Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Oct 26
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by Dennise Goldberg

A General Education Teacher recently told me her principal told her not to refer any students to the Resource Teacher because it’s not going to do any good….which means this person is ineffective and should not be working with Special Needs Students.  Unfortunately, it happens all the time in School Districts across the United States.  Special Needs Students are not receiving a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) because schools are not staffed appropriately.  My son has had wonderful school based therapists as well as ineffective ones.  It truly makes a difference when a child is receiving early intervention for their disability…..as we all know the sooner you address a problem, the easier it is to fix. 

When my son was in kindergarten, he was receiving school based speech therapy once a week.  Unfortunately, his articulation did not improve very much…..his teacher, along with my husband and myself all knew the speech therapy wasn’t working.  To make matters worse, at my son’s annual IEP meeting, the Speech Therapist said he was no longer eligible for services because he wasn’t severe enough….my husband and I felt that was unacceptable.  Not only had he not progressed much the entire year in Speech Therapy, now he was no longer eligible for services!!  It was clear our son had not received FAPE and we decided to disagree with the IEP and go to Formal Due Process.  We ended up working it out in mediation and in the settlement agreement it stated my son was eligible to receive speech services and the school based therapist was not allowed to treat him or evaluate him in the future.  As a result, he made tremendous strides in Speech Therapy the following year with a different therapist.  Now that he’s 9 years old, he’s almost done with Speech Therapy, thanks to the wonderful therapists he’s had since kindergarten.

It’s a shame we had to go to due process, and then work it out in formal mediation, to make sure our son received an appropriate therapist, but it happens all the time to families across this country.  Just think if Special Needs Students received the appropriate intervention with an effective therapist, how much quicker they could overcome their disability and access the school’s curriculum…giving them a chance to become an independent adult in the future.

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2 Responses to “When will School Districts staff appropriately for Special Needs Students”

  1. Just think of all the families out there too intimidated to go through due process… OR… the families that don’t know enough about their rights to know any better.

    Wouldn’t schools have benefited by adding additional (and appropriate) school personnel through their ARRA funds?

    Lastly, I went to a Wrightslaw seminar back in May of this year. I cannot tell you how many TEACHERS were actually there. I sat with one who said the school did not know she was going to this but she was doing it to help advocate for these families because she was sick of seeing so many betrayed by the schools. She, like so many, are afraid to speak up for these children for fear of losing their jobs. There are those, like this lady, that try and educate themselves so they can help these parents that don’t know any better. Of course many do this subtly, trying not to make any waves.

    I’m glad your son is doing much better now – that’s so great to hear. :)


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  2. Great blog post! I too know what its like to advocate for recieving appropriate speech and language services at school. My son who is 7 now was diagnosed with a speech language disorder at the age 2 1/2. Early intervention was key to helping him progress to requring less therapy at school now for a mild speech and language disorder.

    I think that advocating for your children is one of the toughest things you have to do as a parent. Crawford Dedman

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