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Vince: We had my child’s IEP meeting a few days ago, and we were told that he had to have social work and group therapy at the school because of the nature of his eligibility determination. My wife and I strongly do not want him to receive therapy at school.

Our son already is in weekly counseling that we pay for privately (and which we have not asked the school to reimburse). We do not want him removed from the classroom to spend time with the school’s social worker, who is an unimpressive figure that our son views with contempt. More importantly, perhaps, our son is highly resistant to therapy and the more time that he spends in it, the more resistant he gets. Quite simply, we feel that imposing this mandatory social work time on him will harm him, not help him. Yet the district’s attorney was there and said it was mandatory, and the rest of the IEP team went along.

Does anyone know if what that lawyer said was correct?

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You have the right to reject any portion of the IEP. A service can only be “forced” for certain reasons like if an aide is really needed for safety. Can your private therapist write up something to serve as an independent eval? Basically reusing the most recent clinical assessment s/he did on your child, leaving out sensitive personal details, and stating that s/he recommends the IEP services you want with the exception of the individual therapy, stating that it’s not clinically appropriate for reasons of (examples: not appropriate to have two therapists, boundaries are important for people with psychiatric disabilities to learn and having school know personal business beyond what’s needed to accommodate student is actually a poor boundary, etc.).