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Mike:  My daughter is deaf and hears with a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. In one month, she will be receiving her second cochlear implant. At our last IEP meeting, we asked to set up services for after her surgery as we know the need will change. This is also documented with letters from our doctors. We were told at the IEP meeting, they could not write any services in advance and we would have to “wait and see” what the need is after the surgery. Our daughter has been on an IEP for several years now and we have never experienced this. The school system is stating that this is the law, however have not been able to site a reference. My question to you is, is this a law that services cannot be written in advance when documentation a service will be needed is provided or is this the schools stance/interpretation of the law?

  1. Nothing in the law prevents an IEP team from writing a basic IEP and amend it as her needs change post-surgery. They may think the law doesn’t allow them to do this – maybe because they will use her present levels of performance after surgery. But schools write most IEPs in the spring for the next school year so the present levels they rely upon won’t be accurate after summer break.

    You are being diligent about getting an IEP in place so you won’t have to wait to schedule another meeting after her surgery. They may not be feeling as diligent.

    You can say you are confused, please show you where in the law it says they can’t write or amend an IEP until after a child has surgery. Be sure to bring your Wrightslaw law book – and I hope you’ve highlighted a few sections. 😉

  2. Did you ask them what law in particular they’re referring to? They’re being difficult for the sake of it. What did they document in the minutes of the PPT? Do they want to wait until she returns to school? Do they plan on doing some other type of assessment to counter the doctors recommendations? It’s outrageous, but my daughter has a CI also, and our system has been horrible since day one. Right now the IEP seems to be meeting her needs, so technically, ‘they’re covered’, however, I would question in writing–why they will not honor recommendations of cochlear experts, how they plan to meet her needs upon returning post-surgery, and what law (part of law specifically) they’re referring to when they state they have to ‘wait and see’. It’s unnecessary and anxiety-producing.

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