IEPs: UNABLE TO FINISH TRIENNIAL IEP

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Kim:  My son has had a speech and occupational therapy IEP for years. He is in 2nd grade and I initiated an autism screening many months ago. The district is now holding a triennial IEP, listing autism as the disability. There has not been an occupational therapist in the district since my son started at this school many moths ago. They are now saying that because they can’t do the occupational therapy assessment this will remain as an “open” IEP. So, my son has to continue to wait for the changes in services and modifications pending the “closure” of this IEP. Is this legal? How long can they hold this IEP hostage?

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Jill G

Kim –

It is not okay that the school for the school to wait so long for an OT evaluation, if they believe that the information is crucial to your son’s IEP development. This violates their duty to provide evaluations in a timely manner. Nor is it okay for the school hold up the IEP to wait for the results of the evaluation.

I suggest that you ask two things of the school. First ask that they implement the new IEP as currently developed, while you all wait on the results of the OT assessment. It can even been written right in the IEP that it will be revisited once the results are in.

Second ask that they contract with someone to complete the OT evaluation. Alternatively you can ask for an independent evaluation at public expense, which triggers certain procedural protections.

If the school denies these requests, you can consider using an available dispute resolution option – such as a state complaint, or due process hearing.