IEPs and Legal Issues


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Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 8
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Posted May 22, 2008 at 3:15:22 PM
Subject: Accommodations

My son is entering middle school this fall. He was re-evaluated this year using the WISC-IV. He was evaluated in first grade. Results in 2004: Full Scale IQ 107 Performance IQ 130, Verbal 85

Findings: Verbal Comprehension 100
Perceptual Reasoning 104
Working Memory 91
Processing Speed 94
Full Scale IQ 99
Subtests: 13 Similarities
10 Vocabulary
8 Comprehension
13 Block Design
10 Picture Concepts
9 Matrix Reasoning
8 Digit Span
9 Letter-Number Sequencing
6 Coding
12 Symbol Search
Writing is my son’s weakest area. He can not complete a good sentence without help. He is a terrible speller. Sometimes he spells the words correctly verbally, but will write the same word incorrectly. Due to his weakness in writing, it has been suggested he be in the “special ed” class for his grammar lesson for 6th grade. All of his other classes will be in a regular classroom. Currently he receives all his instruction in the regular classroom with resource room help. He has passed all the State testing.
Since writing will be expected in all his classes, I am looking for suggestions for accommodations. I suggested I receive all his homework assignments from his teachers’ and he be allowed to use a electronic speller/thesaurus at all times. Both were denied in his case conference. The only accommodations currently are extra time for tests, assignments can be modified and his papers can be proofed for spelling prior to turning in. My goal is to have him in regular classes by High School and improve his writing. Any suggestion for accommodations and ways to improve his writing would be much appreciated.

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:May 22, 2008 6:41:02 PM

Why isn't he getting specific help for his writing?

You can also request an Assistive Technology Assessment to find out what would help his writing most. Using an electronic speller is a great idea but there are also word prediction programs that can definitely increase written output.

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 May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 22, 2008 7:03:53 PM

There are several ways to do this.... or maybe 2... Or maybe 1 but 2 components. Try to find him a home tutor that specializes in cases like his. At the same time, you could always request that he doesn't write and instead dictates.... ;>

It will help build his confidence while he works towards a very different goal.

He sounds like a smart kid... I bet he is much better with math and science and enjoys himself, and that his teachers probably enjoy him as he likely shows his interest and works hard. I couldn't read at all. Couldn't spell my first name till i was almost 11. Don't be disheartened... Today i read in several languages and i also read both modern western music notation and ancient greek music notation. This is an important skill what you are talking about... And if he does ok with the rest of school he can manage this too. Just get him a special tutor at home and if i were you i would tell them no as far as special ed goes. It is like sticking a big red sign on his back that says "Kick me!" Good luck to him and i am totally sure he will be fine.... As for the spelling issue... According to the rules we are taught for it, it seems nearly every word defies them in some way. Maybe if instead of torturing kids about right and wrong spelling we should notice no spelling follows the rules and we need to either change our spelling or teach them some other rules to use rather than misleading them.

Much luck!

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Joined Jan 18, 2006
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Posted:May 23, 2008 10:49:29 AM

We have a specialized Tutor already, I am looking for what the school can/should do.
Currently, he is supposed to be receiving writing help in the resource room. Unfortunately at the school he attends, there is only one Special Ed teacher and she is responsible for K-5th grade. Her responsibilities range from teaching the entire LA/Math curriculum to helping students with their class work. I've already complained about the age range and abilities in her class, but since my son passes his State testing, their response is that it must be working.
The problem in Middle School is when do you "remediate" the students? This is why they are saying his writing help will be done "within the Grammar curriculum". I do want ADDITIONAL time specifically for writing. I offered to bring him before or after school- but the Special Education teachers do not offer before or after school remediation. All 6th graders have a “study hall” each day. Since my son will be in band, this will take 3 of the days. He also receives speech services, there goes another day. This leaves only one period a week . Normally this time is when the students can get extra help from any of their teachers; he already will not have as much time as the other students.
Do any Middle Schools have before or after school remediation for their Special Education Students?

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:May 23, 2008 1:59:14 PM

It really depends on the school and the district. In our district we have "study club" a few days a week in both Middle and High schools. This is an hour after school for kids who need to catch up on work, need extra help or just need a quiet time to study that they may not get at home. Its open to all students.

I would ask them how they are going to meet his needs in the "grammar" curriculum. Make them be specific about the help he will receive that will meet HIS needs and make them put it in writing.

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 May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 23, 2008 5:15:24 PM

Good advice! Ask them to write it all down though just so you have a reference point and hmmm 'exact' terms for everything and often within a field, words mean something they don't mean to lay people, example is, for example in archaeology.... the word "podium" It means something that it doesn't exactly mean to most people. When i first came across it i had to ask, because of the context it seemed like a 'loaded' term. Then the difference was explained and yeh its ggood. But what we think we understand as totally competent people sometimes we don't because the usage is somewhat different always good to look everything up. So if you don't have the word exactly right.... It might be hard to do.

See what is emphasized int he curriculum, is it auditory or visual or other? Are there suggestions you can make for how they might enhance it super simply as they go without causing interruption that might open it up more to other ways of learning than the one most stressed in the curriculum? What room in it is there for those who need extra help? Se what they offer for extra help, within the curriculum.... See if that is what your child needs.

If what your kid needs isn't to be found there, then try to find other options less intrusive to his social well being. Such as maybe have the tutor come more often.... Check what style the tutor uses if you haven't already. Is the tutor specialized in teaching children with the *kind* of LD your kid has? Many LDs exist.... Soooo they all have their own needs for learning attached and some are somewhat similar, and some are totally different. Just being familiar with a vcouple LD children, if you don't have both experience with his learning style as well as whatever his language based disability is, then.... It could be that it is somehow not quite the right aproach. You might also want to listen closer when he talks.... Does he make grammar errors? If not, you can always just say to him, "Look at the question about the book you are reading for school. Now *Tell* me your answer." If the grammar is fine when he tells you the answer.... You could then say to him "Great, now tell your teacher, just like you are telling me, on the paper. Write it down like you are talking to her/him. I will help you lets go line by line tell me the first line of the answer again just like before, now lets take exactly that and just write it on the paper...." And try going line by line that way. Which ofcourse helps not at all with the spelling but maybe with the grammar if he speaks grammatically correctly.

The Orton Guillingham method however it is spelled is what made me literate. Doesn't do anything i don't think for sentence structure, but it may be of some use with the spelling problem. I really don't know though. My understanding is fairly limited to my own diagnosis (which includes a language disorder) in that i have studied all the components and treatments and perspectives etc related to my own needs and i have experience living with them and finding my way through. But again it may be the disabilities are not in the least bit compattible in how they should be catered to. Just offering what little i have incase it can be helpful.

Also, the suggestion related to how the specific needs of your child mesh with the style and the exact curriculum being taught is an excellent suggestion rather than limiting yourself solely to an understanding of the curriculum itself. You must know how your child works so that his strengths can be capitalized on rather than ignored, if he never remembers anything he reads for example or doesn't remember from the visual examples, you might want to use methods that focus on.... Hmmm.... If he remembers everything ever verbally told him try auditory. And if that isn't helpful i have no idea how, but try something that relates to physical sensations and touch.... Like maybe writing the correct sentence in sand and then labling the the parts of the sentence also in the sand under the sentence itself... I don't really know, people who learn by touch i am not familiar with really.... So i am just thinking out loud there, to illustrate the idea.

But yeh some good ideas have been offered....

Just want to point out something...

Many people who are known for their brilliance had some sort of language disability.

Einstein was non verbal till he was like 5....

Simon from american idol, has a super creative mind, i do believe he was a highschool drop out though i would have to look it up i think i read that somewhere, either way he didn't go to university because he wasn't interested in academics. Typical for the LD.
Cher, the singer also super brilliant and creative is also dyslexic....
Ummmm... Maya Angelou spent several years as a mute though i think that was more related to trauma....
Ever done a spell check on shakespeare?! That guy even spells his own name 7 different ways....

I think what we are abole to express, and what we are able to understand and think up and the complexity of our thought patterns and ideas and views are very different things. I mean, Shakespeare's text would hardly be more, artistic and brilliant and beautiful, if he spelled everything perfectly. All it would be then is accurately spelled, not that that would detract from the brilliance expressed in his work... If that makes any sense at all.... Maybe you have to have a language based LD to appreciate what i am trying to say here.

It might help to get him LD tested, If you think he is fine, ignore them about what ever drug they want to put him on and ignore all the fear mongering. They once told my mother if i wasn't medicated for dyslexia i would develop Ebola, which would then turn into AIDs and i would die a horrible death within the next 3 years. This coming from someone educated at like Harvard to understand and to diagnose LD. All the same. He did discover i am an auditory learner. He did also name dyslexia as the problem which was accurate. But some of these guys actually receive money from the drug companies for perscribing these drugs. Relying on them *alone* for such an opinion on your kid is always a bad idea as i said some will say anything. Poor mum was scared to death for about 2 weeks till she had spoken to a zillion different people. both doctors and lay people to see how truly messed up they thought i was. Everyone said i was fine including 2 other experts. That i was dyslexic but medicating me wasn't gonna help. Better to find a phonetic method and a curriculum that is based on auditory communication of curriculum and information. But please understand, if they didn't find out i was an auditory learner and dyslexic.... They would never have been able to find a way to make me literate. So something good did come out of being labled i guess... Though i don't like lables for the other issues that go with them so frequently. Still once the problem is identified (no reason one has to name it and then define a person by the name of their problem.) the problem then becomes..... less problematic. Imagine tons of huge numbers and an algebra problem, and then subttract from that difficult algebra problem the symbols indicating the procedure. That is an analogy for the problem of LD kids and how to teach them. Often a test can identify what that the 'symbols' are making it then possible to solve for X. However, if the math problem doesn't seem to be all out of alighnment on top of the lack of the symbols then i would ignore any fear mongering and medication hyping that goes far too often with identifying what the symbols that indicate the process for solving for X. That is my weird way of thinking about it anyway. Most people are so visual, i try to give in words a picture sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesnt.
So sorry for going on and on... But try the suggestions. There will probably always be someone here or many to offer advice in the future too, if you need it.
Good luck!

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Joined Nov 03, 2004
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Posted:Sep 08, 2008 6:35:42 PM

I would also recommend dragon naturally speaking if this is something that will needed to be accommodated or a life time.

The child/student dictates and the computer writes.

Shel If your not kicking hard enough your not making waves!

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Rosco P. Coltrane
Joined Jun 28, 2007
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Posted:Sep 09, 2008 10:20:01 AM

I would ask the school to use the one available study hall day to have someone tutor him in order to review and practice writing strategies and work on his spelling. These same strategies could then be reinforced within his resource and general ed settings. It might be help if your private tutor and his teachers worked on the same strategies. Some additional accommodations might be extended time for lengthy written assignments and allowing him to use a word processor to type long written passages (as needed). Is there a computer available in each classroom? If your goal is to have him in all regular ed classes, I would stay away from the "dictation accommodation." He's going to need to practice the skills that he has learned, and someone won't be there to dictate for him when he is an adult. Read, Write, Gold is also another good writing program.

Good Luck

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Joined Apr 29, 2008
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Posted:Sep 10, 2008 10:33:17 AM


One suggestion for you is to investigate online a term associated with writing processingdosorders associated with dysgraphia. Often, the issue is the inability to orhanize thoughts and be able to transmit them to the written form. The child struggles then becomes frustrated to the extent of shutting down. The scores on the evaluation for your child are encouraging and he has quite a bit of skill. For the most part, he will compensate quite well over time with his limitation. If there is such a thing, you have a "good problem" that in fact will and should be accommodated. I also suggest to refer to the state guidelines for assessment for children with disabilities to understand those accommodations that are permissable both standard and non standard that are available for statewide testing. These same accommodations may be needed and appropriate to include within his routine instructional day.


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