program for academics in this class. It was described as an adaptive software that modifies the level of the curriculum based on his performance, so if he's doing well, he could advance to a higher level fairly quickly, but if he's struggling, it will dial back to make things a little easier. It sounds good, in theory. I found a few older threads here which mention Plato being a program used for homeschooling and alternative schools, if it's the same thing, I assume it must be pretty decent based on what little I've found so far. Does anyone have recent experience with this plato program?

Also, the IEP they sent home with us today, which we haven't signed off on yet, only included 2 goals, both aimed at working on appropriate interactions with adults and peers. It really feels wrong to me that there's no mention of academics anywhere. I guess what I'd like to have included as a target is to maintain his current levels and progress from there. But does that need to be explicitly stated, if the 'goal' is just to maintain? And if so, how would you say it, especially If he's moving from a classroom / teacher led instruction to computer based learning? Should it just be based on his standardized test scores staying at the same levels? Or based on him continuing to work at about 1 grade level above his grade/age?

Thanks for your feedback,
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