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Kathy: Can I ask for a specific classroom teacher be included in my son’s IEP? He is in an inclusion class for Science and I feel she just doesn’t have a grasp of my son’s special needs.

  1. My son has autism and has an IEP. He parrots children’s negative words and behaviors. This negative attitude towards him has caused severe anxiety and depression. Can I request those students be not in my son’s home room next year?There are positive friends I’d like who can model good behavior,but it seems my request is falling on deaf ears. I am very concerned about self harm if this negative view of school and himself continues.

    • Michael, you need think about this request from the perspective of a school administrator. A parent is asking the school to rearrange the classes of several children (your child and other students) to protect your child from negative words and behaviors that are causing him to be severely anxious and depressed.

      You can expect major pushback from this request.

      From the admin’s perspective, there are many reasons why a child is anxious and depressed. The child spends more time at home so this is probably a parent-child problem. Or the parent is over-protective and the child needs to learn how to deal with the negative words and behaviors. etc etc.

      Ask to meet with one admin face-to-face (probably the school principal). Describe what you have observed, what you’ve done to help your child, and how this worked or didn’t work. Don’t give a laundry list of complaints. Be brief. Ask the admin for advice about how to handle this situation. The admin may have suggestions for a different solution to the problem. Don’t dismiss these suggestions or ideas. Propose a trial period to implement.

      When you get home from the meeting, write a short note to the principal. Thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. Describe the proposed solution.

      Keep a log of what happens after the proposed solution is implemented. If the proposed solution doesn’t work, you have a record of your attempts to resolve the problem and the school’s response when you contact the principal to request another meeting.

      Keep us posted.

  2. Kathy –

    Generally not. If there was a question regarding a teacher’s qualifications, the IEP could certainly include a description of the qualities and qualifications that the teacher should have. But the name of a teacher or service provider should not be included.

    You could still simply ask for your child to have another teacher. Better yet, you could try to educate this teacher on your child’s needs.

    My son has had a few teachers over time that didn’t seem to “get” him at first, who later (with a lot of patience and hard work on my behalf) became his biggest allies.

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