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Old 05-23-2008, 05:40 PM
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Qualified for IEP


Yesterday we had a meeting at Nicole's school to see if she qualifies for an IEP. Although she met all the criteria, the school psychologist was trying to talk us out of it because Nicole did well with the testing one-on-one. The school nurse did a great job with her report and listing the learning problems that E can cause. The nurse called me today and said that she added more info to her report because she felt that the rest of the team "was not getting it". Although her and I bumped heads at first, I think that she has truly become our ally. I could tell by her report that she did some great research. Finally, everyone agreed that Nicole should have an IEP. We go in next week to write the IEP, so I will be working with my Wrightslaw books to come up with goals for Nicole. I'm sure they will not be happy when I request that the IEP be reviewed every 3 months so we know what progress we are making.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:20 PM
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Question


3 months? I thought IEP's were twice a year?
They were with me, and they were with my son
when he was in school ~ did they change that
now to being more frequent - or is that a State
or School System difference?
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:53 PM
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The only thing that I can find is that the IEP must be reviewed annually. There is nothing listed that you cannot review the IEP and progress more often.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:30 PM
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My school nurse is trying to convince me that my daughter doesn't need an IEP but instead needs a 504. Here's how it was explained to me by the nurse: An IEP is for someone who appears to need specialized help in many areas. 504 is intended to be for someone who has a medical condition that spills over into the learning environment.

Because my daughter does very well in school despite her seizures I originally felt agreed with the nurse that it sounded like 504 is the correct way to go. BUT a teacher friend of mine said that IEP once inacted becomes like a law that she will recieve all of the benefits. Meanwhile a 504 is more like the Principal's directive. Basically, the principal would be asking for special consideration but it wouldn't be a given.

I'm so confused and truthfully, I'm getting a bit frustrated. I'm going in for a meeting with the Nurse, Principal, and teacher soon. It ought to be interesting.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:16 PM
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Here's some info that might help you:

Children with epilepsy often have a higher rate of learning problems than thair peers do. Seizures may prevent a child from paying attention or absorbing and processing information. Seizures, even if they occur during the night, which is when Nicole tends to experience them, may leave a child fatigued &/or feeling "foggy" and unable to do school work as expected. Complex partial seizures, such as Nicole has, will cause periods of confusion and disoriencaiion during which the student is unaware of their surroundings. It may take anywhere from seconds to hours to return to "normal." Decreased awareness of the environment is the most common feature of this type of seizure and is often unrecognized or difficult to identify by observers. It may be exhibited by something as seemingly insignificant as purposeless wandering, talking nonsensically, or picking at clothes. Medications used in the treatment of seizure disorders may also affect learning ability, with common side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, headache, sleep problems, blurred vision and others. There is strong evidence documented in medical literature that antiepilepric drug treatment causes behavioral and cognitive impairment. The extent of thesa effects varies among medications and individual patient response but there is probably no antiepileptic'drug that is completely free of these adverse effects, even if serum levels are within therapeutic range.

Memory problems are common and problematic for children with epilepsy. It is more common among children with complex-partial seizures. The memory impairment associated with complex-partial seizures may be manifested by forgetting new information & poor retention of verbal material (conversations or written). Strategies that may be helpful for enhancing this type of memory impairment may include:
- leam from general concept to the specific
- reduce interference
-stress importance of what is being studied, leam & review
- distribute learning of new material over several weeks rather than a concentrated period of time
- repetition
- relaxation measures
- creata associations and pictures of a concept
- recite, repeat, review
While the goal of antiepileptic medication is to control seizure activity, which in mm increases the ability fora student to leam, both the medication and epilepsy can significantly impair strength, vitality, and alertness. Learning support is encouraged to optimize the educational potential and success of the child.

This is what the nurse put in her report.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:19 PM
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Oh that ROCKS! I will use this information to explain the difficulties that she is having. I can't thank you enough for sharing this letter!
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:21 PM
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Anything I can do to help others. Make sure you tell them that you want an evaluation for an IEP. Don't let them talk you out of it. You have the right to request the eval.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:27 PM
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I swear that sometimes I think being a good Mom to a kid with E. means that you've got to be part doctor, part lawyer, and part pitbull! Thanks for reminding me to be all that!
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:33 PM
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You are so right. You can also order books on the federal law from Wrightslaw.com. I ordered a set for $50 and they were here in 2 days. The books I have are "From Emotions to Advocacy" and "Special Education Law." I have found these to be very helpful.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:57 PM
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It is my understanding that every child has a right to an IEP in the broad interpretation of the issue. There is no minimum level of impairment, disability, or intelligence. This comes from my sister (1st grade teacher/former special ed) and my brother-in-law (asst dean at a small college). The IEP is your child's right, but most school administrations fight to limit them because it places more responsibility on them to actually teach all of the students.

FIGHT like pitbulls parents. We failed to do that when our youngest had problems in school and she still suffers today because of it. (not E related)
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:45 AM
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From testing results, Rebecca did not qualify. However, due to her memory issues following a seizure, she qualified. It all is in the wording. Discussions with those more knowledgable about the system prior to meetings is always a good recommendation. Brush up on terminology and what is your right to a fair education.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tinasmom View Post:
Seizures may prevent a child from paying attention or absorbing and processing information. Seizures, even if they occur during the night, which is when Nicole tends to experience them, may leave a child fatigued &/or feeling "foggy" and unable to do school work as expected. Complex partial seizures, such as Nicole has, will cause periods of confusion and disoriencaiion during which the student is unaware of their surroundings. It may take anywhere from seconds to hours to return to "normal." Decreased awareness of the environment is the most common feature of this type of seizure and is often unrecognized or difficult to identify by observers. It may be exhibited by something as seemingly insignificant as purposeless wandering, talking nonsensically, or picking at clothes.
This is exactly what happens to Shan. After a seizure she often "looks" fine but if you take any time with her you instantly realize that her comprehension is extremely low. She is unable to perform simple calculations or remember information for the legnth of time it takes to write a complete sentence. All timed activities such as standardized testing can be very difficult for her. Often she scores perfectly on the answers she is able to complete but then gets many answers incorrect because she "ran out of time" and never answered them. But because she has such good grades the school prefers to believe that she doesn't need help.

Buckeye~ I really see your point when you said, "The IEP is your child's right, but most school administrations fight to limit them because it places more responsibility on them to actually teach all of the students". I'm beginning to understand this is going to be their "take" on the situation.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:28 PM
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Thanks! I just recently jumped aboard the idea of "trying" to get some help for Kater. They did the standard testing of US second graders in March and everyday that week she came home upset beyond words. She said she did her best, but didn't understand some of it and ran out of time. According to the teacher no one ran out of time, so I am thinking what happened was; There was say 2 minutes left, the kids were told this, so she hurried and filled in whatever she had to to be done.

I got the results last week. All of these are out of a 100 percent. Here are her percents of that 100.

Sequences:30
Analogies: 8
Quantitative Reasoning: 30
Verbal Reasoning-Words: 16
Verbal Reasoning-Context: 40
Total Verbal Score: 23
Total Score: 23

So basically (if I understand it correctly) she scored better than 23 % of the second graders in the nation. Even the Principal at her school said she really feels that given the right circumstances that she *could* do better.

So I called the Dr. to get the records to have things worked out. Nothing that is going to happen yet this year as they only have 8 days left, but maybe for next year. I am a bit afraid of the unknown though. I found one link and from what that says I shouldn't even bother.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:48 PM
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It is an uphill battle but if Kater is already becoming frustrated then it's only a few more short steps until she gives up completely. That would be such a shame. I think that no matter what anyone else says you've got to keep fighting for what's best for her. Stay strong!
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:15 PM
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What you need to do is request a psychoeducational evaluation. You need to have some specific concerns.

Rebecca's listed are: difficulty making consistent academic progress, presence of health difficuties that may be impacting school, processing difficulties, memory difficulties, inconsistent study habits, inconsistent decision making skills, and social/emotional difficulties. You need to come up with your list as to why you want her evaluated.

They will do an assessment of Kater's abilities. You will receive a report based on the examiner's interpretation of the information derived from pre-evaluation data, observations, student interview, cognative ability, processing skills, achievement tests, behavioral assessment, adaptive behavior. Then a list of the recommendations will be suggested, one of which could be an IEP (individual Education Plan).
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:19 PM
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Thanks. I thinkin' I hijacked the post...sorry. When I talked to her teacher about who I would need to speak with, I was told that according to her neuropysch testing from 2007, she is of low average intellegence and should have no problem with school. Well, she is and to make her suffer and hate school isn't an option as far as I am concerned.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tinasmom View Post:
Here's some info that might help you:

Children with epilepsy often have a higher rate of learning problems than thair peers do. Seizures may prevent a child from paying attention or absorbing and processing information. Seizures, even if they occur during the night, which is when Nicole tends to experience them, may leave a child fatigued &/or feeling "foggy" and unable to do school work as expected. Complex partial seizures, such as Nicole has, will cause periods of confusion and disoriencaiion during which the student is unaware of their surroundings. It may take anywhere from seconds to hours to return to "normal." Decreased awareness of the environment is the most common feature of this type of seizure and is often unrecognized or difficult to identify by observers. It may be exhibited by something as seemingly insignificant as purposeless wandering, talking nonsensically, or picking at clothes. Medications used in the treatment of seizure disorders may also affect learning ability, with common side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, headache, sleep problems, blurred vision and others. There is strong evidence documented in medical literature that antiepilepric drug treatment causes behavioral and cognitive impairment. The extent of thesa effects varies among medications and individual patient response but there is probably no antiepileptic'drug that is completely free of these adverse effects, even if serum levels are within therapeutic range.

Memory problems are common and problematic for children with epilepsy. It is more common among children with complex-partial seizures. The memory impairment associated with complex-partial seizures may be manifested by forgetting new information & poor retention of verbal material (conversations or written). Strategies that may be helpful for enhancing this type of memory impairment may include:
- leam from general concept to the specific
- reduce interference
-stress importance of what is being studied, leam & review
- distribute learning of new material over several weeks rather than a concentrated period of time
- repetition
- relaxation measures
- creata associations and pictures of a concept
- recite, repeat, review
While the goal of antiepileptic medication is to control seizure activity, which in mm increases the ability fora student to leam, both the medication and epilepsy can significantly impair strength, vitality, and alertness. Learning support is encouraged to optimize the educational potential and success of the child.

This is what the nurse put in her report.
You are absolutely correct and the Nurse did a wonderful
job in elaborating things specifically. All in all, I'm glad she
ended up with the IEP instead of the 504!

But I had my son, who just walked in the door, who spoke
with his former Special Ed teacher on the phone; and she
implied that it all depends on the situation of the individual
of how many times the child may be re-evaluated throughout
the School year, but with the budget cuts - they've limited
it to 3 IEP evaluations per School year: One just when the
School begins, one during Mid-Term, and the Final evaluation
(for the next year's Schooling). However, she stressed that
in some cases; those that are in Criminal School System and
under the Special Education - is totally different and she's
not sure how they function or work, but she knows they do
evaluate them very frequently; regardless of what the child
has. She reminded him that she only functions under the
normal Public School System Special Education (the one that
my son and I had been under).

So basically what she said was pretty much what I went
through and what my son went through: However, they
can order tests, therapy, make changes, progress notes
follow-ups, et cetera - at any time; but that is not the
IEP itself though.

So I am assuming it does vary from location to location.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:26 PM
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What's a IEP? I don't know or I forgot what it is.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:43 PM
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I will be asking for reviews of progress every 3 months for the goals we set. Re-evaluations include all the testing again to see if they still qualify for the IEP.

(2) Reevaluations.48
(A) In General. A local educational agency shall ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with subsections (b) and (c)—
(i) if the local educational agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or
(ii) if the child's parents49 or teacher requests a reevaluation.
(B) Limitation. A reevaluation conducted under subparagraph (A) shall occur-
(i) not more frequently than once a year, unless the parent and the local educational otherwise; and
(ii) at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree that a revaluation is unnecessary.50

This is taken from the Wrightslaw book "Special Education Law"
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:44 PM
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IEP = Individualized Education Plan or Program

This is where a student can be evaluated for any special educational need and the parents, teachers, and school administration work together to establish goals for the student and decide what needs to be done to reach those goals.

It is a great tool to keep kids from getting lost in the crowd or simply passed through the grades while meeting very minimal requirements.
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