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Child With IEP who Has Certain Organizational Supports Should Not Be Removed

Child with an IEP providing for checklist to assist with organizational problems can't simply have support removed without bringing the IEP team together to explore the advisability of this change.

Comments from the NEUROLOGIST, 

A 12-year-old patient with add came to my office for a review of his meds. During the course of his visit his mom mentioned that her son was doing very well both with his medication and because he had a checklist that he was using to get his work done in school. Her son’s teacher told her that they wanted to do away with this support so that he could attain a greater level of independence. The mom told me that she was fearful this might be “pulling out the rug from underneath him.” I asked the attorney.

Comments from the ATTORNEY, 

A child, especially one with ADD/ADHD, may rely heavily on organizational supports. It is quite likely that organizational problems will re-appear if supports are “faded out.” There will appear to be a relapse. The need for organizational supports reflects executive function problems, not a problem with maturity where “gaining more independence” could be an issue. Certain types of organizational supports (such as checklists) are often necessary in order for the student to be successful. The school can’t pull away supports that may be necessary for successful performance. Rather your child should be taught to independently use these supports that are necessary for his or her successful performance in order to have a life-long tool to help deal with weakness in executive skills.

Fortunately this “fading out” of supports, supports which are provided for in the IEP cannot be done unilaterally by the school. The IEP must be modified. The CSE has to bring the IEP team together to do this. At this meeting these issues can be raised.

As always, do your homework in preparing for this meeting!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donna May 13, 2012 at 02:07 PM
504 does nothing but give him extra time, which is an accommodation, not a program in place that meets his needs. It costs nothing for the district to provide this. However, a program with goals that would improve his learning would be in an IEP. I would not sign on the dotted line and approve that recommendation.
Donna May 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Children who received services for true disabilities need the assistance in order not to be a burden on the rest of us. If a child can not read or write, tell me how this child can be independent and support him or herself? It's not coddling...I assume whoever thinks this way never had a child with a true disability and who struggled to get out of bed and go to school every day, knowing that he/she can't get the work done. Sad..
Ross Revira May 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Where does the needs of the disabled end and the financial needs of the doctors and lawyers begin?
Z May 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I do not believe what you are saying and I am disgusted by your remarks! There is NO WAY that parents can make their kids have an aid or go into special ed if there is no problem. There is a process that is done to make sure the child needs the help. You sound very jealous. Obviously, you don't have a learning disabled child. I have a son who is now graduating college who has ADHD and a learning disability and still has his 504, plus two other children who are normal and had to work hard to get their marks. Nothing came easy to my son and as a parent I had to be his own advocate; yet, here he is now graduating from college. That 504 was a lifesaver then and in college. He was able to get extra time, tutors, etc. For those who are interested, there is a wonderful state program called VESID (Adult Vocational Rehabilitation Services) that will follow them all through their lives after high school. Of course, the high school NEVER mentioned that to my son or myself. I had to find it by myself and it has been a lifesaver for my son in college and will follow him throughout his adult live. Parents must be their child's advocate and, if necessary, fight as I have done to get what your child needs. Don't ever give up and, Jenga, unless you have walked in these shoes, you should have nothing to say.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj May 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Many thoughtful comments have come through this particular blog post. There may be some, but none that I have seen, non-disabled children receiving special ed benefits that they may not need. A child goes through an entire evaluation before receiving an IEP. It is not simply the declaration of a parent that "my child is disabled". More often it is a child NOT receiving special ed benefits that he or she should be receiving, or ones that are not sufficient for his or her unique needs. A big part of the problem is the financial straits that school districts, like the rest of us, find themselves in. Hopefully some day in the near future this will straighten out so that education and special education can receive the priority they deserve.

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