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OT - IEPs

EveryoneLies's picture

I sometimes think the IEP accommodations aren't always helpful to the students. 

My ss has accommodations for extended test time and late work turn in. I think extended test time is helpful...if he really needs it (and actually willing to use it). In reality the teacher constantly had to tell him to review before he submit his work and he'd argue he's done everything 100% correct. (Spoiler: he did not) SS just want to rush through things so he can get to the fun stuff. For the late homework do turn in without penalty, it doesn't seem so helpful in my opinion. SS is capable of doing homework on time, the only reason the homework is not done is not because he's so disabled (in our case) but that he rather does something else.

The accommodations are for sure beneficial to make applying for a college more a possibility (currently he's running gpa is below 3), but again how do these accommodations represent real-life situations? 

Under IDEA the accommodation like stated above needs to be follow, but once a kid get in to the real world, ADA requires them to perform with the same standard as everyone else when accommodations are provided (and it's not guaranteed). That could very often mean no late work and no make up work. I don't think the system is preparing the special needs kids for the reality.

I'm just rambling because clearly we just had an IEP meeting, but of course I'm not going to say anything to remove the accommodations. It is obviously not my call to make. 

Comments

strugglingSM's picture

My SSs have similar vague accommodations. I think they also get to take all assessments in the resource room and their grades are always adjusted to passing, even if they haven't done all the work and have failed assessments. In addition, they change classes all the time for a variety I'd reasons, usually "the teacher is mean" or "the class is too hard...everyone thought so." They are definitely not prepared to deal with any adversity. I wouldn't put it past BM to call up any future bosses and tell them they are just expecting too much from her precious babies.

EveryoneLies's picture

I've heard that exact same line before, and I hate it every bit. Just last week the teachers (yes multiple) said to us if their students get a c it is good, b and a are rarities (are you serious?). We are in a good school district so it is surprising to hear that. 

This is what bothers me...If high school is too hard how do you handle college?

But anyways DH is going to email the teacher to give my SS credits for his late work. I think this specific teacher's policy is a bit extreme (late work = no points) but it's probably because she just had too many students who didn't turn in work on time way too often. I think hard work should get credit, but late work should get credit taken. However my opinion doesn't matter in this case (not a complain).

I just think that kids getting certain accommodations are very ill-equipped for the real world, and I feel bad about it. 

 

Livingoutloud's picture

Accommodations are discussed and decided by the IEP team and aren't just automatically awarded. Parents are members of IEP team and in my experience they are the ones who want as many accommodations for their little darlings as possible. Most of the time it ends up being whatever parents want. 

community colleges around me provide similar accommodations students had in high school (not all but extended time and tests in a quiet room etc are given). I agree that many aren't college material but tell it to the parents. That's not what they think. 

grades adjusted to passing? I've never seen insane accommodation like that. Bet you that some parent wanted that in IEP. If they don't do the work and aren't mastering a curriculum, they aren't passing regardless of IEP 

EveryoneLies's picture

I've only been seeing the IEP team telling us most of the goals are met (although we can hardly agree) and taking supports off from the list when ss is already not getting them all. 
 

i understand the ultimate goal is to move sped students to gen Ed, but it very much feels like the school's attitude was that "the students are welcome to ask for help when they need it." Sure that probably works for gen Ed students, we are talking about an autistic kid who is not motivated academically, and you want him to "just ask for help"?

ss said the teacher told him if he takes Summer school, he will automatically get an A. Since he's not the best listener I only take that as a grain of salt. I do see some of the accommodations he gets specify that he can have make-up and redo up to B or C (depending on subject). I like having second chances, what I don't like if I've already seen that he thinks he can just "retake" the tests so it doesn't matter.

DH is usually reasonable, he's only emailing the teacher this time because he's angry that ss is not getting all the supports (supports, not accommodations) he needs, so DH said ss is getting something this time. He doesn't want ss to think he can just keep turn in work late forever either.

ss is not dumb, but he is overly confident (all teachers are telling him he's doing great lol) and thinks his minimal effort (like using calculators to do work and not showing the steps, or staring into the books and thinks that is studying) is enough. I don't think he will be able to survive college, and Dh is starting to see that too. I mean, we really don't think we should still be checking his assignments in college like we still have to do now, you know lol

strugglingSM's picture

I'm not sure if the specific accommodation is listed as "grades adjusted to passing" in either SSs IEP because DH is not informed of IEP meetings anymore, but their online report cards regularly say "grade adjusted in accordance with plan on file" or something to that effect. One of them is now listed as having a C in a class, with his assessment average listed as a B+, but if you actually do the math yourself, his true assessment average is a C -, so his grade would be a D with all of the Fs he's received on homework assignments. This is the math class he was moved too because he was "too smart" (according to him) for resource room math. My SSs also regularly manage to get As or Bs in classes even when they have lots of missing work. Their assessment grades are usually adjusted after the fact. One regularly gets Ds and Fs on assessments, but has all perfect scores on his homework (even though he was never one to work hard on homework). When I was still talking to SSs about school, I tried to help them to understand that working hard was important, but they continue to believe that grades just happen to you without anything to do with your effort. BM also told the guidance counselor at one school that one SS has OCD about getting bad grades (he is anxious that he will be homeless if he gets bad grades, according to BM), so I wouldn't be surprised if he is flagged as someone who must always be given an A or a B. He also transfers out of any classes where the teacher gives him a C or a D...often because, according to him, the "teacher was mean" or "the teacher yelled too much." 

EveryoneLies's picture

I guess my SS's IEP is not that ridiculous at least. My SS is allowed to retake and redo tests/hw, I saw the overall saying up to 100% credit, but the gen Ed teachers said up to B or C, so I don't know how they plan to follow this.

i wish your SS (and mine) have OCD of work with perfect quality, not that people just need to give them perfect credit because they can't take any critiques. 

i can't fathom a smart person who doesn't know critiques are and honest/fair feedback are good for them. But of course all skids are super special..

skell76's picture

One one for learning disabilities and the other for medical (Type 1 Diabetic) and gifted programming

While my oldest was allowed extra time only on exams she was always too embarrassed to take it because she didn't want her peers to think she was dumb. Fat lot of good that did us.  College she was more willing to schedule time with her professor but real life....outside of a testing I can take to help my positiion I don't have testing in my job. I know some that do but it isn't a reality to have pressured tests of remembering / retaining information.  She has an auditory processing disorder that they misdiagnosed for years as ADHD. Out of pocket private testing got us to the end result which helped her tremendously with skills on how she learns (using more than one sense) 

My youngest sometimes had to defer an exam due to low blood sugar which would apply to real life as well. This kiddo also had it for gifted but when we moved states the schools didn't have advanced classes like she formerly took they only gave them extra projects (that's another rant) so it was a moot point because she quit the gifted programming in 7th grade.

Neither of my kids had any adjusted scoring. This is just my experience. 

EveryoneLies's picture

I feel quiet room and extended time are some of the good accommodations. I know some parents abuse these policies thus they get a bad rap, but I can see the needs to have them in place to help kids who are capable but just need a little more time. 
 

i also understand that some academically motivated kids like yours might choose not to use it. I admire them having pride in their performance, as a parent I also understand sometimes we just worry lol

In our case it is really the unlimited second chance to make up grade that I don't fully agree with. SS is already always expecting people to let him redo, retake all the time (applies to everything), resulting in never putting in effort the first time. Truth is, if he just puts effort in the first time he might never need the second, third, or god forbid the forth time. We work on this so hard at home but the school is just telling him "do as many time as you want!" He also has one accommodation saying he is allowed to do less work than other gen Ed kid. How does this help him learn?
 

i see why the accommodations are there, I guess I just don't like the part where they don't push the student to achieve their potential.

skell76's picture

And we never let our girls use it as a crutch.  We encouraged oldest using the skills to study properly to be prepared and also with youngest making sure she was eating properly to balance her sugars. My point being there is personal responsibility and if kids know they get to just send in late or do over, agreed that's not teaching anything.  Sorry I missed that. 

ESMOD's picture

Unfortunately, I believe the ADA accomodations are more along the lines of the business being required to provide tools or make reasonable accomodations for someone.

For example.. a deaf person might have TTY capabilities and probably wouldnt be in a "call center" as a job if speaking (and they were unable to speak clearly) was part of the job.. but could certainly do "chat feature" customer service since that would work.

Or.. someone unable to stand or stand for long hours might need a stool available in their position as a cashier.. when most of the other cashiers might not have one.

But, an IEP that gives more time to complete a task?  Certainly there may be employment opportunities that are tailored for people with developmental issues that make it hard to do a task in a timely manner.. you are unlikely to see a "normal" employer be willing to give someone a different call quota in the call center as an accomodation.. they have a job that needs to be done.. and late or incomplete work won't be acceptable.

Now, in a learning environment.. if a child needs more time or a different format for learning? sure.. to grasp a concept fully.. the more time can help.. and if it's something like dyslexia where reading/writing could be barriers to showing they know the material.. other ways of testing is appropriate too. but in the end.. someone with dyslexia that hasn't been able to compensate for that disability would be less likely to be successful pursuing a job where accuracy and comprehension were super needed.. like doing accounting work.. proofreading etc..

EveryoneLies's picture

This.

This is exactly why I think some of the accommodations are not preparing the kids for the real world. ADA requires the employers to provide only reasonable accommodations, and it is up to the employers to decide what is is reasonable. Missing deadline is most likely not one of them. Unlimited redo is also unlikely to give you a good look amongst your colleagues. (And unlikely to be a reasonable accommodation since the business might lose money over that)

But I'm not one who's disabled, sometimes I do wonder if my view is too harsh and cold. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

are certainly much much different than IEP's as it is meant to prevent persons with disabilities from being denied access which persons without disabilities have access to. I.E. a ramp being built to access a building that would be inaccessible to someone in a wheelchair without a ramp or signage having braille for someone who is blind being able to navigate around a workplace or in addition to an annoucement over a speaker providing a written announcement to someone who is deaf. I don't know much about how it differs when you are talking about a person with autism or learning disabilities.

While an IEP is meant to provide students with the ability to opportunity to succeed along with their peers by giving extra help or time or what the student needs to be able to progress without hinderance. My understanding of IEP's is before the end of the year these needs are to be reassessed and reviewed to make sure the student is getting what they need, but also should be removing what the student may not need as well. I can be totally wrong and it may depend on the school district, but from what I know from my mom who is a school social worker that is the way it is done. Plus it is supposed to involve the parents of the child so they can voice what they think is or is not working to be taken into consideration as well.

EveryoneLies's picture

Well I can only speak for the IEP I personally attended. We had voiced our concern but all we heard from the school was that SS doesn't need it. Regression didn't happen (it didn't happen because we put him to work even during the breaks). I agree what's no longer needed should be removed, but it's really disheartening to hear the school telling us what we see is not true. 

ADA still requires the disabled employees to perform the same level as everyone else. So doing less work is probably not an accommodation that will be provided. I have no problem with ADA, I think people who are disabled should have the same right as everyone else, and deserve the help they need. I just have concerns about the IEPs not preparing the kids when they enter the real world and only ADA will apply. 

simifan's picture

It's not just IEP's. Both SD and DS were constantly allowed to hand in late work, even when I told the teacher not to accept it. Policy stated if it was handed in, they had to grade it. They didn't even lose points for lateness. 

EveryoneLies's picture

What is the lesson the school is trying to teach here lol 

Wish them best luck in the real world? XD