My name is Marcus and I am a single dad of a 4 1/2 year old boy. After recently obtaining full custody of my son, I began the steps of enrolling him in an IEP program based on speech delay and a few social behavior issues. He had been approved for an IEP when he was 3 through the school district where his mother lives but never started the program. So I had all the paperwork transferred to our current school district to start the process. He was 4 at the time he started. I was under the impression that since his last evaluation was over a year old that there would be a new evaluation to assess his current situation but there was not. A paper was presented to me to sign stating there would be an evaluation meeting in 30 days after the required speech therapy hours were reached and the school psychologist had spent the required time with him also. I had also requested a GARS test to be done. So exactly 30 days later we met and discussed the findings at witch point I was told he was not on the autistic spectrum (barely) based on the scores provided and the only reason so was because "his speech is not as big of an issue as previously thought" but social behavior and interaction is below standard. After the Speech pathologist delivers her results she made him seem like he was able to deliver a 10 min speech if he wanted to. I accepted that. Where I have an issue is his IQ test results that followed. Scoring well above average on the intellectual aspect of the test but falling way below average on the speech and language part of the test, Left his IQ average in the average/below average range. " Once his speech catches up to his intellectual ability his scores will dramatically increase". How could language and speech be a large factor in one area of analysis but then "not as big of an issue" in the other area of analysis? At the end of the meeting they said he does not meet the requirements for an IEP any more and hes ready to transfer to a regular class. I was happy at the time to think he had made progress and asked when he would be heading to regular class and how long I had to get him ready. The answer i got was; " Oh, well today is his last day, good luck." I went home where I could clearly think about what had happened and was confused at the 30 day turn around he had. I have since enrolled him in two private schools in witch he has been asked to leave based on his inability to follow simple directions, violent outburst and excessive inconsolable meltdowns. Upon direction from his pediatrician I have scheduled psych evaluations at witch they have directed me to take legal action against the school district and will provide the lawyer to do so. I have yet to decide my next course of action with the school district.
I guess my question is ... was my son's IEP mishandled and do I take legal action and attempt to put him back in the hands of the same school district ?
Unfortunately, most private schools (as you have now found out) really don't have the resources to deal with children with special needs. So I think it probably is a good idea to deal with the school district.
I would be tempted to first contact the school district and say that based on the advice of the psyc evaluations (?), I may take legal action against you. But, I would like to talk about it with you first. Essentially, you need a new IEP. If you can get one you like without going through all of the legal BS, its worth seeing what the school district is willing to do. Go straight to the top - head of special services or whatever it is called - tell them that before starting legal action - you want to hear from them.
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