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Dee: Is it legal to add academic goals to an existing Speech IEP through an amendment & IEP meeting with the team without first testing the child? Our district is recommending that if a student with a Speech IEP is receiving Tier 3 academic interventions in an RTI setting, then the Education Specialist should add academic goals to the existing IEP and become the case manager, without the need for normed testing.

  1. Yes this is correct for a student with moderate/Severe Articulation disorder who is having difficulty learning because of their articulation disorder. The assessment team is not suspecting a processing disorder. Rather, they are aware that the child’s articulation is the reason for their difficulty. Formal testing is to measure a processing disorder. These students do not have a processing disorder, they either cannot hear or the shape of their mouth is such that they cannot produce sounds correctly in order to identify the sound correctly.

  2. For me, the biggest issue with this situation is whether the added academic goals would result in additional special education services that would remove your child from the regular education environment. I am concerned about a school changing a child’s special education placement without an IEP meeting. Adding additional special education services (due to the academic goals) would likely result in a change in placement, and that should never be done via an amendment–but should be accomplished at a meeting with all team members.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for your reply. I agree with what you are saying. My biggest concern about this is the addition of academic goals, change of placement, change of caseworker, without empirical evidence to back up this kind of transfer. Using informal testing as evidence for changing an IEP, even with an Amendment with the team present, seems to defeat the purpose of identifying the eligibility of the recipient without the cognitive and academic testing results in place.

      • You may want to follow both prongs simultaneously, i.e. request the evaluations you think would be helpful, and also get started with drafting some goals. Evaluations could slow you down approximately three months — at least that has been my experience — and I want my student to be progressing with as much support as possible during that period.

        You can draft goals yourself. Do a google images search for IEP goals to get an idea what they tend to look like. Make sure to be very specific regarding frequency of progress monitoring. I would request every two weeks but accept monthly.

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