HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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All You Need To Know About Individualized Education Programs

"Our Asperger's daughter is experiencing severe meltdowns due to the new school year. We recently were forced to make a trip to the Children's Hospital. Every person we've seen asks if she has an IEP. She does not, just a 504. The school district says she does not qualify for an IEP, which I question since all the mental health professionals think she should have one. Why does she need an IEP, and what should be included that will help this child?"

Not all children who have disabilities require specialized instruction. For children with disabilities who do require specialized instruction, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) controls the procedural requirements, and an IEP is developed. The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires documentation of measurable growth. For children with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. Children with 504 Plans do not require specialized instruction, but like the IEP, a 504 Plan should be updated annually to ensure that the child is receiving the most effective accommodations for her specific circumstances. 

There is perhaps no process as frustrating for parents and teachers alike as the IEP process. As a team process, it is designed to help parents and teachers develop a program that is in the best interest of the child. All too often, the schools experience a lack of resources, which leaves the parents feeling that they are not receiving the support that they need. 

The IEP process is critical to the educational success of the child, and with success can leave parents feeling empowered to make a difference in the life of their child. Parents and teachers need to develop an IEP process that enables both parties to feel as though their concerns are heard, and the child's needs are being met.

Here are some important resources that will assist both parents and teachers in coming up with the most effective IEP possible:

 
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... We have gone through a similar situation. It took 2 full years to get an Aspergers diagnosis, and the school STILL didn't want to acknowledge anything because of his grades. Early elementary was bumpy from behavior issues, but once we learned his triggers it all subsided. He had to take an IQ test, which the special Ed teacher and the state tester felt was not accurate since he deliberately started answering questions with nonsense once he was tired of it. We never did qualify for an IEP, but were able to get a 504. We really don't have much in the plan, since luckily we have been " bump" free for awhile. I just let his teachers know his triggers, and he is allowed to remove himself from the classroom of he begins to feel overwhelmed. ( this does have to be monitored, however, as he can be quite manipulative) we have been so fortunate that as he has gotten older and school has gotten harder he is actually doing much better. I was concerned with middle school being just too much with all the changes, but we have been incident free for 2 years. Turns out that class is over before he is "done". Keep pushing for what you feel is best, you know your aspire better than anyone and are the very best advocate they have!!! Best of luck!
•    Anonymous said... The Occupational Therapy part of the IEP will be very important, at least for my Aspie, in the eval part of this. This will help with any accommodations that are needed in the classroom such as a desk corral, placement of desk, etc. An IQ test should also be included but it is hard with an Aspie to be accurate. I am sure you know that YOU know best of what your child needs! Stick to your guns!
•    Anonymous said... Tell them your child has AUTISM because they understand that. Not everyone understands Aspergers. It is on the spectrum so you are telling the truth. Make the school district test her again. They cannot refuse you an IEP meeting.
•    Anonymous said... One of the hardest things we needed to decipher growing up was the difference between meltdowns that were due to Aspie things and meltdowns that were mere behavior problems. Once we realized that not all of his tantrums were from the disability, it cut way down on the total meltdowns and we were able to deal with the real issues from Aspergers. It also helped us realize his queues before the meltdown happened so that we could redirect before he became overloaded or overestimulated.
•    Anonymous said... My son has a 504 plan. His school feels he doesn't need a IEF because he "behaves well." I recently requested a meeting with his teacher and school guidance counselor to review his 5. I addresses my concerns to both regarding his attention/anxiety regarding his reading. I was basically told, in a nice way I'm jumping the gun.
•    Anonymous said... If she has Aspergers/Autism she should have an IEP. You can have a behavioral developmental pediatrician diagnose her and bring the paper work to your school.
•    Anonymous said... I have students who have 504s. The good thing is, teachers can still make any accomodations for these students that they deem necessary to improve the student's learning. My Asperger's/ADHD son has neither right now, because he gets good grades. Therefore, his school has determined he doesn't qualifiy for any special services.
•    Anonymous said... I am going through a similar situation with my son and his school right now. I live in NC. My son is 15 and in the 10th grade. He was diagnosed this past July with ASD, Asperger's Syndrome (he also has Graves Disease, medical PTSD, Depression, and anxiety disorder). He refuses to go to school. So far, this school year, he has only attended the first three days of school, and then his anxiety and panic got the better of him. I had to put in writing to the school, to request an evaluation for an IEP. Now, by law, they have 60 (or 90, I forgot) days to have him tested. I had tried to have him tested this past June, but I was talked out of it by the lady in charge of special education. She said that my son is "too smart" (honors classes) and does not misbehave in school, so she felt that we should wait til the new school year and if anything, sign up for a 504 plan. Her real reasoning was because it was the beginning of the summer, and she said that it would be harder for her to find someone to do the testing. Now, he is falling behind in school because of his social fears and anxiety, and they are just getting worse every day. If she would have just listened to me in the beginning, then his school year would not have started off like this. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of his father's death this month, which is making his situation even worse.
•    Anonymous said... A lot of this comes down to money, at least in the UK. To get an IEP the child needs to be statemented, but this is done by council employees that know as soon as it is done and an IEP setup, they council will have to provide some extra funding. We struggled to get our boy through, having to fight every turn and the problems tearing the family apart. We found a family support worker as part of social services (different money pot to education) who worked with us for over a year to get our boy statemented and an IEP, as well as moving him to a school that understood his needs and teaching us to understand his needs. He was way behind in his education the past school not bothering with him, but I'm so proud of him now, he's caught up everything this past year and moved to the top class where I know he'll continue to excel, what a change and family life has turned around to being fun and relaxed again.
It really makes me mad though families have to fight as hard as they do to get the help provided, the fight is hard enough to handle a child with these issues let alone fighting the authorities that were put there to help.

Please post your comment below…

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have really interesting blog, keep up posting such informative posts!

Anonymous said...

Your daughter should absolutely have an IEP my 6 year old Aspie is statemented and has an IEP and part-time classroom assistant. I had to push and push but he has had one since Jan 2010. If you get no joy go to your local education authority whatever council that is. Goodluck :)

Anonymous said...

Has she had a full evaluation by the School.Ask for them to it,then ask again,been there done that....ask,they are not supposed to deny you.Also,have the Dr request in writing for the 504,IEP and such.keep at it.Then call the School District Psychologist if nothing happens.

Anonymous said...

MANY PEOPLE, INCLUDING TEACHERS AND DOCTORS, HAVE NO CLUE AND SHE IS A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y ELIGIBLE! DO NOT let those ignorant people shake you. THEY are the ones who need help! The child may need longer time for testing...a person to write their notes and homework..and frustration is A LARGE PART of Autism. DO NOT ALLOW THE SCHOOL SYSTEM BRING YOU DOWN. YOU ARE THE PARENT...AND THE TEACHERS KNOW LITTLE IF ANYTHING. GOOD LUCK! AND FIGHT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have even got a lawyer involved and my child is in 6th grade and still does not qualify for an IEP.

Anonymous said...

My 5yr old boy as ad an iep since nursery and were just starting the process to get him statemented

Anonymous said...

If your child gets a statement of acknowledgement from your local education authority - you send them the diagnosis from your community paediatrician/health visitor/GP/any other professionals and educational psychologist. They have to issue an IEP for any child that is statemented atleast here they do anyway. I brought my kids statement and iep across to England from Northern Ireland.

Anonymous said...

My son is 7 and in 2nd grade. He has an IEP, I had to fight for my son but we have had one since the mid of his K year

Anonymous said...

This absolutely sounds like my situation. I have found an attourney for us, the school refused an IEP because my child continues to "grow educationally" and an IEP is for "the kids that ceiling out" However we are in week 5 of school and I have already recieved 2 letters stating he is failing class, wouldn't it be more detrimental to allow him to fail than just get an IEP in place?? So with the attourney, his doctors, therapists and a local organization we are ALL going in against the school and if all fails, well I will be giving my all at homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

I really feel for you parents. My daughter and her husband have been fighting with schools and their asperger son until they finally pulled him out of school to homeschool a year ago. He's 13 and doing a lot better! School was too traumatizing for him. He's even off two of his 5 medications. He lives close to a park and has some friends he plays with there. So far no problems. He just seems calmer.

Anonymous said...

sounds so much like my situation. My son was diagnosised mid to late K and he's in 2nd grade. I had pre-IEP meetings and they keep telling me "his education is not being affected" I did have him see an outside OT which was such a blessing but my insurance didn't cover the servicesand we had to take him out. I myself is in school to become an OTA because of him.

Anonymous said...

Wright's Law has some advocates that can help you with how to get an IEP in place and what the law is in your state. Some will even go with you to meetings. Most advocates have children and have been through the IEP process. Most have had similar problems.

Anonymous said...

It is so frustrating! My son has a 504 plan but does not "qualify" for an IEP because his academics are not affected. I think so much more than academics needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with an Aspie child. It is not a black and white issue and I wish the schools would educate themselves on Aspergers. When my son first got his diagnosis the school didn't even know what Aspergers was! I had to educate them! That is NOT how it should be :(

Anonymous said...

Make sure you ask in WRITING for evaluations, I actually sent the request certified mail for my records. there are timelines that have to be followed. Ask for social emotional, O.T., Speech and Launguage, Adaptive P.E, physical therarpy, ....all areas that you and your experts (other therapists and doctors) think need to be assessed. There is a process and the school district can't just say no. There are laws and rules. Fnd an advocate for your local area or your state(usually other special ed parents will be able to reccomend an adovocate). If the school completes the evaluations and you don't agree, there is a process for that. If all else fails get a special education attorney. My little guy is almost ten and finally after learning all of the above, he is in a regular ed classroom, with proper support and is doing well.
2 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I have a close friend who is a speech therapist in the public school system. Because autism and asperger children have tone/ speech issues and other sensitivities she is the one who does therapy with them. My suggestion is to have your child set up with the speech therapist at your school because he or she should also be trained in some occupational therapy associated with learning needs of autism spectrum children. This professional will also work with the teachers on their communication styles for the learning and social needs of the student.

Anonymous said...

I am going though the same exact thing. My daughter is 8, not only did she go to a new school but we also moved into a new house the frst week of school. Her hole routine is messed up do to the move. I have spoke with the speech therapist from the school and it seems like the IEP really helps with communication, for the parent and staff that is care of my daughters education.

Anonymous said...

Also check if your district has a parent advocate available.
This is a person who works for the board of Ed and can be called in to help you and your child navigate IEP meetings and also work with and on your behalf to make sure your daughter is getting the correct support in class.

Anonymous said...

We have a 504 and it did nothing! Teacher told us she doesn't need to follow it, it was just a suggestion!! I was told also by my daughters school district that she was not going to be eligible for IEP because she wasn't "failing". I was also told that the state we're in will fight tooth and nail not to give away IEP's so quickly because it cost the government money. I was mortified that the school didn't want to help children who needed it because they didn't want to "burden" the state! We pulled her out after K and have been virtual schooling since. Don't know what else to do. Every time we talk to someone they tell us what to do and when we don't agree they say there's no other option. :-(

Anonymous said...

Yes, she is eligible. talk to whoever you need to to get this done. Don't give up!

Anonymous said...

Try looking into these websites: http://www.copaa.org/ and
http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2011/12/creating-individualized-education.html

Anonymous said...

Also use google to see if there are any local organizations that may be able to help. Check to see if there is a Parent-to-Parent in your area.

Anonymous said...

This is great!

Anonymous said...

We are still fighting our son's school because his test scores are advanced and he just needs behavioral and social help. We have even had an advocate involved. You may have to fight, but you can and should get an iep. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My daughter has a IEP, and still we battle social and behavorial issues. Just met with the school Monday. She is in a EBD classroom setting instead of a Aspergers/Autistic classroom setting which I think is best for her. But still they act like they dont know how to handle her or accept her. THey are just learning. Her perception is much different than other kids. When asked to do work, she does it differently and turns it in. Instead of having her repeat it only to get same result they are learning she does things differently. FINALLY... still a work in progress getting the school system to see my child for who she is.

Anonymous said...

All states have different laws about special education. I fought for an IEP last year for my daughter and was told many things that were not legally true. Once I read the laws and contacted an advocacy group, they treated me a lot different. It is sad that the schools don't want to help. The process is so long too that it can be so frustrating!

Anonymous said...

I recommend that you get an advocate - our son had a 504 and we were told he did not qualify too - a new assessment group with a seasoned advocate that is very knowledgeable with autism/aspergers really made the difference for us in getting an IEP - good luck

Anonymous said...

Please have your child tested by an outside doctor and have them talk to the school and get an IEP, that is detrimental to her well-being and she has a right to a proper education. without it they will not help her, the can list her as other health impaired.
11 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I feel your pain! Our 13 yr old son moved schools last year and suffered too much. With a diagnosis of Aspergers from your paed your child's school is entitles to extra funding and the learning support teacher or equivalent should organize it FOR you. I'm really tired if the fact that we all have to muddle through this stuff ourselves. Good luck. To tell you the truth though it's lots if pages of idealistic outcomes for your child that sound good but doesn't really change anything in a major way.

Anonymous said...

This is a great resource to reference. Having knowledgable parent advocates is crucial. I learned that Thomas Jefferson had this disability.

just plain cis said...

Omg i could have written some of these posts myself! My 14yo daughter was diagnosed with asd in middle school and i was talked out of having her evaluated for an IEP (by tye middle school counselor) because of her extremely high IQ (although she was struggling in several classes and her severe anxiety was contributing to her academic difficulties). She is now in high school and struggling even more and has had to have her therapy appointments increased due to her anxiety and propensity for depression. When i asked for about 15 minutes per day with an interventionist for her, I was told by her counselor that because she was on a 504, this wouldnt be possible. He was very honest with me and told me it all came down to funding and resources. Im currently in the process of formally filing to have her evaluated for an iep based on the fact that her diagnosis is negatively affecting her ability to be successful in school. This is such a frustrating process and has been EYE OPENING as to how underserved aome children can be. My child is lucky because she has a squeaky wheel mom for an advocate (and they WILL give her that IEP) but how many chidren dont have that luxury?! It breaks my heart thinking of all the untapped potential in so many children who are being denied the services they NEED because school officials arent willing to go the extra mile to see to it that the funding is available for those children. Heartbreaking and so very frustrating.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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