My son (now in first grade) had a developmental delay - borderline ADHD - borderline IQ - and transitional anxiety, plus the physical ability of a 4 year old (he can do normal activities, but asking him to do something like a jumping jack is difficult).
We had his initial IEP meeting last March and I was just so happy to get him some type of assistance, I guess I didn't research as much as I should have. I trusted the educators to give me the right information. Only 2 goals were set out, my son would gain 6 to 8 months of reading and math ability. He would have access to the resource room as needed and spend an hour a day in Special Education. I have constant and consistent communication with the general education teacher, but had not heard from the Special Education teacher since the initial IEP meeting.
Due to inclement weather (snow storm) I had to reschedule the review IEP meeting (which when I emailed to reschedule, the Special Ed teacher responded that rescheduling was fine because she hadn't drawn up any paperwork for the meeting anyway - this as of the day of the meeting). I spoke with her (via email) for 2 days after that attempting to reschedule, but any time/day I proposed was not good for her for one reason or another.
I decided to mass email the entire IEP team (principal, Special Ed Teacher, General Ed Teacher, and Counselor) asking for a new meeting time and outlining my concerns, thoughts, and suggestions for a revised IEP. My son has only progressed 25% towards his goals, has constant emotional outbursts (most recently, he failed a fitness test, was upset, immediately had to go to lunch, was standing in line - decided he wanted to stand still for awhile, a kid pushed him forward and my son bite the other child), and is feeling stupid in his general education class because he does not know the topics covered in that class. I suggested a revised reading program and a Paraprofessional to assist him with assignments, emotional outbursts, and transitions.
Since emailing the IEP team, all communication has stopped. I have not even heard from the general education teacher (who usually responds by email within 3 to 4 hours) - or anyone else. I sent a second request for a meeting, since the review deadline is in a week. Still nothing.
How do you get the school to respond? What avenues can I take if the review date comes and goes without a response?
I am sorry to hear that you have not gotten a response back. Hopefully, by now you have. But if not I wouldn't panic. You may not realize it since you are new to the process, but setting up an IEP review is not easy. Usually many people (school psyc, nurse, principal, teacher, etc.) all have to be at that meeting. In a normal sized school, these meetings are laid out in advance with one following another. Consequently, having to reschedule can be a bit difficult. I am sure you will get your meeting. Chances are they will just extend the review date a bit. Don't panic if they do so. You will get the review. Remember that these are the people who you will be working with for the next 4 or more years. You want to have a working relationship with them so that your son has the best possible chances for success.
I don't know how handicapped your son is, but a paraprofessional at this stage may be a bit of overkill. Typically, something like that is reserved for kids in the Autism spectrum and kids in general who are in a situation much worse off then your son appears to be (to me). And, they do draw attention to the child they are helping.
I am the CL on the adhd forum, and your son is showing some pretty classic ADD symptoms. I also question the borderline IQ rating (didn't know they even did that anymore) as its pretty difficult to get a good IQ rating for a child with AD/HD unless the psyc is really, really good.
I hope that you have looked into what ADHD is and the many things at home that can be done for it. There are a lot of good resources out there that I would be glad to share. Please feel free to post on the ADHD forum if you wish some specific ideas - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175 Also, I suggest you buy the book - "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. Besides being a very helpful book for at home things to help your child. It has a great section on ideas for 504 plans. These are all great ways for a teacher to help a child and could/should be written into an IEP. Never been a big fan of "6 months or reading gain". What you want are strategies a teacher must use in the classroom to help your son. And along the same lines, you must also be involved in helping your son. If you depend solely on the school, he will never develop as far as he could.
Finally, I suggest that you also help your son learn how to express himself when he gets emotional.There are books designed for this. They are by Adolph Moser who is a psychologist that runs a holistic based youth center for kids with challenges. Here are some of the titles-----------"Don't Pop Your Cork On Monday" and "Don't Rant and Rave on Wednesday" and "Don't Feed the Monster on Tuesday" and "Don't Despair on Wednesday" and "Don't tell a Whopper on Thursday" and "Don't Fall Apart on Friday" and "Don't be a menace on Sundays". These are part of his emotional impact series and are written well with good illustrations.
Hope this helps.
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