Need help with IEP planning, aspergers

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by pickapeppa, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Since we're so short on time, finding an advocate to help us wasn't possible. I have several issues I'd like our son's IEP to address, but don't know how to translate them into workable, measurable, IEP goals.

    I'm hoping someone here has some background experience on a more personal level and can help me break this down into the necessary parts before the meeting on Tuesday.

    Here are the issues:

    Understanding and relating to authoritative figures appropriately. Our son doesn't understand who makes the rules, why it's important to have rules, and who needs to follow the rules or why. He frequently uses an authoritative tone and orders others to do as he desires, including parents, teachers and babysitters.

    IEP goals:

    Our son can identify people with positions of authority (the leaders) and people without authority(the followers) in different environments as evidenced by . . .

    Our son understands the roles of the leaders (making rules, helping solve problems, directing the followers to achieve a goal, etc.) and the followers (following the rules, cooperation, working toward completion of a goal, etc.), as evidenced by . . .

    Our son understands and can identify the need or reasons for the rules in different situations as evidenced by . . .

    Our son demonstrates the ability to identify his role as leader or follower across different environments and can verbalize his responsibilities accordingly as evidenced by . . .

    Speech and language difficulties. Verbal thinking and reasoning, and auditory processing speeds are well below average. He needs things to be presented in small steps, with pictures and repeated several times. He needs a lot of work on word retrieval. What strategies are used by speech therapists to work on this with asperger's kids? He needs help with pragmatic language, which will come through group work with the social worker at school.

    Our son will demonstrate improvement in his work retrieval capabilities as evidenced by . . .

    Our son will demonstrate improvement in his auditory processing abilities as evidenced by . . .

    Our son will demonstrate improvement in his ability to respond to directions as evidenced by . . .



    Relationships with peers, making friends, cooperative play skills, imaginitive play, need work.

    Our son will make two new friends this semester as evidenced by joining in with each of them at least twice per week in cooperatively play of their interests.

    Our son will learn to share as evidenced by the ability to let go of his favorite toys when others want to play with them.

    Our son will demonstrate the ability to participate in give-and-take conversations with others as evidenced by listening to their interests and asking questions about the interests of others.

    Our son will learn flexibility in playing with others in the classroom as evidenced by lack of desire to control the direction and rules of the games.

    Our son will demonstrate the ability toward helpfullness as evidenced by noticing when someone needs help and offering that help when needed.


    His current teacher speaks very quickly, seems high strung, and at times her frustration with him results in a quick, immediately imposed punishment without considering the reasons for his behavior (related to his disability). I'm not sure she has the patience or training to deal with him appropriately. How do we approach this issue at the IEP meeting without harming the give and take between us and the school? They have our son for hours out of every day, and we need to maintain a workable relationship with them.


    Obviously, this is just a start and a rough draft. This is our first time actually participating in this process as the advocate. Before, we let the school dictate what he needed and what he didn't and learned that was a mistake and that we needed to grab the bull by the horns and figure it out for them. I just need a little help tweeking this so that it will 'fit' the IEP model and also so we can measure his progress.
     
  2. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    but in my experience, look over the list and target two or three goals and develop action steps for looking at those.......which of the goals would have the most impact on him being sucessful in school? Once decided, then focus on it and use the the other one or two to provide secondary focus.

    Did you say how old your child was? Once you have examined and narrowed your goals....I would focus a tremendous amount of energy on his intervention plan and have the IEP team and teacher develop a set procedure for handling his action/reaction to authority.......1st situation....this.....second action....then this level.......etc......this might help the teacher examine her actions/reactions to the student.......many teachers are unaware that "typical" classroom reactions aggravate or can accelerate behaviors in children with disabilities.

    Are the goals in the current IEP showing any signs of working?
     

  3. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    He was released from his IEP for the early childhood program two years ago. We are redetermining his eligibility for special ed services, specifically ST and OT, as well as social skills interventions.

    The schools testing most likely (based on what I've gathered from the school psych) has not demonstrated that he needs spec ed services. They've been saying this for the last two years. They've had informal meetings, observations, etc. to determine his needs and have consistently decided that he wasn't far enough behind in school to make him eligible.

    Our private testing has revealed that he has a learning disability, but has not pinpointed the exact ld he has. They suspect very strongly he has a central auditory processing disorder, but the school is refusing to test him for this on the grounds that it is medical and should be covered by our insurance. Our insurance is denying payment of the testing based on the fact that it's developmental as he has an asperger's diagnosis. It's a $600 test, and the audiologist requires payment at the time of service and let's us do battle with whoever to fund the costs or to pay for it ourselves.

    I'm preparing for the IEP just in case they decide he qualifies, so that we have some input with specific goals in mind.

    Am I over-preparing? I thought this is what we had to do to make sure he gets what he needs.
     
  4. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    The meeting on Tuesday is to "review your child's recent evaluation and determine eligibility for special education and related services."

    Am I not focused on the right information? Maybe I should be gathering other info instead.

    It would be nice to know how this process works. Nobody explains anything about this, what to expect, what to plan for, what goals to keep in mind. I have complete brainswamp right now.
     
  5. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    Okay all this means is that "Timmy" has been tested and the results will be discussed and explained in a meeting so that all in attendance will be on the same page...in Oklahoma for a meeting such as this I have to have

    1. the parents
    2. the child if he is over 16 or younger as necessary
    3. the person that conducted the testing will be there to explain the testing procedures and results
    4. an Administrative Rep usually the principal, superintendent, or counselor--could be the Spec Ed Dept Head (if your school is large enough---here, I AM the entire Spec Ed Dept!!!!)....
    5. the regular classroom teacher...each of them if "Timmy" rotates classes such as JH/HS....also any other teacher that he has such as PE or Music
    6. the special ed teacher
    7. the teacher's aide if he has one
    8. the SLP (Speech Language Pathologist)


    OKAY----I can tell this will be a long post.....I am so sorry but I want to be thorough!!!!!


    go to http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/pdfs/iep_english.pdf

    it is an adobe acrobat file...they take forever to load on dialup...it is 50 pages long...it even took a bit with my DSL.....

    You want adobe page # 36 of 50.....this is the start of the form you will see on Tuesday....the state department really wants every spot filled in with something...if they didnt then they wouldnt have given you a space for it....

    Your goals will address his weaknesses....this starts on Adobe page 40

    Your goal statement could be that "Timmy will demonstrate the understanding of proper authority."

    the goal implementors would be whoever is responsible for making this happen....usually written as "reg ed teacher" or "spec ed teacher"

    you can break it down into "Timmy will not use an authorative tone to recieve what he desires" (or something like this)

    then you would mark the appropriate boxes such as 4 out of 5 attempts---log of obs---daily

    then another short tear objective could be "Timmy will appropriately respond to an authoratative power" (or something like this)

    then mark again how consistently you want it done, how it will be measured, and how often

    if you have several annual goals (each should cover a weakness) you will apparently have a page for each one....so on a child with a learning disability where his weaknesses are broad reading and basic writing, you would have a page that addresses reading and a page that addresses writing......if the weakness is "Understanding and relating to authoritative figures appropriately" then you will have a page based on behavior modification specific to this....

    a broad goal and then several basic goals that will help meet the broad one.....

    You may be asked to do the behavior information on adobe page 47 & 48


    I sure hope this helps.....if you have more specific questions let 'em rip....we are going to town in a bit but I WILL check this thread before I go to bed tonight!!!!

    BTW this advice is based on OKLAHOMA experience trying to figure out Illinois State forms!!!! so I could be off!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rachel
     
  6. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    I think you have too many goals and need to narrow it down.

    What does he need to help him cope in times of conflict? Some children do well in a self imposed time out to gather them selves back together etc.

    I think that the (county?) Regional Center deals with Aspergers and they may be able to help you. I do know that they can test for several different things.

    I think I would go with an interim IEP until the proper testing can be completed.
     
  7. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    We've tried all forms of correction and motivation with him. Nothing really works, and some things work for a little while and then lose their effectiveness. Time outs never work. That's where the frustration lies at this point. No typical form of discipline works and things need to be repeated a thousand times or more before he 'gets it'.

    We need help with this. We've tried a private psychologist that specialized in ADS kids, who's well known in the area and really only suggested things that we've already tried. Except for 'get in his face and distract him from his current activity until he gives in and does it.'

    But we are trying to teach him not to pester until he gets what he wants, and if we display that behavior to him, it will just reinforce his own habit of doing this. I will not use his last resort approach. It will backfire. This I know.
     
  8. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Rachael. I will download this and sift through it with the few remaining brain cells left functioning today.

    So, I'm thinking since the school is already past the 60 days of referral (last spring) that the IEP development will most likely take place on Tuesday as well.

    If they decide that despite our private evaluations, he is not eligible for ST and OT services, we will just have to hire and advocate or attorney.
     
  9. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry...I don't mean to be skeptical....but I just don't think this is the way to go about helping him with these issues.

    Word retrieval problems are probably linked to CPD. Stress and being hurried or pressured excaberates it.

    Some of these things, such as figuring out rules for varying situations, will likely be a lifelong task. It does seem to me that there is no easy generalization for rules across the board. The best thing seems to be to define the boundaries in each situation as it is encountered, and to ask an authority figure that you *like* to clarify it all for you.

    yeah. I'm probably the wrong one to ask......even at my age (mid thirties), with 6 kids and indepently supporting myself, I still have issues with all the things you mentioned.
     
  10. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    our child with word retrieval problems and shortterm memory problems was having seizures. They presented themselves as her being innattentive...
    we had full mornings or afternoons when *the light was on but no one was home*. When I suggested that possibility the pediatrician said *no that isnt it, but I will refer you anyway*

    The neurologist said...*no, she isnt have seizures but I will run an EEG anyway* come to find out she was having frequent almost invisible seizures... so of course, she wasnt remembering...she was only hearing half of what we said. We also have her repeat our instructions to her back to us before she goes to do whatever it was we told her.

    Our child who has authority problems is bipolar. Bipolar in children is very atypical (there isnt a definate pattern to aid diagnosis) . I do believe that almost all bipolar children have sleep problems though.

    But I think that the Regional Center can test for some learning disabilities.
     
  11. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    No sleep problems anymore, since we got him a bunk bed where he can't be disturbed by the cats.

    He used to have seizure-like episodes, but they cleared up a while ago. He had an EEG when he was about 8 months old which didn't show anything.

    I haven't seen him staring off into space. He always seems engaged in an activity of sorts. He rarely watches tv, and when he does it's for hours at a time.

    Cham, I'm thinking if we can address these issues now, with specially trained helpers, we can get him much farther than if we didn't try, or tried to do it ourselves.

    The people we're working with have six years of higher education under their belts which is focused directly on helping kids with these types of problems. That's what our taxes pay for. If he needs help, we're going to get it for him.

    Us doing it ourselves (because of the complicated strategies involved) could make the situation worse, waste precious time, and cause undue strain on the family.

    He needs trained professionals to help him learn. Hopefully they'll be sharing their methods with us along the way so we can supplement at home and show him how these directions translate to an environment outside of school.
     
  12. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    :) You're not alone.
     
  13. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    What is an interim IEP, and how does one go about getting that?

    There is more testing that needs completed. This school has consistently (even during the two years of spec ed preschool) denied him access to OT. This psychologist that we've worked with all this time (he's evaluated him three separate times over the course of four years) every time recommends OT as the mainstay to helping him regulate his behavior.

    The private ST who evaluated him recommended an OT evaluation. There isn't even going to be an OT present at the meeting. I *know* they got the report from our private ST which detailed her recommendations.

    The school OT who evaluates him never finds any need to serve him. She 'monitored' him during preschool once a month and never recommended further evaluation or regular visits.

    Why is it the private testing is revealing all of this *need* and the school testing never showing it?

    Is this going to be a real battle for us? How much weight do they put on a private eval and reports from parents when their evaluation demonstrates he only needs to work on social skills?
     
  14. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I am very tired, and so I will not say much. I will read what people say later.

    "Our son will demonstrate improvement in his word retrieval capabilities as evidenced by . . . "

    Not a big goal, for him. This tends to improve as his function improves, and so learning to compensate for this weakness might improve things as much as if it were directly addressed. If he cannot think of the word he wants, but he uses a synonym, then he can function better socially and the practice he then receives will aid his skills on word retreival.

    "Our son will demonstrate improvement in his ability to respond to directions as evidenced by . . ."

    "He will follow 1- step directions 80% of the time," or (2-step directions, or whatever is decided will challenge him

    He will have a year to achieve this, of course.

    I will probably have examples from my own son's IEP tomorrow: his problems will be a little different from your son's, but, if you see anything usefull you may use it.

    Figure on perhaps a dozen interventions, on the biggest needs.
     
  15. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    an interim IEP is an "Oh crap we have run out of time (number of days) and we still cant agree....this will be a temporary one until we can get the right thing going."

    each Evaluation should be measured and weighed against all the information as in does it significantly contribute? or is it just another piece of "Timmy's" puzzle

    it can get ugly if one important person digs in his heels....if the parent is stubborn then the school teachers may suffer...if the principal is stubborn then the teachers and parents suffer...if the teacher is stubborn then the parents suffer....no matter which one it is, as long as everybody is doing their own thing and not working together then the child suffers regardless!

    I think that you should tell them that you *know* he needs OT services and if they are going to consistently ignore recommendations then you will be filing Due Process....

    usually this will jump start them into being your best friend!!!! they dont want Due Process and possiblly sued

    More tomorrow...it is past my bedtime!

    Rachel
     
  16. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    OK, I am awake.

    Peppa. it is best if folks focus on just the most important areas, with about 10-12 intervenions. This is what was done for my son (My son is 12, how old is yours? )

    1. In elementary school, he had a social skills class once a week. OK, it wasn't REALLY a social skills class, it was speech (Lunch buddies) once a week and the speech teacher took care of that. A few kids who needed the practice ate lunch together while the speech teacher encouraged them all in age-appropriate conversation and manners. That meant that manners and speech were taught, as well as giving my son some good practice in social situations. Did it matter that it was technically "speech?" Not at all, because he got what he needed!

    2. Longer to turn in his assignments, and the teacher or another student checked his back pack daily for his homework. My son is NOT organized, and he could not remember to turn in his homework. This was not something that could be taught, yet, though he is taking SOME of the responsibility now.

    3. As mentioned before, following directions. There are 2-step directions (Take out your math books AND a piece of paper). one- step directions (Everybody gather around), and so forth.

    4. School room manners. My son does NOT understand why he should not talk in class, and it is possible that he never will. However, he IS expected to memorize and use his manners, and it is VERY good manners to raise your hand if you need to say something. (This was not actually an intervention: this was taught by the teachers to make their classes run more smoothly.)

    5. OT and PT. He had this for a while, but it ended because he was "borderline normal" Actually, his therapists thought that he had gone as far as they could take him. He is not as well coordinated as his peer group, but, he does well enough to get by.

    6. Shortened assignments. Because it WAS hard for him to write and it took him longer, the teachers cut the longer written assignments in half. He did half the math problems (possibly only the even number problems), and possibly half the written report length, but he did the ENTIRE worksheets that only needed fill in the blanks answers. This made it easier for him to keep up with the class.

    And, he DOES keep up with the class. Like many kids with aspergers, he is of normal intelligence. He just couldn't write as fast, or write as long.

    7. When he needs more one-on-one attention, he took his work to the discovery room in the library, where the staff assisted him. This made it possible for him to finish his test while the class went on to other things, and it gave the teacher a chance to assist other stucdents when the assignment was long and difficult.

    8. frequent re-focusing. My son's attention length is NOT good: so , the teacher every few minutes would walk by when he got distracted and remind him to do his work. Otherwise, he would hear 2 kids whispering, the people walking around outside the classroom, the kids shuffling their feet.....

    Have you noticed yet that at least half of these interventions will not cost the school district a dime? They might be more willing to go with the freebies.

    Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time for the teacher. I have noticed that there is usually one high-mantenance child in every classroom, and my son was the one in his.

    LASTLY! Every person is likely to have a couple of interventions in mind. That means that, best case scenario, you will only get a couple of yours in. Such is life. Discuss the ones you think are important, insist on SOME being added, and figure "perhaps next year" for the others. This is a long-term effort.

    HOWEVER! If you do not think the interventions are appropriate or helpfull, DO! claim due precess! Simply refuse to sign anything, and tell them you have decided to go up the chain of command. Then do it.

    I was never and good at asserting myself, but I had to learn these skills. My son was depending on me. I hated it. But, life is what it is. If you need surgery, you go and get it. If your son needs you to appeal, you go and appeal.

    I am praying for you.

    Terri
     
  17. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    Your meeting is to discuss what the testing done by the school reveals. The school is skeptical of your "private" testing, because sometimes long term relationships with medical personnel and one medical "opinion" are not necessarily the norm. I have seen doctors state in a write up that the child should not be punished, nor expected to exhibit "normal" behavior in the classroom.......(mom wanted child exempt from discipline code)....so when the school mentioned a "self contained" classroom mom went balistic......yet, that is exactly what her doctor's letter basically determined!

    I would not begin discussion of the IEP at this diagnostic meeting....take time to absorb things and then have the person who conducted your testing review the data......not to necessarily dispute, but to examine the testing procedures used and data collected.......what your examiner used to collect data may not be the "norm" expected by your district's special education department.
     
  18. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    My son is six. This is his first year in official 'regular' classroom. Last year he was in the 'at risk' program which was only spanish speaking kids and him. It did not go well, and by the end of the year the kids were mistreating him and so was the teacher (learn by example?). He didn't want to go to school anymore, and then that teacher went on maternity leave and his new teacher saved the day. She loved working with him, treated him with respect and kindness and he loved going to school after that.

    It seems, though, based on the lack of desire to help him with speech and OT, which was determined based on informal 'sit-in's' over the last year and a half, that either they don't want to help him, or they don't have the tools to recognize his needs and serve him appropriately.

    Our psychologist is very experienced at what he does and that's why we used him. The test that he used is the same exact test the school would have done, and they're very interested in seeing the results of that.

    When I mentioned to the school psych last Thursday that the private psych was recommending ST and OT, his eyes widened. Interesting reaction.

    We've been getting kind of tossled around for the last year and a half. I was under the impression that when they released him from his previous IEP, we had one year to reactivate it.

    Within a month of starting his 'at-risk' program, the teacher was complaining about his behaviors and thinking he needed extra help. She didn't push it. We didn't push it because the coordinator offered to do these informal observations and we agreed to that.

    We've wasted precious time fiddling around waiting for the school to pick up the ball, and they've done nothing but skirt around the issues all this time. We need everything documented, all agreements in writing. We will no longer allow any 'unofficial' observation as good enough to determine needs.

    I'm under the impression that a) they don't want to help him or b) they don't have what's required to help him, but leaning more towards option b.

    But we've decided that we're planning for option b. And as a result of wasting this time, we will be requesting summer services to help him catch up.

    I'm also looking into more appropriate placements, where they have a well-trained staff that understands his needs.

    They've dawdled and piddled around too long already. My son is the one who's suffering as a result. It's not going to happen again.

    :hobbyhors

    Thank you all for your input and advice, and prayers. Every ounce of it is most appreciated.
     
  19. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Does he have a 504?

    Was he formally tested for speech?
     
  20. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    Pickapeppa - clean out your PM box -- also I think I fogot to mention in my PM to you that the person I mentioned is named "Linda".

    MaryNY