Fight in IEP Meeting ( Help me)

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teacherld, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. teacherld

    teacherld Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2015

    okay.. Long story short, I need a professional opinion on how to handle this.

    The boy receives speech services,Occupational therapy services, and physical therapy services. My principal wanted me to be the new case manager for this case.

    Well, We had the IEP meeting. In the meeting, Occupational services were terminated. He will continue physical therapy services. The speech therapist wanted to terminate services but the general education teacher is upset about it and disagrees. The speech therapist and the general education teacher were arguing in the meeting in front of the parent.

    The gen ed teacher wants to continue speech services under monitor consult. The speech teacher says that he does not qualify and that he has already been monitor consult for a year... and that legally she is not allowed to continue him as monitor consult for another year.

    So I asked both of them what they wanted to do. They both said it was up to the parent. The parent wanted to continue monitor consult services. So we agreed to do that in the meeting. However, I needed time to implement this change to the IEP... ( before speech was suppose to be terminated) the administrator told the parent that I would make the new change to the IEP and that the parent could come to the school the next day to read over it and sign (bc the gen ed teacher and speech therapist can't get along)

    The next day, I get an email from the speech therapist stating that she is refusing to give him services and that speech would not be appearing in the IEP that I was having the parent sign. She also called the parent and told the parent that she would not be continuing services. The gen ed. teacher is being extremely difficult. Threatening that if speech is dropped that I would have to find another gen ed teacher.

    I go to my principal, my principal says that speech can't make that decision without a meeting and to continue writing the IEP as we discussed in the meeting. ( with monitor consult services)... I called the parent and asked for an extension on writing this IEP.... not sure what to do??? the IEP doesn't expire until 9/30/15.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    This is a child study team situation, and it is hard to believe that the conversation/conflict between the gen ed teacher and the speech therapist was allowed to escalate in the IEP meeting in front of the parent. You have state guidelines that dictate when the IEP must be given to the parent, and the team must decide how to address the controversy about the speech therapy. I am sure there must be guidelines about more testing before approving the therapy, and the feelings of the gen ed teacher can only be considered within the state guidelines for providing the service. I would be taking into consideration the fact that we are at the end of the school year, and there will be a new gen ed teacher for the upcoming school year. When all else fails, follow written guidelines/deadlines/ and criteria for providing services.

    By the way - good luck!
     
  4. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The speech teacher would be in direct violation of IDEA by not providing speech service as outlined in the IEP - no complaining or hissy fit'll change that.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Did the gen Ed teacher and speech therapist not communicate about this issue prior to the meeting? As a gen Ed teacher, I am always made aware of any IEP changes/ recommendations/ etc. before the meeting so at the meeting the school is a united front.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    This is what we do also. It won't help you now, but in the future it might be something you want to implement. We have "assessment summary conference" meetings with the sped team and gen ed teacher before all tri and initial meetings to review testing/evaluation information and make sure we are all on the same page as far as what services the child qualifies for. The main reason we do this is to avoid the situation described in the OP- so that there are no surprises for the gen ed teacher and if there are disagreements, we can talk through them ahead of time and not in front of parents. It is typical for gen ed teachers to be upset when a child does not qualify for certain services. Understandably, they often just want the child to receive all of the "extra help" they can get, and they don't really understand the legal guidelines we have to follow for qualification. Having the ASC meeting ahead of time gives us plenty of time to explain the rationale behind why the child doesn't qualify.

    I'm assuming the speech therapist did formal testing to determine that the child no longer qualifies for speech? If not, I would start there. Even if it hasn't been three years, you can do a re-eval at any time if it's warranted. If testing has already been done recently, I would call a meeting with the sped team and gen ed teacher to review it and answer the gen ed teacher's questions about why the student doesn't qualify. You can't qualify a child for services just because a gen ed teacher or parent wants them- there has to be evidence that the services are warranted. Like another pp said, I'm assuming your school year is ending soon, and the child will have a new gen ed teacher anyway? If you meet with the gen ed teacher and explain the testing/qualification guidelines and she is still being difficult, I would probably kick this one up to your principal. You can document in the prior written notice that the gen ed teacher disagrees with the team decision (and of course also document why the child doesn't qualify, despite the gen ed teacher's wishes), but if it were me I'd want to check with my principal and/or sped director to see what to do first.

    ETA: I see you already asked your P, but I would still involve the sped director or explain the new situation to the P (speech therapist will not include services, even though they were discussed in the meeting). Either explain to the P why the child doesn't qualify (IME, principals don't always understand these guidelines either), or if you believe the child does qualify, get his input on how to deal with the slp.
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jun 7, 2015

    Although you are the special educator, the IEP team is headed by your principal. This whole controversy is NOT your responsibility to handle or mediate. That pleasure belongs to your principal. Do as he told you, write the IEP, and get it signed.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    However, the speech teacher said that the child did not qualify. So, there must have been testing completed to come to that conclusion. Therefore, no hissy fit on the part of the teacher could change the non qualifying status of the child.

    So unprofessional!
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Deciding services in advance knowing the group will go in and strong arm the parents by using this method is also illegal. The IEP meeting is the place to discuss each member's need for services. However, most schools do what you are saying and it isn't right. I think the parent is in a better place knowing that team members disagree than having the united front supporting the speech teacher never knowing that others feel there still is a need.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our vice principal or principal sit in on each IEP meeting. They would never have allowed that fight to escalate. I had a student this year who tested out of sped services at the end of last year. Within just a few weeks I knew that was a bad situation for him. (I feel like he has some degree of autism). He floundered in some of his classes, but most especially in math. I went to speech, sped, and the IEP coordinator about him repeatedly and pushed retesting. I provided modifications, kept records, did the paperwork, etc. Any "disagreement" that was had was had outside of the mom's presence. All agreed that we wanted the best for the child. Finally, the parish sped diagnostician came and observed him. She met with me later and her first question was if he was acting how he normally did. When I told her yes, she said, "Wow, we've failed him." They gave him a full re-eval and he came out sped again, back in speech (stress induced stutter), and OT (new services for him). I think it took too long for it to happen, and I really feel like we almost wasted his 4th grade year. However, he will start 5th grade with services. I've never bucked the sped system that way before. I'm VERY nonconfrontational. My principal told me when it was done, that she took it seriously when she saw how invested I was in it. That's a long story to say that my confusion/concern is that the general Ed teacher was threatening to basically quit on the child if the services didn't continue. Is there a way to sit down with all the educators involved along with the principal (without the parents) to try and hash it all out?
     
  11. teacherld

    teacherld Rookie

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    This is the third meeting they have had, and still no agreement. The principal thought I could be the solution. However, I walked into it blindly. I didn't know that the speech teacher and the gen ed teacher were fighting. My principal told me to be the new case manager and that was it.

    I guess I will have to do as my principal told me and write the IEP as it was discussed in the meeting ( with monitor consult services). But give the speech therapist and out, by making an amendment to the IEP at the start of next year, when we get a new gen ed teacher, different IEP team. Reason being, there really is no difference in terminating services the end of this year, or the start of next. Hopefully, she complies. I doubt it though, both adults are being extremely unprofessional and childish. The principal has been out because someone in his family is sick and the assistant principal, has told me, that they don't want to be apart of this and that this situation would be better handled by the principal. So.. here I am. I just hate going through this the last week of school. I am really desperate to resolve the situation bc we only have 4 days left of school. sigh* lol
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    When a student has an IEP there is nothing in the federal law that says that the student must meet a discrepancy number to be allowed to have services to meet other needs such as speech. The state may provide some guidelines, but guidelines are just that - guides - not laws.

    You may want to question the speech teacher for the laws that she is using to indicate that the child cannot receive monitor services as part of the IEP. Make sure she shows you written documentation from the state, not her version of it or her "word".

    I've known many kids with disabilities in written expression getting services in math because they needed some extra help but would never qualify based on the discrepancy. They may not be that low, but they still require help or monitoring.

    I would put my best,\ "I'm just trying to see all sides" face on and see why the speech teacher is so adamant. I'd also get written documentation from the gen ed teacher as to what she is seeing in the classroom that makes her concerned to drop monitor consult.

    The other issue is why the child received services and why the gen ed teacher thinks monitor is still valid. Speech and language services for problems such as unintelligible speech that is now corrected is much different than services to support language and language acquisition. The gen ed teacher may be perceiving a lag in expressive language as the year goes on and the speech teacher may be looking at the child for pronunciation issues.....

    Be Sherlock Holmes if you want to be able to solve this and have sound reasons to try to resolve it one way or another.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    In a situation like this, I would recommend having the regular gen ed teacher submit a written statement about what they think, and have another gen ed teacher attend - as IDEA says (not exactly this wording, but you get it) a general education & special education teacher are needed to attend the meeting

    Doesn't have to be the child's teacher - just someone with knowledge of the curriculum - and since you are making the IEP for next year, might be best to have the teacher for the next grade there (That is why districts around here try to do IEPs in October-December around here)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are no surprises at my school IEP meetings. Teachers, support staff, specialists give input BEFORE the meeting and those who sign off on the IEP know what the recommendations are before the meeting. The situation described by the OP is incredibly unprofessional on all sides but presents a great opportunity for better communication, collaboration and collegiality. :2cents:


    The current teacher knows the kid best.:2cents: And since IEPs are reviewed yearly and kids get classified any time during the school year, it makes it pretty impossible to cover everyone in a 3 month time span.
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I didn't mean to imply that services are decided beforehand. To my knowledge, they are not. In my personal situation, the sped teacher will catch me and say, "Jane's IEP meeting is next week. She tested out of speech services, but is everything else working on her plan? We're also going to discuss placement for next year so be thinking about that." My students switch schools after my grade, so we have to work with the parents to determine placement. By giving me a heads up, if I had a question about the speech, I could ask them instead of in front of the parent.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    There are schools that hold meetings before the meeting to decide what they will and will not offer.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    We have a pre-iep meeting to discuss goals prior to the actual meeting. If there was a problem with the speech teacher it would have been addressed at that meeting. Can you talk to your department head about it?
     
  18. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    The speech therapist in our school was suspending services on some students in my class this year, but before she did she asked if there were any concerns that I had with the students. She did recognize that I was with the students more than her. However, I do know that she has more experience in speech than I do. It seems like the best interest of the student is not at work here.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The districts near me like to schedule IEP meetings for kids who qualify during the year a few months into the school year to make sure accommodations are working :p

    My IEP meetings were usually in december or january
     
  20. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    It actually says (emphasis mine):

    The written submission is allowable only if the parent agrees to it.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    If the parent has seen arguments break out in the meeting, they might agree to it :p
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Comba, you are right with your emphasis. That was a major change in IDEA because schools were randomly selecting teachers for IEP meetings to cover the procedural obligations of the law without regard for the needs of the student.

    General comment:
    I don't see parents wanting a letter instead of the gen ed teacher who seemed to be siding with the parents. I do believe they would like the administration to reign in the staff and require them to disagree professionally.

    If the speech provider is accurate in her claims, she should easily be able to bring documentation supporting her position.
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    That would not have happened in my district. We're supposed to send out a draft of the IEP to the parent one week before the meeting so that the parent can look it over, formulate questions, and have a knowledge of what goals and objectives their child will be working on before the meeting. It's a draft so anything can change at the actual meeting. If evaluations are being discussed and there's a recommendation for dismissal, that too is discussed with the parent and teachers prior to the meeting. And it's just that...a recommendation. Like others have stated though, if the child truly does not qualify for services, then they don't qualify.


    I do have a side question though, how can a student who is being dismissed from speech still continue with PT services? Here in TX, only a SPED student can receive those services and speech only students do not normally receive these services.
     
  24. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I know my state serves PT and OT as part of a 504 if necessary. Maybe it differs by state?
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    504 does not qualify for any services in my area- just accommodations. OT can be part of a speech or academic IEP if the child qualifies for OT services, but that can't stand alone on an IEP with only OT needs, which personally I think is dumb. I currently have a set of triplets entering 1st who were born very prematurely. OT is their biggest need. They had some justifiable academic needs at the beginning of K when I first did their IEPs, so we were allowed to continue everything. However, now two of them are above grade level in all academic areas. I have no data/justification for keeping academic services, but they still have very significant OT needs. If I exit them from my services completely, they won't be able to get any OT. I'm going to try to justify keeping them on "consult" with me for a year so they can get another year of OT in, but it's not likely that I'll be able to justify that for more than one year.
     
  26. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Speech-only IEPs are a bit tenuous.

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=122
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We have easy access to case mgrs. and they stop by often enough. We have a good CST team who are responsive and in touch with the professionals who are implementing the IEPs. :thumb:
     
  28. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I think the case managers find it easier to have an IEP a bit into the school year to see what is and isn't working - makes sense to me.
     

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