March 4, 2013

Important IEP Advice!

We have Chase's annual IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Meeting next week, so I was thrilled to see a tip come through in my email from a friend. This seemed so important, I wanted to pass it along to anyone else who it might help!

The tip originated from a speech therapist's experience in a recent IEP meeting where the parents were asked permission to submit their child to psychological testing....Here's her advice and some background on why this is so important!

After sitting through a 3 hour IEP mtg this AM (I was only going for 1 hour, but decided I just couldn't leave these parents), I decided to put out an e-mail to the parents of my kids under 5 that will be transitioning into Kindergarten in the next year or so.  Please DO NOT sign the consent for a psychological to be given to your child!!!  By law, you don't have to sign this.  You have until they are 9 years old.  Here is what happens:  if you sign the consent, they do basically an IQ test on your 4 or 5 year old.  Then, they will use the score to try to "relabel" your child if the score comes out low.  Your child now has an SDD "label" (I hate that word).  That is Severely Developmentally Delayed.  It covers everything and your child can be placed in any type of classroom with that.  Having an ID (intellectually disabled) label can/probably will limit your choices of where your child can be placed.  That being said, please remember that IQ is also tied to language.  As their language improves, IQ score will go up too.  Give them as long as you can.

In the meeting today, the parents signed the consent form and their child was given an IQ test.  First of all, the psychologist was Chinese and I could barely understand her.  It was horrible for the parents.  I, of course, was seething and had to severely bite my tongue.  The psychologists (yes there were TWO there) both wanted the ID label.  The mom asked the difference and I asked if placement could be effected by an ID label...answer was yes.  Luckily the teacher felt the scores were too low and we pushed and got the SDD label ( at which point the psychologists got up and left...amazing).  We ended up getting her into the class we wanted and I felt like the teacher was extremely supportive.

So, to sum this up....please save yourself lots of issues in the transition to kindergarten meeting by NOT signing that consent for a psychological.  OT, PT, and ST testing is fine.  Your kids all deserve the chance to  have every option available to them and not have their options limited by testing at age 4.  Instead, let their options be based on their progress in their class and with the therapists.  That is a great functional assessment of how they can learn and how they are working toward mastering preschool types of learning.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully our daughter "would not comply". Since she was adopted and severely delayed as a result will we have to have the testing when she is 9? That is only 2 years!