I’ve had a few days to process everything (and I’ve also just been too busy to write up an update!), but here it is.
I’m not going to dive into too many details, but the IEP team was there and it was explained to me that if I revoked consent for the speech services, that is was “all or nothing” – meaning if I revoke speech, I revoke everything on the IEP and it is no more. You see, apparently, in Ohio, it’s okay to do this. Speech is his primary identifier for needing an IEP, so anything else falls under that and gets taken away. Pretty crappy, huh?
Special education law confuses me, because while Ohio regulations say that a parent revoking consent for one service revokes consent for ALL services, I found this in the Federal regulations:
A public agency may not use a parent’s refusal to consent to one service or activity under paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d)(2) of this section to deny the parent or child any other service, benefit, or activity of the public agency, except as required by this part.
Which is from
Sec. 300.300 Parental consent. of IDEA (I guess the Federal version?)
To me, I interpret that to mean I can revoke consent for one OR all.
But, what do I know? Without forking over the fees for an attorney, there’s not even a way we can see if there is something even there. Can the Federal override the State? Why does it have to be “all or nothing”?
So at the IEP meeting, I pretty much, and maybe even literally, said “Screw it.” and signed to completely revoke my consent for his IEP. It’s gone. No more. No more IEP. I thought we would reach a milestone where he was at the level of a typically developing child when we ended our IEP. But you know what? What’s really and truly needed is a focus on math and reading deficits. We have speech and occupational therapy covered. We’ll be seeing what we can do as far as testing and any assistance for math and reading with absolutely zero focus to speech. If it’s another IEP, then I won’t even allow speech to be anywhere in it – all math and all reading.
I did ask the superintendent and the special education/pupil services director to check into the other THREE therapists in the district and whether or not one of their schedules would allow them to work with my son. If they can, then hopefully we can just reinstate the IEP and maybe call a meeting to make some adjustments to it so that it does include math and reading. I haven’t heard back from them on this though.
Am I happy? No. I was outraged at the meeting. I cried (okay, bawled is more like it), and I cried all the way home. It was a horrible experience. No other options were presented either – revising the IEP, drafting a new one, a 504 plan, an alternative therapist – no suggestions were offered or have ever been offered, it’s all been MY research and suggestions. Friday, I talked with an advocate for 40 minutes who had some good ideas and great encouragement. She listened to me, and I think that’s what I needed. Another outlet to vent.
Am I upset? Not any more. I had fleeting thoughts of, “I’ve screwed him for life!”, but then I realized that we still have speech and occupational therapy with our private therapists. We can work on things even more at home. If this is how it’s going to be, then fine.
On a good note, I did learn that kiddo has gone from a reading level (using DRA) 8 to a level 10! The other kids in the class are 12-15, so we’re getting there! That was the only bright moment of that meeting thanks to his teacher.