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Expert Q&A

I believe that my child’s IEP needs to be reevaluated, but his teachers disagree. How do I make sure that his plan remains effective?

My son (13) is on an IEP for Reading/Writing/Math. After many years of fighting with and begging the school to let him off of his IEP for reading and writing so that he could be in the general ed classroom for those two subjects, they agreed to let him go to general ed, for reading and writing. But they will not take reading and writing off his IEP, as they say “he still needs the support.”

I don’t think he needs the support; he’s doing great in the regular general education class for reading and writing. And because they leave him on his IEP for those two subjects, he has to go to the Resource Room for reading and writing during 6th period. This takes away his opportunity to take an elective, like woodshop, which is important for him because it teaches him a trade. He spends his entire 6th period for reading and writing in the resource room doing homework from his other classes while trying to block out the noise from the other kids. He does not spend 6th period in the resource room with a special ed teacher working on his IEP goals.

Also, his language arts and social studies general ed. teacher says she is modifying his curriculum “substantially,” which I respectfully completely disagree with. I work with my son every night on homework, and I can see what the other children are doing compared to my son. I think his curriculum is fairly modified. Can you please tell me if I, as his mother, against the school’s desire, can take him off of his IEP for reading and writing but leave him on for math? And, if so, does leaving him on for math ensure that he will receive accommodations/modifications in his other general ed classes?

Thank you so much!

Dear Lynn:

First, it is not correct that a student must be in a special education classroom, just because they have an IEP, regardless of the disability or subject. Schools are required to provide services for students with IEPs in the least restrictive environment, to the extent possible. Where supplementary aides or services are needed in order for the student to be successful in regular education, these should be included in the IEP.

If your son needs supports in math but not in reading and writing, you can request an amendment to the IEP to focus on that problem. If you believe your child no longer needs help in reading and writing but the school does, you should consider either requesting a reevaluation to assess this or consider getting an outside evaluation to address this. You should also assemble as much information as you can about how your child is doing in these areas to show that he is capable of doing the work (and is doing regular work) without special education.

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