IEPs and Legal Issues

Part Time School

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Joined: Mar 21, 2008
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Posted Mar 21, 2008 at 10:18:40 AM
Subject: Part Time School

My 9 year old son has a motor learning disability (dyspraxia) and mild hypotonia that causes difficulty with handwriting. He is also academically gifted. He entered Kindergarten at age 5 with a May birthday and already reading at a 5th grade level, but his disability caused him to not be able to write, color in the lines, cut with scissors, or draw as well as other children. Because he was academically advanced he was not eligible for therapy of any kind through the school. When the Kindergarten teacher suggested holding him back in transitional first grade the next year so he could learn to color in the lines better, we talked to the school principal about it. He set up a meeting for me to talk to a first grade teacher with special ed training. She recommended homeschooling so that my son could get an appropriate education.

After homeschooling the next year my son was given the WIAT by a certified educational psychologist and it showed that my son was grade levels ahead of age mates in reading, comprehension, and math. Spelling was only slightly above grade level because he had to write the words and he can't write very long without his hands getting tired, but he recently won a regional spelling bee and competed at the state level, so I believe that he scored low on that test because of his handwriting problem.

When we took the WIAT scores to the school and talked to the special ed director, he explained that it would be difficult to provide my son with an appropriate education but he said he would call us back to set up an IEP meeting. This was almost three years ago. I also talked to the superintendent of the school and he said I should keep homeschooling and made the comment that "this is a good problem to have." When I asked the superintendent if my son could at least play on the playground during school hours to be around other kids he said he could not allow it because of liability reasons. My son is the only child at home and I would like for him to be around other children at least part of the day.

When I talked to someone in the state gifted coordinator's office about appropriate education for twice exceptional children she said there is no law in our state requiring it and there was nothing she could do. She recommended writing letters to my legislators.

I think because of my son's learning differences and sensory issues that he should be allowed to attend public school for band and the gifted class just to be with other kids, but not be required to attend school full time. His occupational therapist recommended frequent breaks and exercise as part of a "sensory diet" that would be difficult to follow at the school. I also don't believe the school can offer him an appropriate education and they also have a problem with bullies at this school. The small town school is known for sports and not academics.

Is there anything I can do to get the school to allow part time school for my twice exceptional son? My emails to the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Schools go unanswered and I have not received replies to the letters I sent my legislators weeks ago.

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Mar 21, 2008 5:16:18 PM

I would contact an advocacy group to see what can be done. Legally your son has a disability that the school should be helping with. It does impact his education because of how it effects his ability to write. He is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. The fact that you have willingly homeschooled bascially has let the school "off the hook" for providing services.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 134

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Posted:Mar 22, 2008 7:32:54 PM

Try posting here to:

Learning Disabilities (LD) and ADHD, Education Support, The*SAFE*Site http://millermom.proboards107.com

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Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:May 04, 2008 2:29:19 PM


I read your posting and you have a unique situation. Here are some thoughts for you:

1) If homeschooling was recommended to you by a public school teacher, she needs to have her head examined. That is disgusting that a public school employee would do this.

2) Homeschooling your child does preclude you from any entitlement to participate in public school programs, services, and in your instance, playground activities. You will need toconsult the homeschool regulations to see if Oklahoma allows school districts to allow homeschooled children to participate.

3) You mentioned several conditions applicable to your son and you mentioned private evaluations. What you do not have is a disability determination made by your local public school district. Once done, then you get into the discussions of free appropriaye education, etc.

4) You do not need an advocate at this juncture. You need to write a letter to the Superintendent of Schools requesting your son to be evaluated for suspected special education disabilities. That letter constitutes a referral upon receipt. The local district has to act upon the receipt of the referral and follow their regulatory procedures. One this process begins, you have procedural safeguard protections.


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