I read your article “Can a Child With an IEP Fail?” My son has LD and is in high school. He has an IEP, but the school has not evaluated him since 4th grade. He failed algebra and English, even though he had an instructional aide. I’ve questioned the school about the appropriateness and effectiveness of an IEP that allows a child to fail. I asked for an aide for summer school, but the school refused.
Your son had an aide this year. Despite having an aide, he failed English and algebra.
- How will an aide help your son pass English and algebra in summer school?
- What education and training are aides required to have?
- What is the difference between an aide an a highly qualified teacher?
Kids with learning disabilities have complex needs. They kids need teachers who are trained in effective, research based methods to teach skills like English and algebra.
How Will an Aide Meet Your Child’s Needs?
Providing an aide again is not the answer to your child’s problems. Your child needs to be taught by a skilled teacher, not an aide.
What evidence do you have that the aide is/was qualified to teach Algebra, higher math, and English? Why would a highly qualified person work as an aide when most schools can’t find enough highly qualified math teachers?
Get a Comprehensive Psycho-Educational Evaluation
You say the school has not evaluated your child since 4th grade. If the IEP team does not have current data, they don’t know where he is functioning, what his needs are, and what services he needs.
Your first step is to get a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation by an evaluator in the private sector who has expertise in learning disabilities.
Learn About Your Child’s Skills
It sounds like you and the school members of your child’ team don’t know what his skills are or what he needs in an educational program. You need to get a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation on your son ASAP. Get an evaluator in the private sector who is knowledgeable about specific learning disabilities. I advise you to contact the International Dyslexia Association at http://www.interdys.org.
That organization can provide you with contact information for evaluators in your area. After testing is complete, the evaluator needs to meet with the IEP team, and describe your son’s unique needs the educational program he needs, and what will happen if the school does not provide that program.
Revise the IEP
Your son needs a SMART IEP with goals that are specific, measurable, realistic and relevant, and time-specific.
Since the program and services provided in your child’s IEP is not meeting your son’s needs, you and the other members of his team need to revise the IEP. The team cannot develop an appropriate IEP until they have accurate information from a comprehensive evaluation.
Because my son has was doing so poorly, he changed to an occupational diploma and is now working toward an alternate curriculum.
IDEA requires schools to provide a free appropriate public education “designed to meet the child’s unique needs and prepare him for further education, employment and independent living.” Is the school providing him with a FAPE as described in the law? How will changing the curriculum and type of diploma meet his needs for the future?
It’s surprising that your son is hasn’t given up. He changed his diploma track because the school didn’t teach him the skills he needs to pursue a regular diploma.
Your son needs your help. Your first step is to get a comprehensive evaluation by an expert in the private sector who has expertise in reading and language problems. After that, you and the other members of the team need to develop an IEP that meets his unique needs.