Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ready.

It's done. All of the evaluations are finished, all of the reports are in. The unanimous conclusion is the Goofy Child has ADHD- Combined Type, severe.

ADHD is the reason for his executive function deficits. ADHD is the reason for his less than appropriate social skills. ADHD is the reason for his adaptive functioning troubles. ADHD is the reason for his sensory processing impairment. ADHD is the reason for his auditory processing difficulty.

ADHD falls under Other Health Impairment, a class of diagnoses listed under IDEA's 13 qualifying disabilities.

The only thing that was not really addressed in these evaluations was handwriting. Not so much handwriting as in sloppy handwriting but as in "Goofy tends to hold a pencil with a three finger grasp. He holds the pencil very tight and handwriting is labored." "handwriting skills are poor. He has concerns with legibility due to the following concerns: lack of ability, staying on the line, poor sizing of letters, and spacing of words. When observed copying a sentence, Goofy demonstrated a great deal of letter reversals." Which, that doesn't even count because it's from the occupational therapist. Last year's school occupational therapist had plenty of concerns like, "this can cause difficulty with reading." and "this can affect academic tasks." and "the results of this evaluation indicate that Goofy's sensory/motor skills do appear to impact his academic performance and/or classroom participation in the educational setting." but that didn't matter at all because without an educational diagnosis, he doesn't qualify for SSD services.

 
 
This chart kind of confuses me on that. Related services are listed under consideration for an IEP and a 504. Does this mean that he can get OT under his 504? There is a documented need for a related service- OT- since October of last year. Does that mean that in ignoring the evaluation because he did not qualify for an IEP, they denied him FAPE? 

If he's getting remedial reading through school, if he's already in a social skills group, if he's getting RTI, if he can get OT under his 504... Does he still need an IEP? If he qualifies for all of this under 504... why would he not qualify for an IEP?  IDEA offers greater protection than Section 504.

This might be where an advocate comes in handy. I'm trying to decide if I should continue the path I'm on to getting an IEP or alter my course to build up his 504. I've been thinking about someone I can talk to, someone to bounce my thoughts off of, someone who knows what they're talking about, and to get real, unbiased advice. There's no one in the Goofy Child's school, and Alex's school doesn't know my Goofy One. I have three books on my Christmas wish list (I strongly suggest you ask Santa for them, yourselves)-

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Second Edition
Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide

but I'm not sure Santa's going to be bringing them to me, I'm not sure they'd help with this part, I'm not sure I have the time to wait- or if it's worth the wait, and it took me a full month to find out that Jack did not die in that gas station parking lot after being shot multiple times and I have no clue what Eduardo sees in the forest yet. (Dean Koontz, Winter Moon)

What I need to do is check his academic performance and how his current 504 is meeting his needs and what gaps are left to fill so I e-mailed his teacher asking for a conference. His teacher is great, have I mentioned that?  She is. She seems to be doing the same thing I am- floundering around, searching out ideas on her own. I don't know how she's not burned out and pissed off but she's all, like, not Mary Poppins, she's sweeter than that and more... cheerful. I fully expect a heavenly light to shine down on her head as wings pop out and angels sing. ...in a good way. She's genuine. I like that. Goofy could use some sunshine in his days. He's in the same place he has been... writing is a concern, he's making progress in reading- baby steps, math is his strength. I keep coming back to the reading and writing. He needs help.

Here's the worst that can happen... I request evaluation, he doesn't qualify for SSD services yet, we expand his 504, and try again next year. The best... he gets an IEP and gets more help. More 1:1 or small group time, more targeted interventions, specific goals and benchmarks to meet those goals, the same accommodations and modifications that are in his 504, more and more seriously protected rights, and related services- including OT. So, if he has a diagnosis that qualifies him for IDEA protection and that disability has a negative impact on his educational performance... to not have him evaluated would be foolish.

Alright, then. *cracks knuckles*
 
 


"It's going down,
I'm yelling timber
You better move,
you better dance"
 
(Man, I hate that song but the girl loves it.
Misery loves company, you're welcome.)
 
Ready?
 

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