My child entered special ed with autism / ADHD classifications. Now the school wants to remove the primary diagnosis of autism from the IEP – to focus on the ADHD. Why?
If there is documentation from your doctors that your child has autism along with the ADHD, it should not be ignored.
- What documentation or data does the school have to justify this decision?
- Is your child’s autism no longer impacting his ability to learn?
- Are there no behaviors that are impeding learning?
I understand that once a child is found eligible, services must be designed to meet their unique needs, and that the designation is not supposed to matter.
IDEA requires that the school assess your child in all areas of suspected disability so the IEP Team can develop a program and services designed to meet his unique needs. (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 20 U.S.C. 1414(b) p. 96 and 34 CFR 300.304, p. 241)
If the school will not acknowledge a learning disability, they will not provide services for the learning disability.
Individualizing Your Child’s Program
There is NO justification for limiting eligibility categories.
This limitation flies in the face of the requirement to individualize your child’s educational program so it meets ALL of your child’s needs.
The school appears to be misrepresenting the eligibility options under the IDEA.
If there is evidence for a qualifying category, your school district must consider eligibility for this category.
More than likely, the school wants to remove autism from the IEP because ADHD is a less severe diagnosis. The district may hope that it will be less expensive for them to provide services for just ADHD, rather than autism.
If your child is currently struggling more with ADHD concerns right now, the district may claim an IEP is adequate for the present.
However, he may still have needs uniquely related to his autism. Reducing services now will mean you have little protection for the future.
What will you do in the future if one disability is no longer found to be an eligibility category? When all disabilities are listed, they are less likely to be overlooked in future.
Put Your Concerns in Writing
Restate what the school told you. Have them confirm why, in writing.
You may want to consider a DOE complaint.