Friday, March 02, 2007

IEP again!

Living in a rural area has its advantages and disadvantages. I love the feeling of open spaces, a close-knit community, small-town celebrations, etc. However, when it comes to getting some of the services such as therapy.... its a challenge.

The school district here has somehow squirmed their way out of providing PT services for those kiddos in need. As far as I know, its been 3 years since they've either staffed or contracted with a Physical Therapist. The Special Education Rules state that if a child qualifies for "related services" the school is required to provide those services.

Last month at the IEP, we were not willing to agree with the district to use what they call "Motor Services" in place of PT services. The school district agreed to obtain an "independent evaluation" and meet again the following month.

Meanwhile, I have been doing my homework in preparing myself to ADVOCATE for my child. With an excellent support system, my sister and our Early Intervention team, I felt prepared for todays shootout.

After a grueling 2.5 hour meeting, we were successful in obtaining weekly PT and weekly OT services for Crew during his Pre-school hours. This is a MAJOR breakthrough! I wouldn't say that I am thrilled with the services but I feel content which is okay!

Advocating for Crew is emotionally exhausting. I don't like confrontation and I don't like it that I have to stand and "fight" to get him the services that he is entitled to. It shouldn't have to be so painful and negative. I don't like it.... but I'LL DO IT!


  1. It can be exhausting can't it?

    We are lucky that our insurance covers a lot of stuff so we don't have to fight with our school district to get the services we need. They have been approving more visits than we can even use before the authorization expires which is a refreshing change.

  2. I have so been there but your district is really bad saying they will not offer it. Wow! You will win if you take them to task. Be careful too, what our district did is agree to a certain amount of time they would give Ellie PT and then did not deliver. She had PT like 4 times total when she was supposed to be getting it two times per week.

    We asked for them to have a communication book that would travel back and forth from therapists in the school and yourself. That way you will have a record of the services they actually provide -that is if your kid is in school all day - which I am not sure Crew is. But you get the idea.

    For really, REALLY good resources on this, check out Charles Fox's blog at

    Charles Fox is married to Lori Miller and they have a 14 year old severly disabled boy. They are both great. In fact in retrieving his www I see that Lori is writing about IEP's in her lastest post.

    I once emailed Charles an urgent question when facing our IEP and he called me back right away just to help. I love those guys.

    Good luck with all of this. I know what you mean about hating to have to fight but that you will. I am so behind you and routing for you and Crew.


  3. Sorry two more things:

    We ended up getting a lot of PT paid for through our insurance. I have to echo your first commentor on this that there might be a cache there waiting to be opened.

    Also, we did this and I know three other parents who did the same in getting an educational advocate. Ours charged us $35/hour, which was dear enough. But - she scared the crap out of the school district and they finally started paying attention or at least agreeing and getting more sneaky about what they actually did.

    sorry to sound bitter if I do - I am a bit jaded by the whole thing and have written about it a bit on my blog.

    Fight the good fight,

  4. Crew is very lucky to have you as a mom. I'm sure you are exhausted making sure that he gets everything he deserves... but good for you! You are a great mom! Crew is lucky to have you.

  5. Good for you! I cry when there is any confontation. I'm sure you did great.

  6. I got that knots-in-my-stomach feeling just reading your post. I am so proud Mel. I know how hard it must have been for you. It's good that you have it established now because then you'll be able to use this in future IEP meetings.

  7. I HATE confrontation too. But, when it comes to your kids if you don't stick up for them, then no one will.


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