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May 14, 2007

Comments

Daunna Minnich

This student is a real charmer. With such glowing praise for his 8th grade teacher, and such clear explanations of what has worked, what's difficult, and what he hopes for, I'll bet the IEP team bent over backwards to make sure his IEP includes the right accommodations to help him succeed in high school.

Response: yes they did but also because he had an equally charming attorney.

Cirque Lodge

Very nice talking young man! He would make a fine bloger for my site!

Kerry

I applaud this young man. It is a scary step moving to the next level of education. My son was diagnosed with a learning disability in the first grade consisting of math and language arts specifically written expression and comprehension. My son will graduate from high school in two weeks. He is taking AP Environmental Science, Honors English, and Discrete Math. He has met all the requirements to attend college. He applied to two colleges and has been accepted by both of them. Like this young man, we were very fortunate to have excellent support from the teachers in the middle school (6th-8th). My son also had problems taking notes in class. He spent so much time trying to take the notes that he really didn’t hear what the teacher was saying. One solution was to use post it notes. He was allowed to put the post it note on the page in the book and write what he needed on that piece of paper. One accommodation was to have him write as much as he could but at the end of the period, the teacher would give him a handout of the information that was covered. He has learned over the years to take notes that make sense to him and has overcome most of his written expression difficulties. He loves to read (we started with comic books and Anima). I believe that the reading has helped tremendously with comprehension and written expression. When he watches TV, he uses the closed caption so he can read and hear the words.

He did struggle some in high school. Mostly because they don’t have the same resources in high school, but my son is proof that even with these obstacles, you can do it. The high school does not have a resource teacher to assist students. They do have an EC Coordinator that was supposes to be a facilitator with issues. Unfortunately, we found the only thing that she consistently took care of was the annual IEP meeting. It wasn’t until I asked for mediation last year that we got some attention. In our state if you believe that there is a problem, you must ask for local mediation before you can ask for the state to mediate.

We have just encountered a problem on the college level because of misinformation on the high school level. Our state requires students be tested every three years. In my son’s case the EC Coordinator said that my son would have a “Reevaluation” because testing was not necessary. Now my son is not in compliance and the college (a state college) will not provide services. Be sure to check you state guidelines and follow the state testing guidelines. I thought the EC Coordinator was looking out for my son’s best interest and I found out today that I was so wrong. The high school will not test my son now because they are in “compliance”. Technically, they are in compliance, morally, they mislead us by stating that the testing was not necessary. They did know that my son was college track and they did know that the college would not accept just the IEP.

Never give up. I called the college. I have two options, private testing (this can be expensive) or the college may be able to test my son during the summer. I have to make that phone call tomorrow.

Parents need to demand the same resources be available to their student regardless of grade level or disability. Fight not just for your child but for all students with learning disabilities. These young men and women are our future. Every parent that I come in contact with that has a child with a learning disability, I caution them about the difficulties in our high schools. And I do come in contact with a lot of the parents because I am the person that does scheduling in one of our public middle schools. I am not sure that NCLB is helping or hurting these students because many EC Departments are trying to exit the students from their programs. If you don’t understand something, ask for mediation; verify verbal information before you sign any IEP papers. Learn from my mistakes.

Cyn

What a shining example of a student who can express himself.

I am proud of him (without knowing this person).

Here's hoping for continued sucess and many more kids who can follow in his footsteps. I hope this guy thinks about mentoring others. He sure would be an inspiration.

Cyn

Heather

Just to let you know, if your child's IEP has as part of their transition, that they are going to collage. You may be able to get them to do the required testing for collage accommodations. This really should have been put into their transition plan. My suggestion is that you talk to your State Board of Education and see what they say. Best of Luck!

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