Help me... disagreeing with the proposed IFSP

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2006
Help me... disagreeing with the proposed IFSP
4
Sat, 07-30-2011 - 4:29pm

My son, Matt, is 26 months old and has a developmental delay wrt receptive and expressive language. He has never been diagnosed with autism, and I'm 100% sure that he's not autistic. He also does not exhibit the behavioral issues traditionally associated with autism and is a well behaved child. Since mid-June, he has been approaching children that he sees in the community although he obviously does not know how to play with them or initiate play / conversations.

He has been getting Early Start since last August, and will have his annual IFSP review in the next two weeks. He gets 15 hours of ABA in the home, 1 hour of speech and 1 hour of OT since Feb. When his Early Intervention of 1 hour of EI, and 1 hour of speech weren't working, my service coordinator gave me various therapy models, and I dumbly picked ABA without doing my homework on it. Another reason I picked ABA was because it would be in the home and I thought that I wouldn't have to waste money on gas going to the place which specialized in intensive speech, instead. My husband had just lost his job and money was tight. That, probably, was the BIGGEST mistake that I've ever made in my life.

Fast forward to today and he has shown some improvement in his speech with his ABA. There are no "behaviors" to correct, so the ABA hasn't really worked for him. The service coordinator further told me that ABA would include speech but it hasn't helped. Since he has begun approaching other kids in the community (parks, malls, my older child's school etc), I have been pushing for center-based social groups.

Here is the REAL problem.

This particular agency has been VERY resistant to giving him center based services. They initially claimed that he wasn't ready. I asked them to "try" and they flat out denied. So, I talked to the service coordinator and she backed them up. At a clinic meeting yesterday (our last before his IFSP), my son's program director told me the following:

1. The Regional Center won't pay for center based services because it's more expensive than home based services.

2. The agency has kids who are MORE severe than my son in their center programs with one-on-one aides and one more child would disrupt their existing program. Frankly, this isn't my problem. I don't care about their center's problem. If they can't accommodate my child, then I want a change of agency - to one that *will* give my child a chance.

3. The agency will insist on keeping the same number of home-based hours even if he gets center services. Pretty much, it means that they want their money either which way, even if the ABA is clearly not working for my son.

I have had a very hard time with my service coordinator. She is difficult and she herself is pretty resistant to helping me change agencies. I did not like the EI that my son had and demanded a change back in Feb when more intensive services were recommended. So, now, she states that I cannot change AGAIN! My attempts to tell her that I'm requesting a change because I need an agency that will offer my son a chance to socialize in a monitored group settings has fallen on deaf ears.

So, here's the deal. I don't even want to have the IFSP as I am already aware of what they are going recommend. More 100% home-based ABA. Should I email the service coordinator and tell her that I'm expecting a hybrid program and will not agree to an IFSP that will not offer such a program? That it would just be a waste of time to call the IFSP even?

Where should I go from here? I do have the service coordinator's supervisor's phone number... but I don't want to go to the supervisor right away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2005
Fri, 08-05-2011 - 2:37pm

At 26 months he's still very young to see big results from ABA, I would think.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2004
Fri, 08-05-2011 - 12:56pm
I agree, go to the meeting and stay calm. Ask how they plan to address his social difficulties. They MAY surprise you.
What kind of testing did they do before this meeting? Do you feel that they observed enough of where he is currently or are they relying on some old data? I'm not sure what the exact rules are in early intervention, but I know with the school district if we don't feel that the data used is good, we can request an independent assessment done at their expense with a dr of our choosing. (They will give you a list, but you are under no obligation to stick to the list)
If you check on the wrightslaw site and find the rules are similar, let your coordinator know you are planning on requesting this at the meeting. Then type up the letter and take copies of it with you. Telling her ahead of time may prompt her to move before you make the request and simplify things. Make sure to email her a copy of the request after the meeting as well so you have something time/date stamped and then they typically have 10 days to approve or invite you to a due process meeting.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2007
Sun, 07-31-2011 - 7:01pm
And you can file a dissenting opinion. I would throw in you are considering requesting a due process hearing too. Can't hurt
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Sat, 07-30-2011 - 11:31pm
Welcome to the board :)

My first suggestion is go to the IFSP. I don't suggest cancelling it or not showing up..keep the ball rolling even if you don't feel like it is rolling in the right direction right now. Make notes of everything you want to say in the meeting so you don't forget anything b/c these are very stressful situations.

Finally don't sign anything you don't agree with/don't want. My rule for myself at IEP meetings is always go so they can't do anything without me and I've got all the time in the world to just sit there until they see things my way. I won't sign anything I don't 100% agree with and you shouldn't be forced to either.

Is it possible for you to enroll him in a preschool yourself and have EI go there for his therapies? I teach at a private preschool and I have had children in the my class in the past recieiving speech through EI and they come to my class to do it with the child.

Finally I want to recommend this site to you www.wrightslaw.com it is a great site and can really help you in understanding your rights.

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