IEP where do I begin? — The Bump
Special Needs

IEP where do I begin?

I've suspected my son of having Sensory Processing disorder since he was 4 but his pediatrician brushed it off and he grew out of most of it so I didn't worry. Now he is in the second grade and I just had a conference with the teacher and she thought he had ADHD and said it's not a problem she can't handle but next year it could be. I was taken aback by her suggestion cause I don't see any symptoms of ADHD so I brought up my suspicions of SPD and thought she may be misreading his issue. The main problem is he doesn't listen well. He focuses fine and follows directions well but does not multi task. Should I wait and see? Do I wait for the teacher to let me know if he's better or worse? How do I request an IEP and if they evaluate and find nothing is there any appeal to retest again? Anyone who's kid has SPD in public school, what services do they offer?
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Re: IEP where do I begin?

  • ***lurking from TTGP***
    @Designermomma I am a pediatric physical therapist. My advice to you is that I often feel like pediatricians are lax about referrals for SPD.  You can always go to an outpatient facility to be evaluated and seek out treatment for SPD. As far as starting an IEP, you should be able to talk with the teacher about starting the referral process for an Occupational Therapy evaluation at school to see if he qualifies for services. As far as what services they can recommend- his behaviors have to be impacting his ability to be  educated. For example, if he is squirming in his seat a lot, but is still able to learn and it isn't impacting the learning of others around him, he probably doesn't need service.  However, if it is impacting and inhibiting his ability to learn and it is disruptive to the learning of others within his environment, then it is the school's responsibility to address his needs. It may be as simple as having an OT consult to provide strategies on what he needs to manage his sensory needs throughout the day.  Hope this was helpful. 
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  • I'm teacher special ed (autism), and in my district parents can request their child be evaluated for an IEP in writing at any time. The district then has 30 days to respond with either an assessment plan for you to sign so they can begin assessments to see if he qualifies for services (which he may or may not) -or- the district can decline to assess him (because they do not think he would qualify anyways). Either way, you should go beyond his classroom teacher (to the special ed teacher or principal) if you truly think he needs more help than he is getting. Just remember, there is a difference between educational needs in the school setting and things he might struggle with at home (but not at school).
    <3 D 2014 
    DD- 11/2016
  • My second grade son has SPD, but is in a typical classroom with an IEP going on 2 years. His kindergarten teacher brought her concerns about his shyness and other behaviors (academically he was doing fine - his issues were more social) to us during a parent teacher conference and we had him evaluated by the district's child study team. It was painless, although a lot of paperwork. He qualifies for speech therapy and OT during the school day once a week for each and we had also done a year of private OT. Now he's doing great in school and has a good group of friends and participates regularly and will most likely not need an IEP or support services next year. My opinion is the earlier the better for special needs - the younger they are the greater the impact of therapy and one thing you can't do is go back in time. Best of luck! 
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