IEP Musts Santa Cruz County Part 2
EVERYTHING is a Team Decision
Yes, a team decision. The school part of the team will have tested your child in suspected areas of disability, and offer their opinions. You are as much a member of the IEP team as they are, and you and your child will live with the long-term consequences of all IEP team decisions. Do not be intimidated that they have initials after their name that you do not. The team must consider all the testing, documents, and any thoughts or documentation that you share. What if you disagree with the qualifying criteria that the team proposes?
Get The Documents in Advance
It is always a good idea to get all assessments and drafts in advance. This is even more critical when you are discussing qualifying criteria. You need to know what the school is thinking, and have time to think about your response. We have many clients where the child’s health challenges directly interfere with the student’s ability to perform academically. There can often be a lively discussion of eligibility between Other Health Impaired (OHI) and Intellectual Disability (ID). Many parents believe that an ID qualifying criteria allows the school to blame the student’s intellect for any lack of progress on goals. They are often correct. Do not agree to a qualifying criteria that you do not believe describes your child’s disability.
Multiple Qualifying Criteria
There are 13 qualifying criteria for a student to have an IEP. Many of us have children who qualify under more than one of these criteria. That is fine. Even if your child qualifies only under Speech and Language Impairment, that s/he can have goals and receive supports and services related to ANY area of need. The school cannot restrict the IEP services to only speech-related services. Having an IEP means the child is entitled to support in any area that interferes with the student’s ability to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
What does all this mean, and how can it benefit your child? Give us a call.
As parents, we understand, As experienced and trained advocates, we can help.
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