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Beth:  I have a daughter who has an IEP for Speech and Language Impairment @ school but who has ADHD, Seizures, Chronic constipation, Migraines, brain surgery and a few more medical issues. My question is we have had our neurophysiology testing and it has came back that she is low and below average or borderline on all the areas that they tested her on. How can I get the school to change her IEP qualification to “Other Health Impairments” She struggles to read and they have (not in the IEP) given her the ok to read books @ a 2.4 grade level to take AR test. She is pulling a low c grade and is getting a revised spelling list. I believe the school does not want to change her status because she is medicated and is a good kid.

  1. There is usually a place on the IEP form to list a secondary disability. You’ll need to consider what support your daughter really needs most. Speech and Language support usually is given by a Speech Therapist – and they are hard to come by. If you were to list S&L as a secondary concern, you risk being pressured to give up some of your current support. S&L specialists usually lay the foundation for phonetic decoding, which enables reading. So be very careful before you rock that particular boat.

    Consider listing OHI as the secondary disability, or insist that they both be listed as primary. Call for an IEP and bring all your documentation. Then ask for support from a reading specialist as well.

  2. I can not get them to give her a secondary disability. What is a reading specialist? I have never heard of one before is why I ask. The thing is with the documentation, the school has everything as far as her outside testing. I am just lost and do not know what to do. I just want to make sure she is getting the help and support she needs.

  3. Beth –

    The content of the IEP is supposed to be based on your child’s needs, and not on the disability category that she has been placed in.

    With that in mind, I encourage you to consider if fighting to change the category is where you want to put your energy. It might be more worthwhile to instead work to get the IEP to reflect the services and support that she needs.

    If there are questions (or disputes) about her needs, consider asking the school to reevaluate or pursue outside evaluation.

    And if the school insists on keeping the IEP as is, consider using a dispute resolution method. Here’s an overview of methods available under IDEA:

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