Parent "suggestions"

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by ecteach, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Oct 21, 2016

    What is a good way to respond when a parent makes demands or suggestions that are completely unrealistic? For example, they want therapies for which the child has been tested within the last year, and did not qualify. Or they want EXPENSIVE devices that, in my professional opinion, will not help the child, and that my county simply does not have the money for. I find myself getting more and more frustrated daily.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2016

    First of all, you never say "does not have the money for". The federal law is very clear about that.

    You demonstrate that the child doesn't need the therapies by showing that the deficit she is pointing out does not impact education. Testing doesn't always show the real problem because it is done in a very controlled setting. Often times out of the controlled setting the problem is worse. (I've known OTs to say that the child tested with in the means given enough time, but the problem is the classroom can't give enough time. The child needs therapy, but the testing setting is nothing like a real classroom. The child suffers, the class suffers, and things get worse. The only one that seems to benefit is the coffers of the district.)

    When it comes to expensive things, the district can't say they can't afford it. That is illegal and spelled out very well in IDEA. You have to show that the device, even with proper training of all involved, will not benefit the student. Your explanation must go beyond your professional opinion, it must be based on facts. You have to show that the child either has the skills already or has such a severe deficit in an area that he is unable to use the device. At that point, it might mean that other supports are needed to improve the areas that are so severe. You also can't point out that the child doesn't have the disposition or drive to use the device because that can all be included in the IEP.

    Parents have every right to request because they are part of the team, and they don't have a job held over their head for asking for what they believe will help. It seems you feel things are going just fine with the student and progress is being made. Can you show how the child is making adequate progress without these things? If not, you do have a problem with the IEP and related services. She may not know what is needed, but she may know that more is needed.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 24, 2016

    Nobody should be making demands of you. Refer the parent to the therapists or administration. Of course they have a right to "request" but once they are denied they should not be demanding. I also would not bring up the funding issues. Let the higher ups deal with it.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2016

    The first thing I would tell the parent, and you may already have, is that you are hearing their concerns/suggestions. Then address them one by one. Pull out the evaluations, if needed, to show that they were evaluated by didn't meet the eligibility for a specific service. As far as the expensive device is concerned, I agree with a2z's approach to show through documentation that the student would get no educational benefit from the use of such a device.
     
  6. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 26, 2016

    And when all else fails, refer them to the SPE coordinator with their concerns and demands.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 26, 2016

    I think the other thing you really have to be open to is there is a difference between not qualifying due to cut-off scores and not needing help because the person is performing adequately. They don't always line up. I've seen far too many times where the tests did not qualify a student but everything else said there was a problem. Good thing is that IDEA specifically says that that other measures can be used to demonstrate need.
     

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