I have a 13-year-old daughter who is in the eighth grade and suffers from the following: OCD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (autistic spectrum), avoidant and dependent personality, and psychosocial environmental problems. I was notified by the seventh grade counselor last year that they feel that my daughter needed to most likely be put on an IEP or 504 plan. So after getting her re-evaluated with the above disorders, I went to the eighth grade counselor to discuss what the process would be to get something started for her. I tried in elementary school to get some type of plan in place for her, but the school just brushed me and my daughter aside.
The eighth grade counselor keeps stating that my daughter may qualify for 504 but not IEP because her grades are good. But since the counselor is new to the school, she needs to find out from the seventh grade teachers why she was dropped a level in seventh grade (college prep to lower college prep with assistance). She is not a disruptive person in school and keeps to herself and does all her school work at her own pace (not the pace the teachers would like). Her grades are As and Bs, but she suffers severely on time-managed tests such as state tests, etc. I do know that her OCD prohibits her from moving faster. What should I do?
Schools are required to consider but are not obligated to follow the findings and recommendations of outside evaluators, so your private report is helpful but does not automatically entitle your daughter to eligibility. More importantly, the IDEA provides that schools must address all disabilities that impact the child’s functioning at school, both academically, developmentally, and functionally.
Even though she is academically successful, that is not a basis by itself for denying eligibility if she has other problems that are impacting her school functioning (and her academics as well). From what you describe, it would appear that her disabilities are impacting her functioning in a variety of ways and may be causing sufficient difficulties for her that she could qualify for an IEP. Even if she didn’t qualify for an IEP, there would be an even stronger argument for her eligibility for a 504 plan.