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Doctor's letter requesting IEP -do have a copy you could share?

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We have retained an attorney because we have been having issues with our school. She has started with letters from our doctors. From what I have seen your letter should include


Child's name is under my (neurological?) care for PANDAS. PANDAS causes symptoms including ocd, anxiety (insert yours). Due to the nature of this disorder I am requesting an evaluation with the child study team for an IEP. I request that the following accommodations be considered:


give a list of needed accommodations, there are several threads on this, ours are mostly surrounding attendance, late arrival and homebound- but they can vary according to your child's age and symptoms.


What type of doctor are you seeing?

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What state do you live in?

Getting an IEP is more involved then just a letter.

Find someone local who can mentor you because the already know the ropes. It can be a friend

of another parent or you can hire a mentor or a lawyer.

A book like "From Emotions to Advocacy" is a good start as is the book "How to compromise with your school district without sacrificing your child."

(Sadly) I'll suggest that you not assume that your school district has your interests in mind.

Go in to your meeting with a list having done your homework asking for all the services that you think he needs and behaving as if you have a seat at the table (which you do you are a member of his team) vs. many people go in just wondering what their child will get or be given from the district.

Edited by emst
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Go to webpediatrics.com read the information on PANDAS/PANS/PITAND you can craft a great letter pertaining to your childs needs based on a lot of the information Dr K. has published on this site. Have your doctor sign it. Send it in with a request for an IEP. If you are denied ask for mediation. You may get offered a 504 plan instead of an IEP initailly if this is the case case also ask for mediation.

A 504 plan is good but an IEP is much better. You will be asking for OHI (other health impaired) as your disability.

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As a teacher, I would think you would be offered a 504 instead of an IEP. To qualify for an IEP you need to have specialized instruction in order to make effective progress (ex. different reading instruction). Whereas if you have a health disability (like PANDAS) you could get a 504 to provide accommodations such as extra time, sensory breaks, small group instruction, modified work, etc. If you really feel your child needs to be on an IEP, then as a parent you have the right to request an evaluation. However, if the school does not find your child qualifies through their testing, they do not have to put a child on an IEP. Is he not making progress in school?

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Thank you all for the great feedback. My DS is moving from a private school to the public high school where we live. My DS missed the last three months of school/middle school this spring. His health is improving but I am still not sure if he will be well enough to attend high school in the fall. Sadly it appears that every district has different rules for "home hospital" - if the child is too sick to go to school. I have heard of districts of sending in a tutor for 10 hours a week. Our district gives the child only 2 hours!! I am not sure how they expect a child to keep up with only two hours of instruction. Regardless I know I need to get things moving if he is to have any accommodations in September.


He is being treated by a neurologist, immunologist, psychiatrist, and pediatrician. They are all trying to work together but they are not quite on the same page. His diagnosis is not clear. However we did get his Cunningham Panel back which showed elevated antibodies so I know we are dealing with PANS/PANDAS - auto immune encephalitis, immune modulated encephalatrophy (the doctors all call it something different but it seems like it is pretty much the same thing - antibodies in the brain where they don't belong causing swelling, causing neuropsych symptoms).


He has responded well to Augmentin the last 3 months. However he is starting to plateau. We are going to start prednisone in two weeks after he has an MRI. His symptoms have lessened quite a bit but he still has quite a bit of anxiety at times. The other thing that has not recovered from at all is his brain - when it comes to using it for problem solving, school work, math etc. He says everything gets really jumbled up. It is really hard for him to concentrate. For this reason alone I really think he needs an IEP. His brain is just not functioning the way it used to and school work is really difficult. Before he got sick he was extremely bright and school work was easy. I have heard suggestions of getting quality over quantity accommodations which I think would help. My daughter had a 504 plan in high school (she had juvenile arthritis) It was really difficult at times to get the teachers to all follow it. Fortunately her advisor often stepped in and was her advocate with the other teachers. It seems like with the IEP since you are assigned a case worker at the school that you would have more chance of it being enforced and the parent would not have to spend so much time harassing the school. When a child is in high school and misses multiple days of school it is really difficult to keep up and would be very helpful to have someone on the inside helping them navigate.


I am in WA state. I live in a school district that has just one high school. The district is pretty responsive to I don't imagine it will be too difficult to get an IEP but who knows? I want to be prepared.


Thanks for that last tip about the differences between the IEP and 504. If my DS does not get well soon than he may need an IEP so his school requirements are modified. The other thing to throw into this mess is that my DS suffered 3 concussions in 7th and 8th grade. With each one he had pretty significant cognitive delay for 4-5 weeks after each one but was able to fully recover (so we thought) but who knows how this is playing/adding to all this.

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I think that an IEP has more legal backup (it is governed under the American with Disabilities Act)- so I have been led to believe the school takes those more seriously. If you have the money to hire a special ed attorney, or advocate, it may be helpful. Also- Beth Maloney will consult with you and your school district as an advocate.


Good luck!

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A 504 is a legal document too, teachers not following it could get in serious trouble. In my district there is a case worker assigned to each child on a 504. I know the teachers in my school take them very seriously.


His difficulties in math seem like they could get him to qualify for an IEP. Sorry it has been such a tough road for him!

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