starting an IEP/504 for your child

@sissy15 (12269)
United States
March 4, 2024 8:38pm CST
Something I realized recently is how so many people are struggling to get the help their kids need in school. If you notice something off with your kid YOU need to be their advocate. The quickest way to get your child what they need is to address it yourself. Teachers can only do so much. The parent needs to bring up the issues with the school and not wait for someone to notice and bring it up to you. Teachers are really struggling this year to get kids the services they need to be successful because parents are either in denial or don't care because the parents have been informed with what their children struggle with and refuse to get their kids anything because they don't think they need it. We have a kid that could really use a ton of extra support but the mom doesn't think they need it meanwhile they can't cope because they act like a three-year-old in second grade because the mom refuses to see that her child is more than likely autistic with severe ADHD and needs to be on meds and have some therapy and things. He is going to fail going forward because he can't keep up even though he's extremely intelligent but when your brain can't work the way it needs to you're eventually going to fall behind. Sometimes parents let their egos get in the way of letting their child get the help they need. It's ok that your child isn't neurotypical. That isn't what makes you a failure what makes you a failure as a parent is seeing there's obviously something wrong and failing to address it. I know not all parents are like this. I know some parents right now are struggling to get their children help and don't know what to do in order to move forward. As a parent with a child who isn't neurotypical, I know the struggle. I remember before my son was diagnosed just feeling lost. I saw him struggling and having issues he didn't have before at least not to the same degree and I just didn't know what to do. I was super concerned and at that time there was a substitute teacher in the room as my son's actual teacher was on maternity leave and when I mentioned I was concerned she dismissed me and told me that it wasn't that bad and he was just really immature and it struck a chord in me. I knew my son and I knew this wasn't normal behavior especially not for him. When his actual teacher came back she was concerned and kept telling me he was disrupting the class. That hurt to hear my child was a problem. I knew something was off because my son has always been this super sweet kid and never did anything to intentionally hurt anyone. At his next doctor's appointment, I brought up my concerns to his pediatrician who agreed he was showing signs that were not normal for his age. My husband was irritated I brought it up because he didn't think the pediatrician was someone you talked to about behavior concerns but I knew better, I'm glad I didn't listen to him and brought up my concerns and later he was too. My husband was more concerned with looking stupid at that time and I remember being annoyed with him. The pediatrician mentioned he was showing signs of sensory sensitivity. She noticed he screamed like he was in pain when she barely touched him. He was also showing auditory sensitivity. She referred us to an occupational therapist to have him tested. At the end of the testing, they told us he was showing all of the symptoms of sensory processing disorder which was enough to get him help at school. My son also struggled with writing his handwriting was super sloppy and he was doing a ton of letter reversals (which was normal at that point). After his first visit with his new OT she told us how to start a meeting to get him services at school. You have to write a letter of concern and request they evaluate them. They'll want any documentation you have that your child has some sort of disability or reason for services. They'll do their own evaluation and move forward from there. Once you give them the letter they have a small window of time to start the meeting. If we didn't do something there's every chance my son may have never gotten what he needed. He is on a 504 and not an IEP which means he doesn't need as much intervention but has additional help he wouldn't have without it. An IEP is more in-depth and harder to get on. When the school has to intervene because behavior is so bad and the parents don't want to help more often than not a kid who needs an IEP will get a 504 just so they have some support even though it isn't enough. An IEP really needs a parent's support. The takeaway here is if you are concerned address it. You are your child's biggest advocate. Stop ignoring signs that something is wrong because you don't want to see them because ignoring them is not helping your child. If you just don't know how to get your child help talk to your pediatrician and start a letter and hand it to your child's principal. I understand it's all a lot and seems a little scary but if your child needs help and isn't getting it just imagine how much harder life is for them right now. I'm not saying all parents are ignoring all of the signs because most aren't and just don't know where to begin. It's a lot and it can be kind of scary but I promise you'll never regret helping your child.
1 response
• Nairobi, Kenya
5 Mar
Such a long read. You are right, parents should pay attention to their children to know everything that is going on. Teachers have many kids to handle.