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COMMUNITY HELPLINE: Ask or Answer a Question Here

Welcome to the Community Helpline

If you would like to ask the Community a question, or if you have advice, an answer, or an experience to share, please post this in the comments section below.

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Please scroll through the questions. You’ll find helpful information from a variety of perspectives. If you have advice, please share.

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HELPLINE Archives: Find questions Asked and Answered on Topics A – K and Topics L – Z.

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175 Comments on "COMMUNITY HELPLINE: Ask or Answer a Question Here"

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11/29/2015 6:58 pm


I have a student who moved to our district from another PA district with a re-evaluation report due on the day he entered our school. He moved and started school on 11-16-15 with a RR that is due on 11-16-15 and an IEP that is due on 12-1-15. Has anyone have a situation like this.

11/28/2015 10:22 am


In 20 U.S.C 1414 (C) Procedures (i) (1) within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. DoDEA 2500.13-G Sept 2005 states School days. Since DoDEA falls under the Federal Government they should be following the 60 days not School days Right?

11/28/2015 6:10 am


Sped director told new IEP team “The district has an obligation to offer FAPE, the parents can THEN engage with the district in a discussion, agree, disagree, or make requests” District created new document. After we insisted that the district hold another meeting that would accommodate related services staff who could contribute to the creation of the document , the district begrudgingly held a meeting then created an amendment which refuted their final offer of FAPE. After signing the amendment, the district says that their offer is… Read more »

11/24/2015 9:26 pm


We lived in one District and then moved to a neighboring District. My child has always had an IEP. She did well at the prior District but has been bullied in school in the new District and refuses to go to school. She has been diagnosed with PTSD. The new District CST refused to put in the IEP that she should return to her prior District although their psychiatrist said she should go back there. I filed for mediation because the District wants to classify her now as emotionally disturbed when she was… Read more »

11/24/2015 3:20 pm


Last week I received the conference announcement with the people listed who would attend our IEP. At yesterdays meeting, there was a district sped teacher there to assist in writing the IEP, though she has never taught my son. (I shared my concerns about the draft IEP goal/objectives and how they were written with his sped teacher via email) What responsibility does the school have to inform me of last minute attendees to my meeting, especially when they do not have a professional relationship with him.

11/24/2015 11:12 am


My son (18) is still in HS as a post grad. Recently, bus is dropping him off at home and immediately driving off whether or not our garage is open. Transportation and IEP Team say that he is either fully independent and they are allowed to drop him off and leave immediately, or someone always needs to meet him at the bus. We will not always be available to meet the bus. He can use a code to enter, if garage is closed, and then call me. The wait will be less than 30 sec. What responsibility… Read more »

11/24/2015 10:39 am


My son is a motor impaired child (classified OHI) receives OT and PT services as well as Vision consult this year. The OT and PT are contracted through the school district and are NEVER available for meetings (including CSE meetings). Do I have the right to meet with them as a team to ensure my sons needs are being met in the classroom?

11/23/2015 11:24 pm


My school has not hired a permanent second grade Special Education teacher for the 2015-16. The eight special education students in second grade have a long term substitute teacher (who is not certified as a teacher).

I have been asked to write the IEP for one of the student’s who’s IEP is currently up for review. I don’t provided any instructions to either of the students so all their data comes from the regular education teacher and long term substitute special education teacher.

As a certified teacher, I don’t feel comfortable signing off on an… Read more »

11/23/2015 9:47 pm


My twins IEP states each one should get 2 30 min sessions in the class and 2 30 min sessions outside the class-however they combine both of them and do it together so instead of one getting 2 30 min sessions they share it so its like they each get 15 min of a session… is this legal- thank you

11/25/2015 3:00 pm

Unless the IEP says that they will be served by themselves this would be “legal”.

11/25/2015 1:52 pm

Laura –

Is this legal? Probably. Do the IEPs state that the sessions will be one-on-one? If not, it’s perfectly legal for the school to include two (or more) students in the session.

Under IDEA, IEPs are required to list the frequency, location, and duration of services. They’re not required to – and often don’t – list the grouping size (unless state law specifies to). Parents assume that sessions are on-on-one, when frequently they’re not.

Let’s move beyond the question of legal, though. You worry that your children are not getting the attention they need. Why not explore this further?

11/25/2015 1:52 pm

You can ask the service provider about what he/she works on in the sessions with your children, and how he/she makes sure that each child is adequately served. You can arrange to observe a session or two. You can look at the goal(s) attached to the service to determine if progress is being made.

If you’re still worried your children are being shortchanged after all that, bring your concerns up with the Team. Ask for (or seek out) an evaluation in that area if needed.

11/23/2015 2:14 am


I have joint legal custody with my ex. Recently we haven’t agreed on the placement of our 2nd grade daughter. She was in SDC until this year when she was mainstreamed. She doesn’t have an aide yet in the classroom. We just met for a conference and she’s above benchmark on 12 of her 13 academic goals. Teacher and RSP said they want us to consider a blended program at another school! Ex agreed with them and undermined all we had previously agreed to. I’m nervous they want to move her to another school for SDC… Read more »

11/23/2015 12:29 pm

You need to learn your state education laws/rules regarding joint custody. Check the state education agency’s website. Your state Parent Training & Information Center can assist you. You could also google something like joint custody & making sp ed decisions in (X state).

11/20/2015 9:23 pm


My child is 7 and still has the DD label. We are up for re-evaluation (in Virginia). She has come so far in the last 2 years but clearly needs continued services and everyone agrees. However, we have had battles with (not great) teachers about her placement who have tried to use the indication of an intellectual disability and the fact that our school has an ID program as a reason to place her in that classroom. I am terrified for the re-evaluation that she will get the ID label and people will, incorrectly, view it as… Read more »

11/20/2015 3:47 pm


my son had an IEP for the last 2 years. They terminated it in may stating he didnt need it bc he was doing so well. They knew I was sending him to a private school and didnt tell me that there is no IEP available there. in aug i got nervous about losing the iep..i contacted the Spec. Ed. Dir. and asked to get son placed back on it, he said that was not possible. A month later the school kicked him out. i have been begging to get him back on… Read more »

11/20/2015 3:27 pm


Is there a regulation about # of days before a re-eval meeting District needs to provide copy of evaluation report to parents so they can participate in a fully informed manner? I’ve read two days but not sure of source. Do parents have to ask for the report in order to receive it before the meeting? Thank you!

11/21/2015 11:40 am

Chris –

This is something that is set by individual state laws.

I’m in Massachusetts, and here it’s two school days before the Team meeting and parents have to ask for the report. In other states, the rule is 10 days at the copies are automatic. There are other states where there is no parent guarantee to copies before the meeting.

I encourage you to check with your local parent center ( They can answer this specific question, and may also be able to provide you with other resources (guides, training, etc.) to help you understand the special education process in your state.

11/24/2015 8:06 pm

thanks a bunch!

11/23/2015 9:06 am

I want to add…

If there is no specific time line for evaluation reports before Team meetings, your state’s student records law may offer some guidance.

11/20/2015 9:01 am


when an EC child bites, kicks, scratches, gouges with fingernails, what rights does our child have vs the rights of the offending child? what role in the school hierarchy would be responsible for observing violent behavior and recommending a course of action for that child and for that classroom?

11/20/2015 3:20 pm

Campus, & district administrative staff have a responsibility for observing, or causing observation & a plan of action to occur. Typically courts say that students have no guarantee of safety at school, but this may be different in your state. Check with your state or Parent training & information center,

11/19/2015 11:59 pm


Student that is in a functional setting all day and has bus services due to his disability is reduced to 1/2 day due to behaviors. Is the district required to provide bus service? Or is it the parent’s responsibility?

11/21/2015 11:33 am

Denny –

Is this the student’s “home school”? Many states require that districts provide transportation to any student who is placed by an IEP at a school that is not the one they would attend if not disabled. I encourage you to check if this applies in your state. Your local parent center can help (

If your state does not have such a rule, the student may still be eligible for transportation as a related service. This determination is made on an individual basis by the student’s IEP Team. Transportation is generally considered to have a lower need threshold than services… Read more »

11/21/2015 11:25 am

Aside from the transportation issue, I agree with Chuck that the school should be focusing on getting this student back in school.

Is the parent in agreement that a half-day is appropriate? If not, the school is likely violating the discipline procedures of IDEA (§300.503). Missed half days count for meeting the 10-day requirement.

If yes, the Team should still be working on a reentry plan for this student that includes behavioral and other needed supports and possibly providing at-home tutoring or services. This student is missing a lot by being out half the day.

11/20/2015 3:23 pm

Yes, if this is a program involving a public school. The school should be taking actions to return the student to a full day program asap.

Mary Jo
11/19/2015 8:45 pm


The school is writing first IEP for 12-yr old student. School wants to include change of placement in this initial IEP – to a school in a different district. Is the decision made by majority vote if the parents do not agree with this? Student has had recent psych hospitalizations but has never presented a behavioral problem or reason to discipline at school. I read somewhere that for implementation of placement change in initial IEP, parents must agree.

11/20/2015 3:26 pm

Parent consent is required for initial placement, even though they gave consent for evaluation. You may want to contact the state Parent Training & Information Center in dealing with this situation.

11/19/2015 3:00 pm


Our Autistic Daughter has long history of running/escape. There was a substitute one-on-one aide with her the day of incident. The substitute aide was not able to “catch” her-Daughter was found 7miles & hours later by the police. How can we hold them responsible for their negligence-thank you

11/21/2015 10:15 am

My son is also a runner, I know it can be really tough. I’ll bet that the school wants this to reoccur just as much as you do (which is to say, they don’t). I encourage you to look at them as your partner in trying to address this, rather than an enemy to hold responsible. Ask for a meeting to address this incidence, and come at it with multi-faceted response to prevent it from reoccurring.

The number one thing you and the school should be working on is behavior, and not just the running. You need a consistent approach to… Read more »

11/21/2015 10:14 am

For him, this is sitting on the ground with his arms around his knees. We practice this pose all the time, and use it whenever excitement/anger/etc. starts to bubble up. It really helps bring him back down.

This approach may not work for you, but I do suggest that you find a strategy that is holistic, easy to implement, and that can be used consistently in many environments.

Another thing to work on is building a safety plan, for when she does run. Look at what areas she spends most of her time in, know where the exits are, which ones can… Read more »

11/21/2015 10:13 am

And finally, prepare for crisis. What will you do if she does run away again? I suggest sharing info about her (including a photo) with first responders before anything happens. Take her to meet them, if possible. Many communities have programs to help facilitate this.

Consider getting a tracking device, to help her be found more quickly. We have one through Project Lifesaver/Lojack that emits a radio signal, and police in our area are trained to track it. We’ve used it twice in eight years. It’s no substitute for behavioral strategies, but it does give some peace of mind.

This website is… Read more »

11/20/2015 1:52 pm

Substitute paras are becoming more common through temp agencies. In your case, the regular para may have been out and another in school para served as a sub. This is a good time to collaborate with the school to develop a better plan for your daughter and perhaps a more appropriate placement. As a para, I found it very difficult to work with “runners.” I think it takes a specially trained person who works with a behavioral consultant and knowledgeable administrators. It is not easy.

I did see wonderful workers manage and work with these students. Most were behavioral… Read more »

11/19/2015 1:09 pm


Help me to understand that in a Section 504 plan, how is having a student placed in a co-taught classroom as an accommodation a service driven by an IEP goal. This service has been provided to the student with an IEP, now moving forward the district is fighting it. Thanks

M. Raborn
11/19/2015 1:07 pm


Does SPED private day placement have ability to withhold senior student’s official transcript for conduct violation that occurred during school year? (Student broke school van window, school requested money be paid to school for property destruction, but there was no police or court involvement, no court order requiring restitution/compensation be paid to school by student)

11/20/2015 3:29 pm

This would be governed by your state law. Check with your state education agency or Parent Training & Information Center,

11/18/2015 6:16 pm


I have never encountered this…. We met as an IEP team and decided to hold a student back in the 8th grade pending an independent assessment. The child’s placement was to remain unchanged until we learned more. I just found out the school has NOT been taking her attendance but has had the high school do so, and has NOT been grading her work. The teacher has simply been informally assessing progress toward goal. Is this even legal??

11/18/2015 4:17 pm


I’ve requested a formal evaluation from the school for my son’s ADHD. The school wrote back and stated that we will have a Child Study Committee meeting within 10 days. What should be my next preparatory step? Thank You!

11/19/2015 2:59 pm

I also suggest you give yourself a crash course in the special education process. Check out the website of your state’s Dept of Education. See what resources they have available for parents and educators.

Also locate your local parent center ( Visit their website and check out what they have for resources. If they have an online training, check that out. If they have an in-person training, even better. Figure out how to contact them if you need info or support.

Especially pay attention to your evaluation rights. What happens if the school decides to evaluate? What time lines apply? What happens… Read more »

11/19/2015 2:54 pm

Joy –

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to make a list of all the areas where you see your son struggle. Include areas related to the ADHD (attention skills, executive functioning, etc.), plus any that may be unique to him. Does he struggle with reading comprehension, have issues with fine motor skills, need assistve technology, etc.?

Your son should be evaluated in all areas of his suspected disability. The school will provide you with a list of the areas they plan to evaluate. When you get this list, compare it against your own list to make sure all your areas… Read more »

11/19/2015 2:08 pm

Gather data regarding his academic performance on the course/grade standards. Grades are one item, but do not always reflect level of mastery. Collect & ask for any data reflecting mastery of grade level standards. Also have data on behavioral & social issues that your child might have.

11/18/2015 11:12 am


Our daughters teacher is on an indefinite leave. Currently, teacher interim is a certified elementary Ed teacher and ” in the process of entering the special Ed program” at a university. Is this legal? We are in Michigan. Thank you.

11/18/2015 1:32 pm

This depends on your state regulations. This maybe on their website, or you may need to contact them. The district should have policy that addresses this.

11/18/2015 3:38 am


I know that Eunice Shriver initiated Special Olympics and also worked as an advocate for disabled rights. I am suppose to mirror a past advocate who has made a difference with a current advocate who is working on the same types of things as she did. After looking tirelessly I was unable to find this out. Is there any one person that stands out? I know there are many organizations but if we had to name a childs advocate for disabled rights in todays world who would it be?

11/18/2015 1:36 pm

I believe Pete Wright meets this definition. Also Pam Wright.

11/18/2015 1:50 am


My son is 8. We easily got a 504 plan in place last school year for anxiety & ADHD- more recently he was diagnosed w/ dysgraphia, and tested as gifted. Should he have an IEP? I was told by his school there was not enough supporting evidence to include the writing disability in his current 504 plan.

11/18/2015 2:16 pm

Richelle –

What info did the school use to decide not to include dysgraphia in the 504 plan? Did they assess your son in this area, or did they simply rely on evidence provided by you?

To be eligible for an IEP, a student must have a need for specially designed instruction (i.e. modifications). This is a higher standard than for a 504 plan, where students must only have a need for accommodations and/or related services.

If the school DID assess for dysgraphia, asking for an evaluation for special education eligibility will not likely do much good. You can ask for a due… Read more »

11/18/2015 3:27 pm

Thank you for responding. We had an outside psych. evaluation done, and the report was very detailed – plus notes from previous year teacher and my option which all indicated he needed accommodations for writing. At the time of the meeting his current teacher of only 2weeks stated he was doing fine -And that is what they sided with, and I was beside myself.

11/18/2015 5:03 pm

Well, you can accept things as they are (sounds like this is not your top option)!

You could request a due process hearing under Section 504, to dispute the appropriateness of the current plan. The school should give you info on how to do this (it varies widely by location).

Or you could request an initial evaluation for special education eligibility. The school could refuse – and you could request a hearing. The school could conduct it and find him ineligible – and you could request an independent evaluation and/or hearing. Or they could find him eligible and it’s on to… Read more »

11/18/2015 2:15 pm

If the school did not assess, you have a few more options. If you think a 504 plan will meet his needs, you can ask that they assess his need for dysgraphia-related supports.

If you think he needs more support than a 504 plan will provide, ask for the special education evaluation. This route provides you with more procedural protections. You will still have a right to a due process hearing, but also have the right to publicly-funded independent evaluations and parental participation in plan development.

If you’re not sure which way to go, ask for the special education evaluation. Again, this… Read more »

11/18/2015 3:29 pm

Thank you so much, that is very helpful!!

11/17/2015 10:36 pm


My daughter’s new school says an IQ test is required by law and if they don’t administer one they cannot modify her general ed curriculum anymore. My daughter is 12 and has Down syndrome. She reads almost at grade level and writes well. I am afraid the test will not reflect her abilities and they will base too many decisions on the results since they don’t know her very well. I DO NOT want her IQ test on file so she will be labeled her entire life. What can… Read more »

11/18/2015 1:52 pm

Ask them about the basis for their statement. The federal criteria for intellectual disability includes measurement of intellectual functioning. Research what your state rules say on the criteria for this & the general evaluation process. Federal rules talk about using tests that assess cognitive, academic & behavioral factors, but a school must use more than an IQ test. (300.304)

11/21/2015 11:52 pm


Would they be able to substitute other cognitive assessments for the IQ test,leaving that one out completely, and still be able to make a determination of Intellectual disability?

11/23/2015 2:02 pm

Cathy –

Yes and no.

The yes… the school can conductive an assessment of your daughter’s adaptive behavior. This type of assessment is broad and may cover such areas as communication, motor skills, social skills, self care/ADLs, and/or functional academics. Instead of an IQ, you are usually given a score that corresponds to an age equivalency.

In school settings, adaptive behavioral assessments are often used for children with limited communication skills. They are also being used more and more for children with any type of disability, as they near transition age. They are great for helping to create the IEP – the evaluator… Read more »

11/23/2015 2:02 pm

The no… as Chuck noted, your state’s definition of Intellectual Impairment may focus on student IQ. This may be the requirement the school is referring to. Many states actually use a two-prong test for this disability category – students must have deficiencies with cognition (i.e. IQ) and with adaptive behavior.

Here’s a question, does the school want the IQ testing to help determine your child’s disability category? Are you okay with intellectual impairment being her disability category? If yes, then press the school to use assessment tools that take into account her specific challenges. There are also assessment tools to measure… Read more »

11/23/2015 1:59 pm

If not, perhaps look at another category. The disability category is supposed to reflect the predominant “disability,” the one that has the greatest impact on the student’s learning.

Down syndrome is a medical diagnosis that can potentially impact your child’s education in a variety of ways. So what’s your child’s greatest challenge? Motor skills? Maybe physical impairment would be a better category. Communication? Maybe communication impairment would be the best category.

I think you will find it impossible to completely avoid your child being labeled as having cognitive impairments, if she does in fact have them. But I do understand wanting to… Read more »

11/18/2015 7:54 am

Cathy –

IDEA does not require IQ testing. In fact, IDEA says that your child’s evaluation cannot consist solely of an IQ test. Your state special education law may require IQ testing, but I doubt it.

One way to find out what “law” the school is referring to is to ask them for a copy of it! When they are unable to show you this law, perhaps you can suggest that they conduct other assessments that will offer more useful information. If they need to modify her curriculum, wouldn’t it be helpful to have info about her functioning in different skills areas… Read more »

11/17/2015 10:05 pm


Hi. My son is on a certificate path . He is in 9th grade when i got his report nothing was on it.
It was totally blank.
Does the school still have to record progress on his report card ?
Thank you

11/18/2015 8:58 am

Sue –

The school is required to provide you with a report card that is at least as informative as those for students without disabilities. If other student’s reports cards are not blank, then your child’s report card should not be blank either.

If your child is working with a modified curriculum (I assume that’s what a “certificate path” is), his grading will likely also be modified. How he is graded should be addressed by the IEP Team and incorporated into his IEP. And the report card should be a reflection of this.

I encourage you to speak to the Team chair about… Read more »

11/18/2015 8:58 am

This Q&A from OCR addresses grading practices and report cards for students with disabilities: Although it does not specifically address your situation, it may be helpful for you (and the Team).

11/17/2015 7:50 pm


If a student has 150mpw for independent functioning and the same student 150mpw for math can I work on the independent functioning minutes while I am providind providing the math minutes? Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you

11/17/2015 7:40 pm


just moved to new state (NC) and my son is went into hospital after only being in school a couple of weeks. He is in hospital to stablize his meds. He is autistic, plus ADHD and all the other apraxia, exp/rec lang delay. He was intially going to school for only 1 hr, then next mtg to determine if doing good. Went to two hours, then was supposed to have IEP mtg yesterday to discuss if he gets to go for full day or not. Based on data. At IEP mtg… Read more »

11/18/2015 9:27 am

Karen –

Parent consent rules vary state to state. In some states, the IEP cannot be changed without parent consent. In other states, parent input is needed to change the IEP but parent consent is not. It appears that NC is in the later. First thing I suggest you do is contact your local parent center ( to confirm what your rights are.

Even if the the district can change the IEP, you still have options. First, you can state that you disagree with the change in speech services and ask for “stay put.” This means that your child will continue to… Read more »

11/18/2015 9:26 am

Some states interpret this rule as meaning services in disagreement are only provided during specific dispute resolution processes (like mediation or a due process hearing). Again, check with your parent center to know what applies where you are.

You can also ask that the school conduct a speech evaluation, if one hasn’t been done recently (as well as any other areas that may be in disagreement or where your child’s needs are not clear). It’s best practice for the school to have updated evaluation information before they propose a substantial change in services. If the school has recently tested, you may… Read more »

11/17/2015 6:23 pm


My daughter reads on a K level in 3rd grade. Her school says she has to be taught using 3rd grade materials so she has access to the curriculum. She is in full time VE and her goals are more appropriate, but I don’t understand this. She is miserable and becoming a behavior problem. Help!

11/18/2015 2:06 pm

The state may put some extra responsibility on schools for working with struggling readers. (Our state does.) The federal Dept. of Education just issued a letter on this topic. It includes information & resources that you may want to share it with your school. You can also get information & support from your Parent Training & Information Center.

11/17/2015 1:24 pm


My son is a high functioning autistic freshmen in HS – currently placed out of district in Yonkers NY- and is interested in partaking in a variety of activities offered at this new district. The district says they do not have to pay for his busing nor are they willing to amend his IEP to include it as a related service. Is this legal?

11/17/2015 2:57 pm

I suggest that you check with your state Parent Training & Information Center.

11/17/2015 9:00 pm

Thank you Chuck! I will definitely contact them.

11/17/2015 11:04 am


In my area most schools use some sort of “model”, “methodology” or “system” (usually purchased from a publishing company or downloaded directly from the state, itself). The schools claim these are research based methods that have been proven to work for students. Where is the research that states that all students can be successfully educated through the same means?

11/17/2015 3:05 pm

Research may exist, but finding it, is not always easy. Sometimes it can be found on the programs website. There are independent websites that have info on some programs. Check and

11/18/2015 9:54 am

Thank you.

11/17/2015 5:16 am


Issues: 1) Just had daughter’s IEP (4th grade) & no inclusion goal because principal said daughter has to be supervised 24/7 due to incident with a gen ed child. Daughter’s in a contained classroom. Teacher said they don’t have the resources for inclusion goal because she has to be supervised. 2) Has had same reading goal on 4 IEPs – 25 site words (still only at 7). Teacher/IEP not clear how that is to change. 3) No social skills goals even though she has autism. 4) No Agency representative at last 2 IEP meetings & not asked to… Read more »

11/18/2015 2:46 pm

Debbie –

This sounds like a tough situation.

To address the issues with the meetings, you may want to ask for a team meeting facilitation (if available in your state). This is when a neutral third person directs the meeting, keep people on task, and helps resolve disputes that come up during it. If the school agrees to participate, I think you’ll find that everyone who needs to will show up and be on their best behavior!

Regarding the deficiencies with the IEP, I suggest a good evaluation that will bring some clarity to your daughter’s needs. Arrange for a private evaluation if… Read more »

11/18/2015 2:45 pm

If you cannot obtain a private evaluation, getting updated evaluations from the school is certainly better than none. Utilize your right to publicly-funded independent evaluations if need be.

Once you have the evaluation results in hand, you should be in a better place to advocate for your daughter’s needs within the Team.

If there are still areas of contention, pick the areas that are most meaningful to you – preferably the ones with the most supporting evidence. Then be prepared to advocate, advocate, advocate. “From Emotions to Advocacy” provides a great blueprint for this.

11/16/2015 9:59 pm


My 5th Grader was suspended from 1 day of school after losing a game and in a moment of anger, threatening to shoot the leader of the winning group. The school says he was suspended for “assault,” which includes threats to others. My son has health impairments including cerebral palsy, ADHD, anxiety and impulsivity. I’m concerned the punishment is too severe, particularly in light of his disability. Should we consider appealing the suspension in light of his IEP? Or will that run the risk of him being placed in an alternative setting? … Read more »

11/18/2015 3:58 pm

Sammi –

Child-on-child gun violence is unfortunately a very real thing these days. You may know your child was just angry and has no access to guns, but others (school staff, classmates, the police) may not know. It’s reasonable to expect that the school will take a tough stance on this. And to a certain extend, they can discipline students with disabilities the same as non-disabled students.

I can’t say whether you should appeal the suspension, but I do suggest that you move to prevent this from happening in the future. I encourage you to meet with the school to discuss the… Read more »

11/18/2015 3:58 pm

Normally with behavioral issues, a functional behavioral assessment (fba) is conducted. This is used to determine the root of the behavior. In your situation it’s kind of figured out – your son lost, got angry, and made threats. You can still request an FBA be conducted, though, if there is a potential for other behavioral challenges in other types of situation.

You may also want to ask for a behavioral intervention plan (bip). This is typically developed after an fba is conducted and outlines what will happen to prevent behavior beforehand, what will happen if your child is in the situation… Read more »

11/18/2015 3:57 pm

In your son’s situation, the bip may include pre-strategies like talking to your son about winning and losing beforehand, peri-strategies like your son using a rehearsed phrase if he loses to help diffuse tension, fall-back strategies like him being able to take some private time, and post-strategies like the teacher talking to him about what happened and what could be done differently next time. BIPs sometimes also include alternative discipline.

You may also want to request that the school assess your son’s socially and pragmatic language skills. You and I know it’s socially unacceptable to say what your son said, but… Read more »

11/16/2015 9:52 pm


I am a freshman student at a community college with asperger syndrome. I was confronted and questioned by my accounting professor that my project was good, “in fact too good”. He insinuated I must have had help from someone. Help is encouraged by way of a writing and math center. However he believed I received 80 percent help from someone else therefore he is telling me I must redo the project. I’m insulted by the assumption I could not be doing my own work. What should I do?

11/18/2015 9:53 am

Donna –

I can see why the professor’s assumptions would be insulting. I suggest that you contact someone from your college’s office of student services or the 504/ADA coordinator, to enlist their assistance.

I think that this professor (and others) would benefit from knowing more about your disability, and how it specifically impacts your school work. The coordinator can likely help you navigate this specific situation, as well as help you craft something to present to this teacher.

11/16/2015 9:14 pm


I am fighting the IEP team that using the AI room for aggressive, imminent danger to himelf or others, or taking my child there after restrain is not ok to use as the Calm room, and he can walk in as he wants. They are different requirements by School Code for a use of AI and a break/calm room. They would not listen, even showing the Law..what do I do

11/16/2015 9:11 pm


The team would not listen to my suggestions, asked them to include them in IEP documents, they make note either twisting what I said or not writing it down. I have been writing letters, requests…requesting meetings until they hear me out…what do I do?

11/16/2015 8:22 pm


My daughter would like to do a 5th year but it is very important for her to walk with her graduating class. she has IEP, for LD,DYSLEXIA,Anixety. any idea to convince the school board to allow this,she could have all her credits but holding back due to state law to be able to do 5 years to finish vocational school Thanks ,Janet

11/17/2015 11:27 am

Check your district & state rules on graduation to see if they allow or prohibit this. TX has allowed this for a number of years. Your state Parent Information & Training Center can help you with this.

11/16/2015 2:42 pm


LEA failed to identify dyslexia & AD/HD until fifth grade. Student received pull-out interventions in core areas from 1st-5th and parent child find failed. LEA is requesting MTA program for student before school hours due to demand and full classes. Parent feels obligated, but LEA should meet needs during reg school hours?

11/17/2015 11:21 am

Yes they should. Since other students are receiving this service during school hours, this seems to add a discrimination issue to this situation.

11/15/2015 7:13 pm


My daughter’s IEP for decoding and encoding is a year old. The school has refused to adopt Orton Gillingham based instruction for her pull out to special ed. We tried the push in model as classroom help. the spec ed says they will take her IEP away of she does not meet with spec ed. Is there a way to write the new IEP goals so that they can me evaluated by her teachers for the classroom goals?

Sharon L.
11/16/2015 5:40 pm

Vanessa, I understand that the school does not have to add names of programs to the IEP however they can add a list of what Orton Gillingham will do for the child. In other words we wanted to have items added to the IEP that met Alphabetic Phonics for our son and the school would not put the name of the program but were willing to put the objectives of that program.

11/16/2015 3:57 pm

Vanessa –

The school cannot “take the IEP away” without first re-evaluating your daughter. I hope that protection gives you some peace of mind!

I suggest that you to beat them to the chase, and have her reevaluated now. You want an updated IEP and goals that will better meet her needs. Evaluation is your best bet for getting that. A quality evaluation should give both you and the school a clear idea of what her needs are and how to best educate her.

If you can obtain an outside evaluation, I would encourage you to go that route. If not, an evaluation… Read more »

11/15/2015 6:48 pm


I have son in the 6th grade with an IEP. He started the year on a provisional but now the school is placing him back in 5th. His IEP has not been followed at all and the school is not denying it. Two weeks ago they placed temporary supports for him and he has nothing but A’s and B’s since. His work is either A, B or F. He’s more than capable he just needs his “time outs” and a couple of other accommodations he has not been receiving. He suffers from ADD, Anxiety and PTSD. His therapist… Read more »