Special Needs

No diagnosis and high school IEP?

Thanks in advance for any answers/suggestions/comments given. Also, this has to to with my sister and not my daughter, but my mom's asking my help on this and I honestly don't know the answer, so I thought I'd come to ask here.

So, long story short, my sister was born at close to 24 weeks gestation (and she'll turn 15 years in a couple of weeks) and ever since has been developmentally behind in some way, shape, or form. She has hearing problems and I don't know how to put it, but definitely something going on with speech as well, it's audible but I can't put my finger on it or describe it, but she's hard to understand when she speaks. Her first few years, she was in various therapies, definitely including speech at the least. Her reading comprehension is about three years behind her grade level (if not more), she has a lot of trouble with memorization, and she flat out cannot spell beyond a second grade level (with handwriting to match). She just entered high school and changed school districts as she and my mom moved to the town I'm living in, taking her from the town she had been in from the day she started school (which was the day after she turned 3).

So, a couple of weeks ago they had the meeting about her IEP and what modifications and such were necessary for her, and it came up that she shouldn't have any modification in her classes at all because she didn't have an official diagnosis listed. Now, I can tell, just by talking to my mom (not to mention interacting with my sister daily since she comes over every day after school now that we're close by) that my sister really does need the help, but I'm wondering how can my mom go about getting my sister officially diagnosed (or rather, who would she go see), or if that should be something the school district does? Also, how could they have been operating and working with her before in the old district for eleven years without having anything official? Is there some sort of major jump there going from 8th to 9th grade where things can't be unofficial anymore?

My DD isn't at school age yet, so I haven't had any dealings with the district and don't know what's going on from personal experience, only second hand through my mom and what she's done with my sister. I mean, DD has her own things going on, but I don't think I'd send my sister to where my daughter is, because I don't think this is something that they'd do with a speech therapist, given it's predominately trouble she has with learning things and keeping up in classes, even if she is hard to understand.


Re: No diagnosis and high school IEP?

  • -auntie- said:
    Did she have an IEP at her old school district? She would have to be "classified" under some sort of official category to qualify for services. Her old IEP would be in effect until the new district did their own eval to determine if she still had a need.
    Yes. She did have an IEP, that's why I was surprised when my mom told me last night about this suddenly coming up at the meeting thing a couple weeks ago. I don't know exactly WHAT was on it, but I know she had one.

    bubba2b said:

    "it came up that she shouldn't have any modification in her classes at all because she didn't have an official diagnosis listed"

    What is her Educational Label? This should be on her IEP.

    Again, this I don't know exactly -- I can ask my mom. What I do know is until this year, she was in what she called 'extra' classes to work on math and reading, and had modifications like longer to take tests and cheat sheets for formulas in math. Oh, and she was on the modified testing for the state standardized tests. This year, with the new (bigger) school, they put her in classes that were labeled as modified as a whole for her core classes instead of putting her in multiple reading/math classes like the old district did. So, I know what the end result was of what they discussed from the old district, since that was what they did going off of the old IEP, and I know they won't change her schedule at this point of the semester so she won't be taken out of those classes, but I'm definitely confused as to why it's suddenly come up like this.

    -auntie- said:

    Your mom could write a letter requesting an full multifactored evaluation from the district which should be free. Your mother could also take her for a private neuropsychologist for a work up. I would probably do both. She should also be seen by a SLP.

    Once the eval is done, they could put supports in place to help your sister. At a high school level, often the approach is to differentiate instruction toward her learning abilities, so unless there is a big disconnect between her IQ (high) and her performance (very low), they will likely offer less rigorous instruction with a push toward vocational transition.
    Alright, I'll pass this on to my mom. And the latter, it sounds like that's what they were doing with her at the last district -- they were asking my sister what she was interested in doing after school so they could get her into classes that reflected it. That is one thing this district is doing better than the other, but this district is a lot larger than the one she was in from 3 years to 8th grade, so that isn't too surprising.

    Again, thank you both for you answers!

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