IEP Problems

My 11 year old son has high functioning autism and starts Junior High next year. We live in rural area of Illinois. His IEP meetings are frustrating because they already have the IEP completed when we meet. This year in fifth grade he is doing pretty well he also has dysgraphia. Since his class had 27 students his teacher had two aids in the class. He took most of the aids time because they write for him. Which is another issue because I have been trying to have them help him with typing so he can eventually be independent . Next year I know he will need an aid to help him adjust to changing classes, manage his time, and continue to improve his typing speed. Until he can type independently he will need help or he will get behind. They said they will have an aid in general to share between all students , there will be 3 sixth grade classes. This aid will not be able to give my son the help he needs. We meet again in two weeks. Anyone have any suggestions?
  • I don't know the specific laws in your state, but by federal law (IDEA) you are to be a full member of your IEP team. I would request a copy of the DRAFT IEP at least 5 days prior to the meeting, and come prepared with your changes and corrections for the team to consider.

    All services, including aids, are based on identified needs. You need to document in the IEP what your son will require to be successful at the new setting and then ask the team how they intend to meet those needs. The trick may be in getting them to agree that he needs help throughout the day with typing, focusing, and so forth. If they do not agree with you, be prepared with a Parent Attachment in which you list your evidence for these needs.

    You might have to find an advocate or attorney to help you if this does not work.

    Good luck!!
  • My 12-year old has the same diagnoses, as well as Nonverbal Learning Disorder and ADHD. Realizing that he will not be able to have a scribe with him into adulthood, we started thinking about ways to help him be independent and successful in the classroom. Here are some of the accommodations we requested be placed into his IEP and some of the supports and supplemental education that we requested:

    1. That he receive 15 minutes daily of keyboarding instruction, to take place in the resource room.
    2. That he receive an additional 30 minutes daily in the resource room which would serve as a quiet place for him to complete tests and classroom assignments.
    3. That he be exempted from "showing his work" in math classes and from drawing maps, diagrams or figures in other classes. The teachers have to provide him with the figure in blank and he labels it, rather than having to draw it from scratch.
    4. That he be permitted to give 1-2 word answers and answer in incomplete sentences.
    5. That he not be required to rewrite sentences or paragraphs, for instance, to correct spelling or punctuation errors.
    6. That he be provided with an Alphasmart in the classroom for writing his answers.
    7. That we can turn in homework at will, instead of when it is due. This is because some assignments may take up to 2-3 times as long for him to complete as for other students.
    8. That teachers accept a smaller body of work as complete for grading purposes (e.g. 15 math problems instead of 30, as long as the completed work is mostly correct).
    9. That he be permitted unlimited time and a quiet testing location for all tests.

    Independently, we obtained an occupational therapist to help with the dysgraphia. We were able to obtain a scrip for this from our doctor so insurance pays for it as outpatient therapy. We could have pushed for the school to provide it, but we have way more input into the therapy. His dysgraphia stems from a number of sources, some physical (pencil grip, sensory processing issues), to perceptive reasoning (unable to judge objects in space) to cognitive (unable to organize recall). Being able to alleviate some of they physical issues has made him more confident and less resistant to writing. It's taken us almost 3 years to get there, so it hasn't been quick.

    This year we have been working to get him to work responsibly on an iPad, which we eventually hope to use as an accommodation as well.

    Our message to our son has always been, "Your job is to get started right away and work without stopping. As long as you do that, you are showing your best work. If we need to make corrections or you need more time, we will make sure that you get the opportunity, but we can only do that if you show that you are doing the best you can by getting started right away and working without stopping."

    Good luck.
  • look at the id number on the iep. call the state dept of ed and request a billing statement to do an audit.
  • Thanks for all the great info! I also plan to ask them to give home an alternative assignment for things like vocab words, it makes no sense when I am the one writing the definitions I told them a great option would be to give him matching or multiple choice. They were supposed to do that this year, but it did not happen. It is a challenge to get them out of the mindset that every student needs to do assignment the same way. I've tried to get the keyboarding included but have not been successful. I am going to bring up the idea of him not drawing maps or illustrations. The do that a lot for spelling words and vocab to have them draw an example of the word. This is one concept he does not understand they have also sent homework for vocab that is all pictures and he is supposed to match the word to the picture, I was able to get them to discontinue that because the copies were black n white and poor quality. Me, his father and 16 year old sister tried to do one for him and we missed 6 out of 20. It's especially hard when most of the people on his IEP team have never heard of dysgraphia.