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Arien
Arien asks:
Q:

Are there laws to encourage preschools to help with special ed students?

My stepson is attending a Pre-K program in a public school. He is in process of getting tested for Special Ed. He has been having behavior problems at school, and the school just wants us to medicate him. We are currently trying out meddication, but don't want to keep him on it. We have a meeting Friday to discuss a behavior plan. The school will not try any reasonable modifications to the classroom, even though we have sent PEC symbols. Does anyone know where I can find specific laws pertaining to this situation? I would like to have the info on hand on Friday
Thanks
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Special needs
> 60 days ago

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lkauffman
lkauffman writes:
Hi Arien,<br />
<br />
Per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), your son is entitled to a &quot;free and appropriate education&quot; FAPE. This means that the school district is required to take the appropriate steps to ensure that your child is able to access the public school curriculum. This might mean in-class accommodations (e.g., behavior plans, preferential seat placement, etc), pull-out services and therapies, or as a last resort, out of school placement. It is very important that you do some research before the meeting on Friday to prepare yourself with information in order to respond to proposed recommendations and accommodations from the school.<br />
<br />
Read on for a bunch of articles on navigating the special education maze:<br />
http://www.education.com/reference/topic/SpecialNeeds_SpecialEd/<br />
<br />
Also, it is very important that you understand that you DO NOT need to sign anything at the conclusion of the meeting. If you are unsatisfied with the recommendations and proposed accommodations, you can delay signing in order to consider your options.<br />
<br />
Let us know how the meeting goes!<br />
> 60 days ago

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lkauffman
lkauffman writes:
Hi Arien,<br />
<br />
As you understand it, is the purpose of Friday's meeting to review the results of testing to determine if he qualifies for special education? If so, and if he qualifies, an IEP will be drawn up including accommodations that the school is legally obligated to fulfill. If the testing reveals that he does not qualify for special education, you are still eligible for a Section 504 Accommodations Plan. A 504 plan includes accommodations for the classroom, but there is less legal punch behind it. Therefore, if the school or teacher fails to implement some of the accommodations on a consistent basis, you have little legal recourse. That said, the school and teacher will make efforts to carry out the plan as drafted. At the minimum, you should request a 504 plan.<br />
> 60 days ago

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michaelbartone
michaelbart... writes:
I agree with Laura that going the 504 plan route is best. As a former teacher I have been in many of these meetings. Depending on the district and school these things, a<br />
> 60 days ago

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ilovechefwilliam
ilovechefwi... , Teacher, Caregiver writes:
The above answers are great.  Has the school recommended medication?  I know that is a big no for us.  As a school we can not tell a student to take medication.  You have already sent PEC symbols, has he been tested before?  Does he have any background in special ed?  Just as everyone said, if you don't agree with what was said in the meeting, don't sign.  Not only does your son get a Free and Appropriate Education, but he also gets an education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)  Good Luck!
> 60 days ago

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ECSEProcessCoordinator
ECSEProcess... writes:
In order to have a 504, there needs to be a medical diagnosis that would affect the 5 major functions of life.

It is true, it is completely out of line for the school district to recommend or encourage you to medicate your child.  But something to consider: a medical diagnosis may shed some light on the needs.  ADHD vs. PTSD vs. ODD etc., all of which cannot be determined by your district, but could provide helpful information.  Remember, just because you go to medical support for answers - and even if they subscribe meds - doesn't mean you have to GET the meds.  Go for the diagnosis.  The school district can only conclude one of the 13 eligibility criteria under IDEA.  They can't conclude all the other medical dx's.  

In my opinion, it's not enough to say he has "behavior problems".  Is there an emotional disturbance, lack of communication skills that result in tantrums/frustration; sensory needs (which is usually the case that people don't notice); oppositional defiance; social delays; or possible autism?  I don't think it's enough to come to the table to say that there are behavior problems; that is a very broad term.  

In addition, a behavior plan is no good.  Until there is an FBA: Functional Behavior Assessment to determine the FUNCTION of the behaviors and where they are stemming from.  Then your BIP (Beh. Interv. Plan) will be more successful.  

Specifically request a school psychologist to be on your team.  They will have the MOST knowledge and can facilitate the team to writing an FBA and BIP.  

One more thing to add:  "behavior" is the hardest thing to determine eligibility under IDEA.  Unless there is an "emotional disturbance" or a form of "autism".  A child with a conduct disorder is NOT eligible under IDEA.  However, behavior concerns that are a result of an emotional disturbance - depression, anxiety or psychosis of some kind are more likely to qualify.  These are very difficult to conclude with a PK'er.  Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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