On November 29th the same day I mailed the certified letters to the Board members I also sent a letter to my son’s case manager following up on the proposed goals that the district had taken forever to write. They had presented the IEP draft to me on the night of parent conferences about ten days prior. Upon my review I discovered the child study team had omitted the related service of vision therapy that had been granted on October 27th and no goals were written to address his visual processing deficits. I wanted to know why.
The case manager replied a few days later. “The IEP team has included all the educational services that we can provide from your needs list. We did not include a few of the visual processing needs from your list, because they are services provided by a medical doctor. Currently, your request for vision therapy has not yet been approved by the board. It is expected to be reviewed at their next meeting on December 22, 2004. If the Board of Education agrees to pay for the vision therapy we will put the service in the IEP, as a medical service that the district is paying for. However, this request is not an educational service and was not recommended by the IEP team. You made a personal request to the previous superintendent to pay for your son’s medical procedure.” The letter ended “We will continue to remain committed to developing an IEP that you are satisfied with and we will continue to remain committed to servicing your sons’s educational needs.”
They were traveling on a slippery slope. First off dissecting their letter a bit, it was so clear to me that THEY were the IEP team and I was just a lowly parent. However, the law states the parent is suppose to be an equal member of the IEP team. Years later, I have yet to see a parent treated as an equal member. Why? There is a clear lack of respect towards parents and their input because after all they are the educators and we are just parents.
Secondly, vision therapy was NOT a medical service and I was NOT asking the district to pay for my son’s medical procedure. I was asking the district to provide a service to address my son’s needs that were impacting his education. If they didn’t think I would have gladly gone or had already tried to go to my medical insurance for coverage of this service they were sadly mistaken. I was getting the run around. The district was claiming it was a “medical service” and my insurance was claiming it was an “educational service” and that my son had no medical or health conditions affecting his eye health so therefore it was purely educational.
I wrote the case manager back re-iterating my history of requests for vision therapy, what had occurred at the recent IEP meetings and documenting the crucial reason of why I went to the superintendent and why so much work had been done on the goals and objectives outside the IEP meeting. It was all too convenient for them to say that I made a “personal request to the previous superintendent” to pay for my “son’s medical procedure” when the fact was the special education director and child study team had claimed they didn’t have the authority to make the decision to grant vision therapy because it was up to the superintendent. Additionally, weren’t they the ones who refused to go through the report page by page to identify my son’s needs and then write goals? I was willing and ready and had even hired a babysitter while they abruptly got up and walked out of the IEP meeting behaving as if my request to develop the IEP and goals at an IEP meeting was unreasonable.
All I knew was that I was so close to getting my son the long needed service and I was determined. I was about to push them off that slippery slope. I wasn’t going away. As far as I was concerned it was going to be the Slippery Slope to Victory!!! I couldn’t give up now…..
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT