Parent IEP/Special Education Community User Group
ADVICE NEEDED - adding academics to childs IEP
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A community for parents to ask questions regarding their child's IEP program and discuss options with other parents on how to get through the process. We are also all here to support each other when we all go through the challenges and miscommunications that can definitely occur when going through the IEP/Special Education process. Our children are a gift and should be treated that way.

Founded by Melissa0116 on October 15, 2009
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ADVICE NEEDED - adding academics to childs IEP

I am having trouble getting academics added to my kindergarteners IEP, actually they want to close it all together,
I have never been able to add academics onto his IEP but has always concerned me. I want to say that I have seen gain in him, just nowhere near any of his peers. He has a parateacher that has to break down every step and he cannot do any work independently. He has trouble getting his thoughts to paper and they either write it in yellow highlighter and he traces it or they write the words below what he is to write or on another sheet of paper for him to copy.
-He cannot count to 20 without messing up at least once, normally he skips 9 and 14. He doesn’t recognize any number past 12 (excluding 9 because he doesn’t know that one either).  It is suggested that leaving kindergarten children should be able to count to 50 but they would rather 100.
He know recognizes his letters, sometimes getting confused, but still cannot sing his ABC song, (I was told that this wasn’t important). He cannot break down words, such as CAT -C-A-T. Getting the different sounds. For his wall words, he knows between 10-12 words, AT MOST. It goes up and down but normally stays around 9 to 10. He should know 50 before leaving kindergarten, but again they would prefer 100.
He doesn’t know the days of the week, or the months of the year, but again was told that that wasn’t that important and it was “graded on”.  He has no comprehension, according to his teacher, on what is read to him or class discussions. He is well below a level A reading level (which is the lowest it scores at)
I follow up on the 20th with an ARC meeting but have already been informed that I probably “will not be pleased with the outcome”.  They did agree to more testing, however academics wasn’t an option because his “disability” is more social since the IEP is for Autism. And because he has to stop making any progress in his RTI level 3 before he would be considered to add academics to his IEP. He is making slow progress, however it is not steady.
And while this might be me being paranoid, I cannot get him to do any of the things that they claim he can do at school at home. I try, trust me I do. Then I was told that I was expecting him to do everything in one setting and that I should not work with him for more than 5 minutes at a time without taking about a ½ break. Seriously because they do that at school? Uh No. But I don’t do that anyway. It isn’t like I am “grilling him” and normally when he gets frustrated, we quit. It probably doesn’t take a whole 5 minutes for me see that he will not be able to relay the information like I am being told he was. And the few time that I went to school to see him do this at school, he was “having a bad day, or an off day” and was unable to do it for me to see. I will say this he does do better some days rather than the others… but…

I need advice on what to do next, I feel like I am being pushed into sending him to 1st grade to get more “help” but they are taking away all his help. He is going to struggle if he doesn’t have someone to help him and break it down for him. This year he has a parateacher, but next year he won’t and while I am sure whoever he gets will try, they cannot spend the amount of time he will need on just him alone. Not with 30+ kids. I don’t want to hold him back and it not benefit him, that isn’t where I want to go with him, because lets face it until we figure out how to teach him that he will be able to not only retain it but retrieve it at a later time, holding him back will not help. But I do feel that he is being set up to fail.
If they close his IEP, what can I do?  If I get him on a 504 plan would that help him academically?  Could he have a parateacher with a 504?  I don’t mind doing any of the other services outside of school, however I cannot find anyone that will “Teach” him outside of school.
Any advice would be welcomed.

Thank you!

1 Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
       Weird, I find it very hard to believe that a child who has been diagnosed with Autism is getting his IEP closed.   If that is true, there are steps that you can take - which get a little complicated - so lets cross that bridge if it does happen.
     Who did his diagnosis of Autism?  The school district or a private professional?   Was anything else looked at that could contribute to his learning difficulties like ADHD, ADD, or Sensory Processing disorder?
    I may be wrong but it seems like this comes down to several points.  
One is that you feel he is not learning fast enough.  That is why finding out if there are other problems involved is important.  But just as important is working with kids who are autistic.  It is very different then working with normal children in terms of education.   For example, in a recent study, "The researchers identified the activities that seemed to be more enjoyable to the infants and taught the respective parents to focus on those rather than on the typical games they might otherwise choose.   ...The idea is to get them more interested in people,” she continued, “to focus on their socialization. If they’re avoiding people and avoiding interacting, that creates a whole host of other issues. They don’t form friendships, and then they don’t get the social feedback that comes from interacting with friends"
   From this link - http://scienceblog.com/62678/ucsb-researchers-successfully-treat-autism-in-infants/
   While this was a study on infants, it points out the possibility that stressing academics is actually doing more harm then good.  The point being that a good portion of your post is on how he is not up to academic standards - but I think that should not be your priority at this point.  His overall experiences should be.
    I don't know what your background is on working with Autistic kids, but I am guessing that the school must have more experience?
    While I don't see anything wrong in holding a child back for another year of Kindergarten - if he has strong friends that are moving on to first grade and he feels comfortable with them - it could be a different story.
    If they close his IEP, you can appeal the process.   But I still cannot quite figure out why they would do so.   I am wondering if they are questioning the autistic diagnosis?  Once again, have you had any outside help or counseling for him - that could be important.  And yes, a 504 will be helpful if correctly set up.  But I doubt that a paraprofessional would come with it.  Those people are usually paid through special education funding.
    I think that you might want to see if you have a "special education advocate" in your area that can help you as this could become complicated.
    Essentially, I don't know enough about what is going on to say more.  I do think that backing off the academic progress is worth thinking about.  If he is autistic, there are other areas to work on that are so much more important.
   Keep in touch and let us know what happens after the 20th. Best wishes!!
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