Speech: NEW STATE AND SPEECH SERVICES REDUCED

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Karen:  just moved to new state (NC) and my son is went into hospital after only being in school a couple of weeks. He is in hospital to stablize his meds. He is autistic, plus ADHD and all the other apraxia, exp/rec lang delay. He was intially going to school for only 1 hr, then next mtg to determine if doing good. Went to two hours, then was supposed to have IEP mtg yesterday to discuss if he gets to go for full day or not. Based on data. At IEP mtg they had NEW iep drafted and we were to meet about that. That was 1st surprise. 2nd surprise was the speech therapist was not in attendance. Also she reduced his speech services to consult from direct instruction 3 x a week.

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Jill G

Karen –

Parent consent rules vary state to state. In some states, the IEP cannot be changed without parent consent. In other states, parent input is needed to change the IEP but parent consent is not. It appears that NC is in the later. First thing I suggest you do is contact your local parent center (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/) to confirm what your rights are.

Even if the the district can change the IEP, you still have options. First, you can state that you disagree with the change in speech services and ask for “stay put.” This means that your child will continue to receive the services in the previous IEP until the disagreement is worked out. Stay put rights also vary by state.

Jill G

Some states interpret this rule as meaning services in disagreement are only provided during specific dispute resolution processes (like mediation or a due process hearing). Again, check with your parent center to know what applies where you are.

You can also ask that the school conduct a speech evaluation, if one hasn’t been done recently (as well as any other areas that may be in disagreement or where your child’s needs are not clear). It’s best practice for the school to have updated evaluation information before they propose a substantial change in services. If the school has recently tested, you may want to ask for an independent evaluation at public expense.