Posts Tagged ‘IEP’

Podcast 15

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Talk to You Later: Notes to My Son, March 12 & 13, 2009

Podcast 13

Sunday, March 8th, 2009


To My Son: 3/8/09

Podcast Ten

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

img_3446To my Son: February 27, 28, 2009
Photo by S


Tuesday, February 24th, 2009


In answer to my question, What are the ingredients of a compelling autism blog, an important figure in that field listed three: news, science, and personal accounts. But as I approach my son’s first IEP (Friday) I wonder what good blogging or any kind of  writing does.  If you have an autistic kid, you’re hurting.  Period.  The impulse to spread the hurt around, to share it, may originate in the need to help others when the one you’d really like to help, but can’t, is yourself. What I should have asked this established blogger is, “What’s the point?” I’ve started this project (you can listen to it on my podcasts) where I drive around recording myself addressing my son. I got the idea from the novel Gilead in which a dying older father writes down his story for the future edification of a son who will never know him as an adult. I talk to my son as if as an adult he will want to hear the details of these early days of his autism: getting the diagnosis, searching for treatment, finding a lawyer. As if when he is older he’ll emerge from his autism and be able to understand. Will he? Perhaps. Will anyone benefit from this blog? I hope so.

Spider Monkeys

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Shaq and Kobe are the Big Legendaries. Could S be the Big Darwin? In this interesting article a Prof Michael Fitgerald diagnoses the famous shell/insect hoarder with Aspergers.

“Asperger’s syndrome gave Darwin the capacity to hyperfocus, the extra capacity for persistence, the enormous ability to see detail that other people missed, the endless energy for a lifetime dedication to a narrow task, and the independence of mind so critical to original research.”

Maybe my boom box/Hot Wheels hoarder will reach similar heights. Now if I can just get his initial IEP scheduled!  The district is beginning to resemble a diva hairdresser with no openings. “Let’s see…” (SFX: the flipping of appointment book pages) “Maybe March 12…  No, no. We’re busy then too.”

People! Get with it! Remember: you’ve got 60 days. Don’t be getting my advocate going. To paraphrase Texas (or Walker) Ranger in Talladega Nights: She’ll come at you like a Spider Monkey!

Podcast Seven

Sunday, February 8th, 2009


Regional Center, Lawyers, Public School, To my Son, Part II

Podcast Five

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Obama, IEP’s, Floortime, Fiction: Pull

Are Your Ducks in a Row?

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

I will talk about this in my next podcast, but meanwhile here is some good advice from on how to get ready for your child’s public school special education assessment:

When the school district advises you that an assessment will take place, write to the school asking for the qualifications of the assessor and ask that you participate in the assessment. The law requires that an assessor be qualified to make the assessment. Further, “any standardized tests” are to be “administrated by trained and knowledgeable personnel.” (20 USC Section 1414(b)(3)(B)(ii)). (See Sample Letters in the Letters Section of this web site.)

Check your state law for the time lines that are applicable to assessments. In California, for instance, the school has 15 days to give you a proposed assessment plan containing a notice of parents’ rights. Days between regular school sessions and school vacation days of more than 5 days are not counted. The school must complete the assessment completed within 50 days.

It is advisable to ask an autism expert which tests would be appropriate before the assessment begins. If the school fails or refuses to perform the appropriate assessments, does not have a qualified professional to make the assessment, or takes too long, see an attorney or advocate. Again, be sure to write the school before the assessment takes place and ask for the qualifications of the assessor.

And from, number 4 on the 10 most common IEP mistakes:

Requesting a related service instead of an assessment that supports the need for a related service.

Many times parents will request services such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. in the IEP meeting. Frequently the IEP committee will respond by stating that the student does not need the service. We recommend that parents do not request the service but request the assessment that supports the need for the related service. For example, instead of requesting speech for your child request a speech assessment.

Only a certified or licensed professional is qualified to determine if a  child needs or does not need a particular related service. As in #2, list the reasons why you think an assessment is educationally necessary for your child and submit your request to the IEP committee as part of the IEP minutes.