Losing Services- anything I should ask? — The Bump
Special Needs

Losing Services- anything I should ask?

I don't post that often, so the background is that my son just turned 6, HFA, Kindergartener, and is mainstreamed.  He has been pulled out several times a week for OT and social skills group/speech based on his preschool IEP.  His IEP isn't up for review until April, but the team asked to push up his IEP meeting since they feel the goals are geared more towards preschool than K.  He was in individual private speech from 18 months until just before he started K, but was discharged because he met all goals except the social pragmatics.

I received a call from the OT, and she wanted to give me a heads up that she will be recommending that he no longer receive OT services.  She says that his handwriting and cutting are in the normal range, and he has met the goals outlined in his IEP.  His skills measure at the 27th percentile.  Even I can tell that he's made phenomenal progress in the last year.  He went from not wanting anything to do with a pencil last year, to coming home after school and making elaborate (albeit sloppy) drawings for an hour or more at a time.  I can tell she's used to getting push back from parents, because she started the conversation by saying that she hoped it would be good news.  She said that if little things come up down the line, she can still work with him even without an IEP to tweak things.

Is there anything I should ask before agreeing?  Overall, I'm supportive.  The goal has always been that one day he would need no services, and hopefully no IEP.  I don't want him pulled out for services that he doesn't actually need, since he's missing instruction time.  He can write all of his letters (capital and lower case) appropriately sized, and can cut shapes within 1/4 inch of the line.  I'm not even sure that I could make a case to keep OT even if I wanted to.  He will still receive social skills group and accommodations in the classroom (visual schedule, checking that he understands verbal instructions, etc).

On the other hand, I'm feeling some anxiety about letting services go already.  I have concerns that it would be tough to get services back in the future if he needed them.  He will no longer have the supports that have been surrounding him most of his life, losing speech and OT within 6 months of each other.  This is what we've been working towards, but I guess I'm nervous. (This is where I need a kick in the pants).  I don't want to miss anything obvious that I should bring up.

Thanks ladies!

Re: Losing Services- anything I should ask?

  • The bottom line is that they cannot pull services unless he tests out of needing them.
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  • I would be really resistent to letting OT go at this point in the year.. Writing is going to step up over the second half of kindy and I would want to keep services through this year in case he has trouble as the expectations step up. While she says she'll be helpful if something comes up without the IEP she is under no obligation to do anything.
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  • @auntie, yes, he's only losing OT.  He will still be pulled out for social skills group.  I actually don't know if he gets speech outside of the group.  That's why my last post was about whether or not I should call an IEP meeting, but the school actually suggested it right before I asked.  I don't have a lot of details about exactly how many hours he's doing anything, so I'm looking forward to this meeting.

    "Perhaps your DS's issues with fine motor were more about it being a less preferred activity, having to sit to do it, or being resistant because of issues with perfectionsim. "

    I think this sentence nails it.  H and I were always skeptical about whether or not he needed OT, since it was determined at age 2 mostly because he couldn't use scissors.  That seemed like an aggressive goal, but we went with it since the state was willing to pay someone $150 an hour to teach him to cut and string beads.  One of the people on the team mentioned before that she thinks this is an example of a kid getting services in preschool for something that would have resolved with age and maturity.  Oh well, hindsight and all.

    I am concerned about stigma, which is why I'm trying to focus on the positive.  The last time I volunteered in his class he was immediately pulled out for OT (and gone the entire time I was there).  Another kid asked me "where did DS go?", so I know it's only a matter of time before they figure out why some kids disappear during class.  I'm in the process of enrolling him in a private social skills group as well.  The goal is to really hit those social skills and conversation skills hard over the next 18 months to try and close the gap as much as possible before his classmates become really aware.  He will probably need accommodations in the classroom to help with executive functioning, organization, and attention for a LONG time.

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