Predetermination in Special Education – What Can You Do About It?

Are you the parent of a child with autism, learning disability, or a physical disability that has been struggling to get your child an appropriate special education? Do you think that special education personnel come to Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings already decided about your child’s placement or needed services? This article will be discussing predetermination, special education, and ways to overcome this.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that a child has the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Parents have the right to be involved in all decisions made for their child’s education. Special education personnel may bring a draft IEP to the meeting, but only if they are willing to change the IEP to allow parental input.

Predetermination is defined as school personnel making unilateral decisions about a child before the IEP meeting, without parental input, and refusing to listen to parental input during the meeting. Or school district personnel presenting a take it or leave it IEP. If a parent brings information that a child needs a particular related or special education service and evidence that the child needs it, school district personnel are required to at least “consider” the input. The problem is that many special education personnel have already decided or predetermined what placement or services will be offered.

In a well know predetermination case the court found that a school district had an unofficial policy of denying all requests for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) programs; despite evidence that a child required it. In this case the parents paid for a private ABA program in which the child made tremendous progress. The school district was excited about the child’s progress until the parents asked for reimbursement; then they refused to pay. The court found that the school district would not listen to the parents or their experts, about the child’s need for ABA. This was predetermination and the courts ruled that the parents had the right to reimbursement for the private ABA program.

In another predetermination case the court found that despite evidence that a child was making great progress at a private school, and continued to need the services that the private school offered, the school district only placed the child in the private school because they were working on a plan to transition him to a district based placement. They refused to listen to the parent or the parents experts, that the child needed to continue to attend the private school to receive FAPE. The court determined that this was predetermination; and the child was able to continue at the private school at public expense.

It is my opinion that predetermination occurs when a school district makes unilateral decisions about a child’s education despite evidence to the contrary, and refuses meaningful parental input. Also when a take it or leave it IEP is presented to parents.

How to overcome predetermination:

1. Bring documentation of your child’s educational needs to the IEP meeting and share with special education personnel; schools must consider all information brought by parents.

2. Parents must be meaningful participants in the IEP process. Relay the court rulings to special education personnel that if a parent is not allowed meaningful participation in the development of their child’s IEP, predetermination and denial of FAPE may be found.

3. If special education personnel still refuse to allow you input or only give one option for services or placement, consider a state complaint for violation of IDEA.

4. Have an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) performed on your child to determine what related and special education services your child needs. Make sure that the evaluator you pick is not only willing to test your child but to write a comprehensive and concise report that includes recommendations for needed related and special education services.

Predetermination is harmful for children with disabilities because it denies children the services that they need to benefit from their education. Keep advocating-your child is worth it!

The Four Key Advantages Of Running A School Using Education Personnel Services

In the pursuit of providing the finest education, newly established schools could overlook the need for implementing good management policies that guarantee longevity in the business. Academic institutions, after all, are a business and not just places of learning so it’s crucial for any school to make management decisions that would be a financial benefit. One of the critical aspects of running any academic institution is managing personnel. Obtaining professional education personnel services has the potential to grow and maintain any school. Here now are four key advantages to acquiring professional assistance:

Specialists in education personnel can do recruitment and hiring using the highest standards. Every business relies on the quality of its workforce to determine its outputs and schools, in particular, need to hire only the best people. From screening for qualifications to vetting for suitability, education personnel specialists have the expertise and capabilities to get the best teachers, headteachers, administrators, and other essential staff. With education personnel specialists, schools save time and money on their recruitment process.

Specialists in school support services can provide a full suite of consultation services for personnel management. These might include headteacher support, early retirement and/or redundancies, staff audits, absence management, job evaluations and recommendations, reorganisation, pay and working conditions, and development of human resources policies. Essentially, the consultation services make it easy for any academic institution to focus on developing and implementing the curriculum while being assured that everything is running as smoothly as possible.

Specialists in education services can help the school staff to improve in how they perform their work by recommending the right type of training. From headteachers to administrators, every school personnel will acquire critical skills and knowledge in handling discipline and grievances, performance management, conducting investigations, and other concerns that apply.

Providers of education HR Services can help schools when legal issues need to be addressed. Whether it’s recognising recent amendments to the education system or handling conflicts regarding admissions, every school needs to be prepared well to resolve any legal matter. Some education support specialists can merely consult, but it would be preferable to have a firm that also has ties with law firms because this could help schools minimise on legal costs.

A school is a place of learning. But whether it’s a prep school or a university, it is still a business. It would be wise for any academic institution then to implement management policies and decisions that enable it to prosper as a commercial institution. And experts in personnel and school support can do just that.

4 Parenting Tips – How to Overcome Blame, From Special Education Personnel

Are you the parent of a child with autism that has been blamed for your child’s behavioral difficulties? Have you been told by special education personnel that your child’s learning disability or difficulty is your fault? This article will discuss a study of school psychologists about blame for children’s learning difficulties. And also, give you tips,on how to overcome the blame, placed by some disability educators.

Several years ago, I heard about a study where school psychologists were asked who they blamed, when a child had learning difficulties. The basic outcome of the study showed that 100% of the psychologists that were surveyed, placed the blame on the child or the parents. Not one school psychologist blamed the school district, teacher, inappropriate curriculum, lack of resources, or inadequate instruction, for children’s learning difficulties. Years ago, I heard a school psychologist blame a mother for her daughter’s learning disability, since then I have heard it several times.

While the study did not include blame for behavioral difficulties, it has been my experience that school personnel often blame parents for children’s school behavioral issues. Parents must overcome both types of blame, so that they can advocate for an appropriate education, for their child.

Tip 1: If a school person tells you that your child’s behavior, is because of something that is going on at home, stand up to them. Tell the person that you do not believe that this is true. If your child has autism, they may have a lot of behavioral difficulties due to their disability. Most families are not perfect, but most times do not cause a child’s behavioral difficulty; especially if the child’s behavioral difficulty is at school.

Tip 2: Try and figure out what your child is telling you by their behavior; perhaps the work is too hard, they are not receiving appropriate instruction. Try and figure out the ABC’s of Behavior; A stands for antecedent (what was happening before the behavior), B stands for Behavior (what was the specific behavior), and C stands for the Consequence (what did the child get out of the behavior). By focusing on the behavior, and not the blame you will help your child.

Tip 3: If your child is struggling with academics due to a learning disability; make sure that they are receiving research based instruction, which is required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Children with learning disabilities need a reading program with five principles: Simultaneous multi sensory, systematic and cumulative, direct interaction, diagnostic teaching, and analytic instruction. Check out http://www.ortongillingham.com for more information.

Tip 4: Tell the special education person, that your child has the right to a free appropriate public education, and you will be holding them accountable for that. Be honest, and bring up any school related reasons that you believe your child is having academic difficulty, or behavioral difficulty. Many schools continue using outdated curricculums that do not work, which can cause lack of academic progress and frustration in some children.

You can overcome the blame that some disability educators try and place on your or your child. Continue to focus on your child, and their needs, and this will help you overcome the blame. Your child is depending on you!