IEP Question — The Bump
School-Aged Children

IEP Question

My DD is starting kindergarten in the fall.  She currently has an IEP through the districts Early Childhood Education Dept for speech.  Since that was written, she has been diagnosed with ADHD and we want to get it added.  For those that have been through this, what was your process like?

I know that we will have a confernce with the speech therapist from early childhood and the elementary to pass everything off and I was told by the Principal at Kindergarten Round Up to call the school in the spring (will call after break) to schedule an appointment to discuss the IEP and her needs but not sure what they will do as far as the formal process as adding the ADHD and all that.  The Principal made it sound so easy but I have heard some horror stories.

Who all did you meet with?  Did you have issues?  Did it take a long time?  I really want to have this in place before school starts in the fall.

Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 

Re: IEP Question

  • image-auntie-:

    When there is a new dx or set of behaviors, a district evaluation is warrented. You should ask the school, in writing asap, to evaluate her based on a medical dx of ADHD.

    Once the evaluation is completed, they will determine if this is impacting her educationally. If it is, they may agree to offer her services. But understand that this may not be  slam dunk depending on how her brand of ADHD presents. If she doesn't qualify now, you can revisit it if she's struggling in kindie or further down the line. My son has had an ADHD dx since the end of kindie; while he's gotten services and accommodations for ADHD, it has never been a classification used.

    FWIW, ADHD is not one of the official classification recognized under IDEA for special education services. If she is delayed in speech, they could classify her as Developmentally Delayed until about age 7-8. Or they may add OHI (other health impaired) for the ADHD piece.

    There's no reason for this to be a horror story. But before you go through the motions, what do you hope to gain? Unless she's aggressive and out-of-control most ADHD accommodations are common sense strategies like movement breaks, prefereential seating and organizational supports. They may balk at including this in her IEP at this point in time since writing a measurable goal is almost impossible around this skill set at 6.

     

    Thank you - I really have no idea how all of this works as I have just started to think about it.  I know her speech IEP will carry over.  She is on medication for her ADHD as she was really behind in all areas when not on the medication and her ADHD when tested by the behavioral specialists (we had a very intense assessment done through our health clinics Child Behavioral Services) and she tested very high on the scale for ADHD.  I don't recall all the details or scores offhand since its been a long time since I looked at it.  DD on the meds has tantrums and needs  a decent amount of breaks and some special attention in regard to the speech issues although those are getting better.  I guess I am just looking to make sure it is in writting that she gets the needed motor breaks or even people breaks - when she gets overwhelmed (she gets effected by a lot of noise and people at times) she needs to be able to be in a quiet place to calm down.  She is able to do this very well in her current PreK class as they have a couch she go sit on or into the teachers office which is in the room but curtained off and I just want to make sure she can do the same going forward.

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • image-auntie-:
    You probably want a MFE (multifactored evaluation of all areas of suspected disability). Kids with hyperactive forms of ADHD often need movement breaks, but the need to get away from people is more often associated with sensory processing glitches or even mild forms of autism. The "quiet place" to regroup is most often an ASD IEP accommodation. Along with itinerant support of his teachers, a "get out of jail" pass is the only thing left on my son's IEP.

    She has already had a full eval with all the specialists (doctors, therapists, psychologists, etc) through our medical clinics Child Behavioral Clinic and we feel the assessment and ADHD and Speech Articulation diagnosis is right on.  DD was born with a brain injury at birth and while she is fine and developing normally, she has been watched closely since birth.  The need to be away from people is more a need for a quiet place to calm down which is a method her therapists have us using with her as it really works for her.  We also do calming breaths and movement breaks.  When she gets into her silly moods or tantrums, having other people around does not allow her to concentrate on herself.    I have a friend who is a special ed teacher and works with kids with autism and her son is on the spectrum and she totally agrees with my DD's diagnosis and does not feel she has any other issues - it is just how we have always been taught to help her calm down by moving away from the distractions.  As she gets older, we are hoping that simple closing her eyes and doing her calming breaths will work even if she is sitting at her desk at school but she is young so its too much right now.

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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  • If your daughter is already dx with ADHD, adding goals to her IEP isn't a big deal. Honestly, I'd have her psychologist/social worker observe her in the classroom (which they'd do before adding goals anyway, or should do I should say) and write the goals based on the observations. IEP must, by law, be revisited every year, but re-eval's are every 3 years and if you just had it done, having an MFE done doesn't make sense quite yet. Do you know when her current IEP expires? A typical school district can't diagnose ADHD, so they'd send you to her doc to be dx anyways and since you've already done that, it should be very simple for the goals to be added. I'm a teacher and have seen it done a zillion times over the course of my career. If it isn't easy, they're not doing it right!

    Seriously, it's that easy. You may need a letter showing dx from her doc and the classroom observation from her PreK class and then they can add the goals. So you know, as the parent, you hold all the power with that IEP! If you say add goals, they have to if it makes sense and has proper documentation (doc's dx). While the classroom teachers have to follow the IEP, unless the parent signs it, it can't be used. So, with the IEP, when you say jump, your district should do so :) Most (good) districts LOVE parents to be that involved with the IEP process! Good luck!!

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