My son will be a freshman this next school year. We found out he has an LD in reading, the summer before he entered 6th grade. To the best of my knowledge, he does not understand phonics, and he tests about 4 grades ahead in math, but about 4 grades below in reading-writing skills. He is also behind a bit in speech yet, but has had all the speech therapy that the school can provide. (He has also had speech therapy outside of the school system.)
We live in Indiana, and I have not been impressed with how the education system has handled my son's education plan, (IEP). Any pointers or advice would be appreciated. I feel so new at all of this, and I know he is about to enter HS where there is no room for us to make mistakes with his education. I have a few issues to cover & will be happy to answer any questions you may need to ask in helping us. Thanks in advance! Please bear with me, I will keep it as brief as possible.
We have just had an IEP meeting & I'm awaiting the copy from the school, but I do know the Special Ed. teacher has not set any real goals into his IEP. There is no, "He reads-writes at this level & our goal is to get him that that level by the end of the year", written into his IEP. The goals instead are more like, "He must raise his hand & volunteer in class occasionally." My 1st question would be, is this normal, or should he have better goals?
He has a Resource class each day, but they do not work on any individual skills per say, instead, if he has trouble with homework, they will work with him like a tutor would. So he is not getting any skill building lessons during the resource time. Resource is also avaliable to him during any other time of day he needs it, as long as they are open that period. They do modify his testing a little, mostly by reading them to him. They do not curve his grades, and he is in regular classes for all of his other classes, including those that involve reading-writing.
We did request that he have to keep a journal in resource & write in it each day to improve his skills, but the special ed. teacher seemed a bit confused as to what he should write & what she should do with it...that was really discouraging for us. We had to explain that it didn't matter what he wrote as much as it did that they worked on sentence structuring skills. My next question is, shouldn't this be the stuff they work with him on during resource time?
Each IEP meeting they come with no pre written goals, depend on us to suggest most of what goes into the IEP, or just accept what they want to add. Then at the end of the meeting, they shove this hand written IEP at me & have me sign it. I feel like I should not sign it, until it is typed & I can scan it for errors. Is this something I can say no to, until it is typed up?
The last thing is, itâ€™s in his IEP that I get a copy of his school books. I thought it was federal law, that I receive them at no charge, since itâ€™s in the IEP. The school insists that federal law doesn't matter, because it is their policy that all books are paid for in full, at what ever their regular book rental price is. They told us that they would only add that into the current IEP, if I understood their school policy on that issue. (Btw, we are happy to pay regular book rental for his copy of the books, it's my copy for at home that I am speaking of.) I'm pretty sure I know Federal Law should be higher & over rule their school policy. Am I correct in thinking this?
This is basically the kind of thing I have dealt with since all this started in 6th grade. I have learned as much as I can, to help him here at home, and get him a tutor each summer, but I feel the schools part in this is lacking. I would like to give my child every edge possible, before he becomes an adult.
Thanks again, Deb