We wanted to share two articles we recently read from ECAC’s blog archives. Both have valuable information so we wanted to share them with you! The first article talks about when to consider an Independent Educational Evaluation and the second article talks about evaluations while your child is in the RTI process. You can find the link to those articles here https://askecac.org/tag/evaluation/
Christina and Wendy
When attending a meeting to discuss your child’s needs, there are a few phrases you should never hear. Below are just a few:
- ANY word regarding money. Never, never, never should an employee of the school say anything about what services can and can not be offered because of monetary concerns. IEP Team members make decisions for a child based on the child’s need and the data to show that need.
- “We can’t test your child until we have tried RTI (or MTSS)”. This statement is false. Take a look at our blog What Can I Do if My Child is Struggling in School?
- “This meeting will only be an hour because (insert any reason here: the general education teacher has to leave, we have another meeting scheduled, etc).” The meeting should last as long as necessary to address the concerns of every member of the team. Who Is On Your Child’s Team?
- “We aren’t going to add your statement to the DEC 5 because we don’t agree with you.” As a member of your child’s team, you have the right to add any statement regarding your child and the meeting, even if they don’t agree. The Importance of a DEC5
- “We can’t make that decision today.” At every meeting, there should be a person who has the authority to make decisions. This person is called the LEA representative. They should know and understand laws regarding special education, policies within the school and district, and have knowledge of the budget.
- “We don’t accept outside evaluations.” In North Carolina, all evaluations must be considered by the IEP Team. If you offer an outside evaluation documenting your child’s needs, the Team needs to discuss it and see how and if it is is relevant to the over all data for your child.
These are just a few of the statements we have had parents tell us members of their child’s team have said. There are a few statements that we have experienced at IEP meetings for our own children. These statements are not shared with you to cause anger toward your child’s team, but instead for you to know where to establish boundaries with the team as you reach a consensus about what is in the best interest of your child. When you have a question or concern, always start by going to your child’s case manager or EC teacher first. If you are not able to get your question answered, you can then ask the EC Coordinator or Director next for your school or district.
NCDPI has an excellent website with information http://www.dpi.state.nc.us .Under “departments” click “exceptional children.”
Another fantastic resource for parents is the ECAC (Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center). http://www.ecac-parentcenter.org
You are also always welcome to e-mail us with any questions at email@example.com.
Wendy and Christina
Your child is struggling in school. You’ve noticed it and most likely your child’s teachers have noticed the struggles. It could be in behavior, reading, math, sensory, etc. You’ve brought up your concerns with your child’s teacher and the two of you have talked about possible ways you can help him/her at school as well as at home. Yet, the struggles continue and your child is falling behind. This seems like something that is beyond what common classroom modifications can help alone.
If your child is in a public school, it is common for him/her to then go through the RTI or MTSS process. RTI stands for Response To Intervention and MTSS stands for multi-tiered system of supports. RTI is a multi tiered system that identifies specific struggles within a student and collects data on how the interventions have helped or not helped your child. The overall method is a common one, however, it may look a little different depending on what county you live in and if your child attends a public school or a charter school. If you would like to learn more about RTI and MTSS you can ask your school for further details and/or check out the following links: www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/6880 and http://mtss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net
The RTI method can be lengthy but it is intended to gather good information on how your child learns, what interventions have worked and what specific struggles your child continues to have. If your child has worked through this tier system and continues to need specialized help, he/she is typically then referred to the exceptional children’s department (special education).
Wendy and Christina