627943 tn?1222218333

Advice needed for OHIO IEP meeting

Calling all OHIO parents...I have an IEP meeting coming up -  that for the first time I plan to speak my mind.  Shame on me, but I did not know untill recently that I could ask for needs and implement any concerns I have into my sons IEP.  I left it to the professionals to tell me what he needed.  I felt that they must know best.  Well, I have finally woke up!  My son is now 5 1/2 and I am seeing many issues that are not being addressed to date.  Right now he is receiving speech and language as well as a bit of OT for his mid line delay issues.  He is aspie but they have refused to put him into their autism classroom.  I have recently asked for an IEE but told I can not have one due to his age and the required testing in the spring for kindergarden.  Is this correct?  I have asked for an advocate and received a name of someone that is best friends with the Director of Special Ed.  Isn't that a conflic of interest?    She is employed by the county as a parent mentor.  I have spoke with her and she seems as though she is not the type to fight with me for my childs rights but to indicate the law instead in the districts favor.   Please give some advise on the advocate that was given to me by the district and what you would do?  I do not get fluffy feelings from her.
17 Responses
470168 tn?1237471245
You don't have to take the advocate offered to you, you can search and find your own or try one recommended to you by another mum.  As you say this sounds like an 'in house' affair and you may not get impartial advice, although they would deny that.
Have you tried the Autistic Society of America?  They have local chapters and there might be information and advice about Ohio through there.
Are you saying that they are refusing to do any observations/evaluations towards a diagnosis because of his age?  Please clarify what an IEE is.
You have the right to get private reports put together from any professional you think appropriate (if you have the money or insurance).  That might include Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist.
It sounds like the assessment process you are in is through school or 'education'.  You can also go to your doctor or child's paediatrician and ask for a multi-disciplinary team evaluation through Health and you can ask to be referred to professionals who have experience of diagnosing children on the autistic spectrum.
Just remember that you don't have to agree to anything and you don't have to 'make do' with whatever they suggest is sufficient for your child in nursery/school.
Remember that all authorities are always working within a budget and therefore are trying to keep costs down.  They will always be bearing that in mind when looking at any child and the kind of supports they need.  You need impartial advice that tells you what he needs regardless of what is available.
367831 tn?1284258944
IEE  =  Independent Educational Evaluation.  Parents have a right to an IEE at the scoiol districts expense if they disagree with the M-team evaluation.  Do it in writing and go for it.
470168 tn?1237471245
In your opinion do you think it is better to get assessed through Health as opposed to Education or should parents pursue both routes?
627943 tn?1222218333
mjthewriterdad,  I have an outside physcological eval scheduled now with a professional team specializing in ASD/ADHD.  I have rescheduled the appointment time several times in the case that the distric will pick up the tab. We do not have funds available that would not be a very big hardship. They are telling me due to my signing the previous MFE (M-team evaluation) last year (last Spring) that I can not diagree with it now and request a IEE.  Should I wait untill the district does their MFE in the spring or can I request the IEE from the district now by law?  I feel they are playing word games with me right now.  They are using "educational assesment"- testing only in areas that he is currently showing concerns, in place of what I mean as a complete evaluation- testing all areas of development.  I just so alone and confused.  I am not a defensive person and they will walk all over me at this meeting.  Please help me.
Avatar universal
   Did you ask for the IEE in writing? If you haven't ,write them a letter  expressing your concerns and requesting the IEE. In the letter request that they let you know back  in writing within 5 days.

627943 tn?1222218333
Thank you deeyana!  I am currently composing a letter to let them know all my concerns prior to the IEP meeting.  In this letter I will add that those concerns need to be addressed by a professional for all areas of development not by the team at his school for assessment purposes .  This has been so helpful!
Avatar universal
Not from Ohio - NY.  I may be wrong but I believe Oho is a hostile state as far as special ed goes in that parents need to prove appropriate placement rather than the school district.   as far as a private school goes - it is very difficult to pull off in Ohio with a lawyer to advise you.  If you have an excellent case a lawyer make take you on pro bono as their fees will be reimbursed by the court if you win - if your case is considered weak they won't bother.

What you are entitled to is a functional behavioral analysis.  You need to write a letter and ask for one.  It is not the same as a classroom observation.  If they say you do not need one then request for a written explanation as to why.  Request a private neuropsych - if they refuse then request an impartial hearing.   Until you act serious - they won't.  

And I so hope that you are writing letters after every incident your child's teacher brings up and cc: it to the principal.  Every letter must be sent by certified mail.  Have you set up a communication log that goes back and forth every day.  it is really hard to fight them with no evidence.

Just some advice.  I did the impossible without even having an IEP in place.  We got our district to agree to send a straight A student to a private ed school at some disgusting amount - why - because we had tons of evidence that things were going terribly wrong.  Our lawyer almost cried for joy.  And the district paid his legal fees even without an impartial.  Lawyers will take you on - even for free - but they need to know they are going to win and you got to have all your ducks lined up.  Schools will never tell you your full rights.  Go to Wainright and start educating yourself.  
Avatar universal
I'm not sure as to how a FBA will help you. If you disagree with the testing results then you will need a IEE.  In your IEE letter, state that you want to retract your signature  from MFE, If they continue to tell you that you cant disagree with it "NOW" request in writing that you need a copy of this "policy".I always make send 3 copies one for the IEP department or team , classroom teacher , and a copy for principle .  
Avatar universal
We are the "school district hates our guts parents".  Our lawyer hangs up the phone on their lawyers.  So we like to make their lives very difficult - after all, for three years they made ours impossible.  Instead of getting angry - we got very good at being annoying.  FBA is probably useless - it is meant to send a warning shot across the bow.  It was the first thing our lawyer made us request and you should have seen the look on the school psychologist's face.  Once you start requesting stuff that they can't deny easily, that takes up a lot of their time, and creates technicalities in court if they can't comply- they get a lot nicer on the special ed's committee's side.  We were finally having a dialogue that they understood - not just being the parents who sit there and sign useless IEP's.  We spent three years being nice because our kid was doing well academically.  But by 3rd grade the social difficulties and his ADHD were creating a depressed child who refused to do any school work.  My husband and I refused to sign a single IEP until our demands were met.  The woman from Ohio's child must also be having problems operating successfully in a mainstream class or she wouldn't be trying to change his placement - unfortunately, and I will say it a million times, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.  We threw everything at them until they gave us what we wanted.  My child is a hundred times happier today and he is becoming more and more sociable instead of more depressed.   Ohio has had some very unfriendly rulings lately and they are suffering economically more than most states - they are not going to just give it away.  She should look up special ed law in her sate - Wainright might be helpful.
Avatar universal
"FBA is probably useless - it is meant to send a warning shot across the bow.  It was the first thing our lawyer made us request and you should have seen the look on the school psychologist's face."  

Sue  your case is different. Perhaps your child and teacher at the time were having trouble in the classroom.  By requesting a FBA you were pretty much threw the ball back into their court. As to letting them know that this was a situation they had to deal with and address in a positive manner ?   Ridina's case is different they have not given her child a full evaluation. They are only testing specific areas. Parents need to know their children PLOP( present level of performance). And the school is required to test for this.Ridina also says that her child is only receiving a bit of OT. All the more reason to ask for a IEE and also reevaluate the child for OT. IDEA is IDEA nomatter what state you live in.

"Ohio has had some very unfriendly rulings lately and they are suffering economically more than most states - they are not going to just give it away.  She should look up special ed law in her sate - Wainright might be helpful. "

Sue if they would only give this child what the parent and child right are A full evaluation then they would not have to suffer more economically. Besides IDEA does not state that a child's right should be violated because of the economy.

(Ridina check your inbox)
325405 tn?1262290178
I believe that Ohio has an autism voucher for autistic children to go to private school.  I think they have to be in public school for a certain period of time and have an IEP in place.  But, at some point, you might be able to take the voucher and use it to place your son in a private school if you feel that the private schools will work better with him.  

I did a google search on Ohio autism voucher and pulled up several sites... this was one of them:


Avatar universal
Yes, Ohio has a autism voucher program. But a parent must clearly understand that only the services on the child's IEP will be covered. Example If your child is taking  20 min of OT and 20 min of speech as indicated on the child's IEP. And this child needs 1hour of OT and 2 hours of speech. They will not cover any additional time and services the child needs. Once you except the voucher the public school system is not responsible for providing FAPE. So once you except the voucher you must know that all services the child needs are written on the IEP and that your child has received the best IEP he can get.
Avatar universal
""""I left it to the professionals to tell me what he needed.  I felt that they must know best.  Well, I have finally woke up!"""""

Amen to that!!

I spent 4 years of my life sitting in iep meetings, i also spent my last 2 summers in court

its not worth it to me

i surrendered and have decided to homeschool, its a life-style change

it was the next right thing to do

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

i cannot change the school system, i had to give up on that fight
but i could change the level of attention my sons education was getting
Avatar universal
The point was that they were already denying her a full evaluation - trying to pull some sort of technicality with her.  They tried all that with us until we started to demand tests that they had no control over.  A FBA can be useful if her child is going to remain in a mainstreamed class - because that child cannot get in trouble if something that they know will set him off - sets him off.  It then becomes the schools responsibility to make sure those triggers don't occur or teach him how to deal with it.  

It is always hard to judge whose child is worse or worse off.  Sam's world did not collapse until third grade when his absentminded professor act was no longer tolerated well by the other students or the teachers.  When I visit Sam's school we have kids with a touch of it (like mine) and those who are full throttle to the max.  Some of them are absolutely brilliant.  We are actually hoping to have him out by high school so he can go to one of he specialized science high schools in NYC.  Most of them in Sam's program, the school systems would have happily kept mainstreamed or in an inclusion class but the parents wanted more individual attention.  

I am glad that so many parents have had great relationships with their school districts and getting what they needed on the local level - we weren't.  We became very hardcore advocates - and mostly the school systems prefer to let the badger type parents alone.

Avatar universal
How did your IEP go?

Avatar universal
Recently, as suggested by my son's 2nd grade teacher, he was tested through and outside agency for a specific learning disability.  The results of the tests show that he doesn't have one specific learning disability, but rather, Bipolar II disorder that is causing his many learning problems.  His psychologist suggested the school put an IEP in place for him immediately, as a 504 plan will NOT benefit him.  Upon taking these findings and reports to the principal and so on, the district is suggesting that his IEP not be put into effect until next year (we only have a month or so of school left in this year).  The principal said the reason for holding off until next fall when school resumes is due to the "process" of designing an IEP and all the "red tape" that goes with it.  The district also wants to re-evaluate my son, which means more testing.  My reason for going outside the district for initial testing was because of the amount of time it takes the district to follow through on testing and scoring.  I feared that nothing would be put into place for him this year.  What are my son's legal rights?  An IEP need put in place ASAP.
Avatar universal
My son has Aspergers and he is 14. He was diagnosed at age 10 and the school district here in Ohio would not change his diagnosis to autism and give him services. Before I would accept a Bi-polar diagnosis, which I feel is highly over-diagnosed, I would look at other characteristics of your child, for example, do they write differently, struggle with math, are they clumsy, do they stand or walk too close to others, do they focus on particular things, do they hate change. Also, are the problems or behaviors the child exhibits different at school than they are at home? These things mean something else but my district would only look at the "negative" behaviors and not the physical behaviors. My son was easily frustrated, easily overwhelmed, only wanted 1 thing at a time, held his pencil differently, and on and on but the school didn't look at any of this. It took an outside psychologist to see my son 2 times and he knew immediately. And I immediately got the autism scholarship and took my son out of the district school. The children require too much for us to spend the outrageous amount of energy it takes to fight with the schools.
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