Anyone have any experience with an Asperger's child and an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)?

Question:My son with Asperger's is 8 yrs old and going into the third grade here in Ohio. His official diagnosis came at the end of his 1st grade year, and to date, does NOT have an IEP, even though he is qualified to have one. The school keeps telling me that it's in his best interest to NOT have one because they can be more flexible with his needs throughout the year. They assure me that they aren't being lazy. A part of me thinks they're full of it, so does my son's new psychologist. Any input would be great, thanks!

Yes they are being lazy!!
You need to learn about the IEP laws called IDEA 'individuals with disabilities education act'

This law is what schools and parents are suppose to follow in the IEP process. Most parents don't know this law exists, and most schools ain't about to tell them.

Schools are not legally obligated to help children with any kind of problems UNLESS the child has a 504 plan or has an IEP.

They will 'say' they will help without this, but they don't have to and the help can stop at any time.

Go to and learn about the laws and your rights.

Did the school do a full educational evaluation to determine he does not qualify for IEP?

I don't understand why he does NOT have IEP if he DOES qualify. Did school tell you he DOES qualify?

There is a step by step process in this whole thing, and to be able to help you more, I need to know where you are in the process.-

1) write a letter to school requesting a full educational eval to see if child qualifies for sped (IEP)
2)YOu sign a parent consent form to give permission for them to do the eval
3)The school gives you parents rights booklet, procedural safeguards booklet, and prior written notice for their agreement to do the evalution.
4) Eval is to be completed within 60 days and you have an IEP meeting with school called an 'eligilibity meeting'. This is when school tells you if child qualifies or not.
5)In this meeting school gives you copies of all evaluations, reports and scores.
6)If they say he doesn't qualify, they give you prior written notice of this decision.

If any of these things were not done, everything is ILLEGAL and the whole process needs to start over.

Please email me at for more help!!
If your child was diagnosed an IEP should be already be in place. Your school district is being lazy and also denying your child of his treatment goals and needs. They may be able to treat his overall needs as a child with Asperger's. My sister, a child at seven with Autism, has an IEP. She attends a regualr public school, and receives daily treatment through a occupational therapist that visits almost everyday. I work in mental health and an IEP is almost like gold, given that it gives you an almost exact understanding of you childs needs and behaviors. and how these needs and behaviors can be treated. it. not only in your childs social life but in his education as well. i would contact the school district and find out where you can go.
The school is only looking out for themselves. IEPs can be adjusted as needed so their excuse of flexibility is ridiculous. By not having an IEP, they can get by without providing the resources he needs, such as a teacher's aide. The school is not held accountable without an IEP. My son has had one since 1st grade, even before the correct diagnosis of Asperger's and the school has still fought me over what he actually needs and what they "think" he needs. Trust your instincts!! You know your son better than they do and you know what he needs. (BTW, my son is almost 17 and entering a vocational program to become a veterinary assistant.)
You need to have an IEP so that you can hold the school district accountable for the services that you child needs. IEP's can always be amended or revised.

Yes, they are full of it.
I do not know Ohio laws, but IEPS are can help many areas from behavior to modifications and /or accommodations, or classroom IEPs are set to address specific objectives/goals for an "IEP year," to assist his curriculum. If his needs do not require a "year" to work on maybe they are on to it.but if he needs specific areas concentrated on, you need to FIGHT for the IEP. His education should happen in the Least Restrictive Environment----not him getting the least amount of support. Get the school Psychologist involved, if that doesn't help ask for outside evaluations...or find out your due process rights and go for it.Help early will set him up for success prior to secondary(middle and high school)years. Make sure you have all your areas of concern written down and that the areas affect his educational learning. Data is will prove your needs. I wish you luck.
I am an inclusion teacher and I am hoping that the school district has not done an IEP because your child is successful in his current class. I have had students with Asperger's syndrome, some with IEP's and some without depending on the needs of the child. The bottom line is what is the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) in which the child can experience success. That may very well be a regular classroom if the student is experiencing success within that setting. Look over the most recent evaluation and see what services were recommended. There is usually some type of summary at the end stating which services are recommended. The bottom line is you are an advocate for your child. You know your child better than anyone and if you feel his needs are not being met, then you should pursue further action. Check your local area for parent support groups or advocacy groups.
I have a son with the same diagnosis and he has had an IEP since he was 3 years old; he is now 9. I am also a teacher and advocate for my students with special needs. IT IS THE LAW that ALL students with special needs/ or who receive related services (speech, occupational therapy,physical therapy, counseling) have an IEP in place. My son receives speech therapy,occupational therapy and counseling for social assistance. The people in your son's school are completely out of compliance with special ed regulations and his educational rights are being ignored. This is criminal!! Please, Please press the issues and if you aren't familiar with your rights ask for a copy of them from your son's school. They are taking advantage of your lack of information and will continue to do so until you take them to task. This is also a violation of you son's civil rights. I learned a long time ago that if my son was to enjoy the appropriate education he deserves, it was up to me to fight for his rights. I know my rights and the law, and it still took me a year of fighting to finally get what he needed. (Did I mention my husband is also a former special ed teacher who knows these rights intimately??) Don't give up! You son deserves a team who is there to tend to his educational needs.
To request an IEP you send your request by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. (You will stick a green card on the back of the envelop, and when they receive your letter they will sign for this and you will get the green card mailed back to you.) By statute that have only a certain amount of days to evaluate your child.

Send the request to your school site to the attention of your principal, and to your school superintendent.

You can have your child evaluated privately, and then send the results to the school psychologist who may or may not initiate or advocate for you.

In order for a child to succeed with an IEP he must have a involved parent, a principal who is supportive of the IEP process and advocates for complete and accurate evaluation of the child, a cooperative and well trained class room teacher, and a cooperative and well trained lab teacher.
When faced with the challenge of selecting an appropriate placement for a child, parents and professionals need to understand the concept of "least restrictive environment" (LRE). The IDEA sets up procedural guidelines to ensure a free appropriate education in the least restrictive environment tailored to each child's individual needs.

The law begins with the assumption that, to the maximum extent possible, children with disabilities should be educated with their non-disabled peers. Once the child's needs are assessed and necessary services and supports are determined, the placement options should begin with the regular or inclusive classroom. Children with disabilities do not have to start in a more restrictive or separate class and then "earn" the right to move to a less restrictive placement. If it is found that a regular education classroom would not meet the child's needs, even with support services, then another option may be pursued. Keep in mind that the child with a disability must benefit from the placement. The child should not be "dumped" in a classroom where the child is not receiving an appropriate education.

The law specifies that educational placement should be determined individually for each child, based on that child's specific needs, not solely on the diagnosis or category. No one program or amount of services is appropriate for all children with disabilities. A safe educational environment is important for all children. School safety concerns are addressed in IDEA. Educational services cannot be withheld as a disciplinary remedy. While students with disabilities may be suspended for disciplinary concerns that would also apply to general education students, educational services must continue at all times, even when a student is expelled for behavior not associated with his disability.

The IEP is the cornerstone for the education of a child with a disability. It should identify the services a child needs so that he/she may grow and learn during the school year. It is also a legal document that outlines:

~The child's special education plan by defining goals for the school year
~Services needed to help the child meet those goals
~A method of evaluating the student's progress

The objectives, goals and selected services are not just a collection of ideas on how the school may educate a child.
The school district must educate your child in accordance with the IEP.

Within the law, there are specific procedural safeguards to protect your child's rights. If you and the school disagree on the placement, educational program or other areas surrounding your child's education, you may want to utilize one or more of the following approaches:

~Discussion or conference with school staff. Staff may include the teachers, counselors or principal.

~An IEP review. You may request an IEP review at any time.

~Negotiation or mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process as described in IDEA in which a neutral third person (mediator) assists parties (parents and the school) to work together to resolve their dispute. All states must have a mediation process established that meets the requirements of IDEA, including maintaining a list of qualified mediators and bearing the cost of the mediation process. Neither party is required to use mediation. The mediator cannot force either party to accept a resolution to the dispute. If a mutually satisfactory agreement is reached on some or all of the issues, a written agreement is set forth. Discussions that occur in mediation are confidential and may not be used as evidence in subsequent proceedings. Mediation must be available as a dispute resolution option, but may not be used to deny or delay the parental right to a due process hearing.

~Due Process Hearing. You may request a due process hearing if you do not agree with your child's identification, evaluation, or educational placement. This is a legal proceeding, and you should obtain legal advice.

~Complaint resolution procedures. Any individual or organization may file a complaint alleging that the local educational agency has violated a requirement of IDEA. The complaint must be written and signed; it must cite the specific IDEA requirement that was violated and the facts upon which the allegation is made. The state educational agency must resolve the issues of the complaint within 60 calendar days after it is filed.

Many parents seek out assistance from education advocates or disability advocates. To help you better understand your child's rights under federal law, and more effectively communicate with professionals regarding your child's education, each state has a federally funded Parent Training Information Center (PTI) that provides information and assistance to parents facing the educational process. PTIs are designed to teach parents basic advocacy techniques and encourage parents to become full participants in their child's education. These organizations, which are sometimes administered through other disability organizations such as Easter Seals or the ARC, can help parents gain confidence in advocating for their children's rights.

Every state also has a Protection and Advocacy Agency. Originally these agencies were set up to protect individuals with disabilities from abuse and neglect; however, their scope is much broader now. In many of the agencies, their advocacy centers around helping families obtain free, appropriate, public education for their children. State Protection and Advocacy Agencies offer training, case management, and legal counsel in many instances.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) can also be a resource of information on education rights. If you have a question regarding IDEA and can't seem to get an answer in your state, you may write OSEP for clarification of the law. Contact OSEP directly at the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Mail Stop 2651, Washington, DC 20202, 202-205-5507.
You need to get an IEP in place immediately! I work with children in the middle school setting with autism,aspergers,CP,Downs, etc. and everyone of my children have an IEP. If your school refuses, you have something called Due Process. Any attorney will help you, basically it is the last resort, but a legal way to get what you need for your child. Most of the time the schools will start listening or else they will be involved in a major legal battle. Good luck, and dont back down. Stay firm in what you feel you need and get everyone involved that you can.
First off, kids with aspergers are not stupid and don't need special education. What they need is additional social skills training related to their disorder. The vast majority of aspies who went to regular school did just fine academically. It was their social conflicts that caused problems.

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