IEPs and Legal Issues


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Joined: Oct 18, 2007
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Posted Oct 18, 2007 at 10:34:05 AM
Subject: Math/IEP/IEE

Hello to all.

My 9yr old son was born early at 23wks. He had a brain bleed the day after he was born. This does not qualify him for any services though. He has received services based on OT/PT he had speech until the year before kinder. for oral sensory issues. While he was delayed in speech he has a fantastic vocab.

In first grade just before Christmas I met w/teacher as he was failing math and required too much one on one. The school gave him the KTEA-2 math portion only at my request for testing and he was below average. He was pulled out to the resource rm w/3 other children. Last year he received assistance in a slower math class general curriculum. This year they are teaching him the resource rm again with (1)1st grader, (1)2nd grader and (1)other 3rd grader. I'm realizing now that we haven't changed his plan for math really since 1st grade. He still cannot grasp simple 1st grade math and is now having problems w/spelling which he excelled at through last year. His handwriting is still really bad, no spacing, writes above/below lines and some flipping of letters and letter reversals. But he is reading at a 5th grade level despite his 20/70 corrected vision.

His last MFE was partially complete in that it only included PT, OT, ST evaluations and a partial blerb from the School Psych. based on his kinder teachers evaluation.

Ot & I have discussed the last two years in IEP mtgs that he probably has dysgraphia. I have decide and scheduled an appt. with a Neurologist who will do a two part eval. one with an educational consultant and then he will do a Neuro-Educational & Neurological exam, as husband and I think something is going on. We feel like we keep trying to put out fires without knowing the cause.

I feel very lost right now and don't know were to turn. Despite our IEP I just don't feel like the IEP is designed to remediate my son in math. I don't fault the school as much as myself for signing his IEP. They did a sample test for the 3rd grade proficiency in 2nd grade but did not have the results at the time of our meeting. I should have asked for the meeting to be rescheduled, then I would have known he tested at a D- for math and a D in writing and written expression. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and very helpful.


PS..I have read emotions to advocacy

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Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

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Posted:Oct 19, 2007 6:01:05 AM

Hi Trish and welcome here,
Where I might begin by mentioning that I run a Forum for the maths disorder; Dyscalculia.
Where the most common factor in Dyscalculia, is a difficulty with; Visual-Spatial thinking.
Which is the main mental process involved with doing 'mental maths'.
Also with understanding numbers as 'quantities'.

Though this same Visual-Spatial thinking, is equally involved with Hand-writing.
Where we need to be able to create a visual-spatial image of a word in our mind, as we go to write it.
Which works in coordination with our Motor Skills, as a reference.

So the question that I would ask, is about his Fine and Gross Motor Skills?
As these underlying difficulties might be the problem, to be resolved?

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Joined Oct 18, 2007
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Posted:Oct 19, 2007 4:55:15 PM

Thank You Geoff for your response.

My son does receives Occupational & Physical Therapy through the school for these issues. Actually we have been very fortunate that his physical therapist, who now works for the school system, was his private therapist for many years early on. She actaully watches him very close and works on more than what is on his IEP. But he does have balance issues and is extremely clumsy. He sometimes bumps into things but we assume (you know what they say about that) that it was for feedback, besides just being plain goofy.

His pencil grasp isn't the greatest and the Occupational therapist works on strengthening and also does some visual therapy excersises with him also. She recommends that he take frequent breaks in writing assisgnments. He has no depth perception or peripheral (?) vision and currently his eyes are opperating independantly due to reaccuring strabismus.

It is really hard to see him get sooo frustrated with math and now writing. Bless his teacher because half the time I can't even read what he writes.


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Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 94

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Posted:Oct 19, 2007 9:31:37 PM

It seems that his vision issues are playing a large part in his difficulties. I would expect the lack of depth perception would cause him to bump into things and the laugh he probably received would encourage even more.

You may want to consider seeing someone who specializes in the vision therapy since his visual problem seem to be very bad. I'm assuming that you have probably been seeing and opthamologist.

I would expect that your son doesn't have alot of time with the OT, and VT takes a fair amount of time (exercises every day). My son spent 30 minutes every night working on VT and 1 1hour session in the office per week. His problems weren't near as severe.

To caveat this, my son's problems may not have been the same because he was never diagnosed with something that damaged the brain.

I expect that his IEP was written for the catch all SLD. Very few schools that I have heard of actually look for a program that will work with the individual child. It is a one size fits all program in pull-out. My son's pull-out for reading was almost all done via visual modes because most reading problems are auditory or phonological based. So, he made little progress.

Keep plugging. You are your child's best advocate.

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