Where can I get help writing an IEP?

Hi Everyone,

I need to write an IEP for one of my kids. It is not the TYPE 1 kid. It's for her brother. He is now getting treatment for anxiety and depression. I have to forcibly drag him to school where he sits in an empty unused office all day instead of going to classes. He was having panic attacks. He is getting treated but progress is slow. The school is not making any effort to see that he does any work. I want a tutor for him but they say they don't have anyone for him. They suggested having watch his classes on-line but it has been two weeks and they haven't set it up yet.He hasn't been to a class in three weeks. He is so far behind it is causing more anxiety and embarrassment. I am at the end of my rope.I think I need legal help.



I was looking online and I read that it would be best to request an IEP in writing and send it to the school administrator.  State what your son's issues are and how it affects his learning.  State what you have noticed has been going on in the last few weeks at school and how your son is falling behind with his studies.  He should get an evaluation by the school psychologist or if he has been evaluated already elsewhere, that would be the info. needed before the IEP meeting was set up.  By law they have to get back to you.   I would call  the school psychologist or the principal and get help in this urgent matter.  If they fail to do anything, I would report.

Both my son's were in the Birth to 3 program, so before they turned 3, an IEP was already taken care of  at the school.  The evaluations came from that program.  Then each year the school contacts me to do an annual IEP by a certain date.

Cheryl has great advice. You have the right as a parent to request an IEP and the school system has 90 days under federal law (if I'm remembering correctly) to complete the process. At any meeting, you have the right to bring any advocate you'd like with you to the meetings, whether it's an outside psychologist who has assessed your son, an education lawyer, etc. The school system's website should have the "chain of command" info under their special ed sections if you find you need to report the problem to an authority outside of the school. What's key to getting IEP services/accommodations is to make clear how it affects him academically (which could also include social issues). You can share outside reports, your own documentation, etc. The federal government requires children to get a "free and appropriate education" under the "least restrictive environment." Sticking him by himself in a room w/ no school work is 1) not an appropriate education and 2) NOT least restrictive b/c they are not providing the necessary supports to meet the goal of integrating him back with his peers. Feel free to remind them of that. (: If they don;t have a tutor and that's what the IEP committee finds he needs, they'll have to pay for one.

Send me a message if you need help. I'm a speech pathologist, so I help many families transitions into IEP services at school... Good luck!

Thanks for the help everyone. I will contact the school administrator tomorrow, 

As a teacher, I know that your school should be doing something to help your child, especially since he is not learning anything.  The online class seems like they are just telling you that you need to work with him more than they do.  In our district, there is a Student Assistance Team that teachers/parents go to for advice on how to get help for any students, but especially those with disabilities, behaviorial, social, or other problems.  This is the beginning of the IEP process.  Check with your special education teachers about getting an IEP started.  They are the experts and should be able to give your child the help that is needed.

  My son had to get tested.  The school was giving me a problem, so I had him tested by Behaviorial Health doctors.  They had given me his report and I wrote the principal a letter requesting the testing.   If you write the letter and either hand it to the principal or have it certified mail, they have an obligation to do the testing within a certain time frame.  He is still having some trouble, but I spoke with his teacher and gave her the copy of the report.  Now, she is working (less handwriting or extra help with reading) with me until he gets tested.  My son is under-developed in reading and writing.  He had speech from the age of 2 to 5, now he does not need that; however, he struggles throughout the day the teacher states.  She is trying to decrease some of his handwriting and giving him copies until there will be some type of help.  I also found a tutor once a week for his reading.

Hello to the list   =)

Regarding Public Special Education Issues. 

An IEP short for an Individualized Education Plan is a way for your child to get the education he or she needs in an environment that is the "least restricted".  Typically goals are set, and a plan of attack is chosen so that the student can meet the goals. Typically it might be anything from achieving at least 75% on the next test; applying for extra-curricular programs; or improving communication skills.  As just about any task or activity can be used as a goal for an IEP.


  A 504 Plan is the way to get the other help he or she needs as well, whether that is a voice recorder, extended time,  occupational therapy, physical therapy, time off for visiting the hospital for chemotherapy, wheelchair, after-school tutor,  etc. 

Hopefully your child can manage and eventually grow so he or she can complete the mandated curriculum to receive a "High School diploma or a G.E.D."   As the Special Education Diplomas and Certificates of Attendance don't help when he or she is trying to get a job. 

Hope this helps

Cheers from J =)