Anyone without need for an IEP?

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Anyone without need for an IEP?
Mon, 01-10-2011 - 10:18pm

Does everyone diagnosed need an IEP for school?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Tue, 01-11-2011 - 8:27am
IEP means Individual Educational Plan and that means it should be tailored for your child's exact needs. So it is impossible to know if your son will need more specific help than being in a small school with a teaching style that is more individualized. Some spectrum kids do very well in school because they can follow the rules and learn well. More have trouble socially, and even behaviorally, and that can be more the area where an IEP is needed, because academics is only a small part of the requirements of school.

I would be cautious, however, about thinking any child can fake it. If he has communication or sensory difficulties, as most children on the spectrum do, the teachers are going to need to be aware of his specific difficulties so they can work with him.
Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Tue, 01-11-2011 - 3:41pm

Hi Caren!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Tue, 01-11-2011 - 5:30pm

My now 12yo ds was 8yo before he was diagnosed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Tue, 01-11-2011 - 6:44pm

My experience has been that even with high functioning kids, by third grade even the brightest can start to struggle academically. Learning moves from the rote memorization of the younger grades to the more abstract critical thinking required for the middle and upper grades. There are also sensory issues and behavioral ones that may come into play. That is not to say it will absolutely happen, just that it may. My aspie has never needed a lot of supports, but I am thankful that I have the IEP because his weaknesses are very real and they rear up at the most unexpected times. My approach has been to have the supports in place and let him use them as much or as little as he needs to. Trying to fake it may

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Wed, 01-12-2011 - 9:02am

My advice to you at *this* stage is that you don't need one, yet. And I'd keep quiet until he's *in*, and then I'd ask for one. (I'm just a bit cynical and I've had to play a lot of different systems). We didn't have a diagnosis until our DS was 8 and he didn't get our equivalent of an IEP (we are in the UK so the rules and entitlements are different, but Aspergers is Aspergers and school is school no matter where you are) until he was 10. I have to say it has made a *significant* different to DS's physical and emotional health, as well as his performance in school, and it made the transition from primary to high school (you'd call it middle school I think) a lot easier. His life would have been a *lot* easier and he'd have gotten a lot more targetted, useful help earlier, if we'd had the diagnosis and the support he needed earlier.

Sorry, but your DS won't be able to 'fake it' for long. Asperger's/PDD-NOS and other autism spectrum disorders are real, permanent disabilities with a physical and neurological basis, you do not 'grow out' of them and you can't hide them forever. However, every child with Asperger's is unique, and the way they are impacted relates not just to themselves, but to their social and physical environment. For example, a lot of high functioning Aspies in Japanese schools do not really need a lot of extra support because the teaching style and curriculum favour clear, directed, academic, individual learning. However, as soon as you throw group work, physical education, organisational issues, homework, timekeeping, task focus and all sorts of other stuff into the mix - and that is before we get to sensory issues etc, which each child has a different experience of and different needs - then things can get a bit hairy for Aspies.

I'm a professor of social policy at Scottish university, and I see a lot of my students who have had a very 'late' diagnosis (sometimes not until they are adults or already with us). These students have succeeded very well *in spite* of not having much help or support throughout their school career. However, I do think that they would have done even *better* (and be happier) if they could have been diagnosed earlier and got some structured support around things they find challenging. We've just had one student go completely off the rails and get arrested because of a series of misunderstandings that could have been avoided if they'd had more social skills training - we've also had another one just graduate who is giving evidence to the Scottish Commission on Autism about how to join services up more effectively, which involved speaking in front of parliament in committees that seasoned professors would find daunting, so it can go both ways!

My bottom line on this is that is better to be honest and upfront about your child's needs, but that these needs will change and develop over time and according to different contexts. An IEP is just a way of putting a marker down, which you will need at some point to do, but you may not need to do it yet. At some point - which maybe you'll never get to, if you are lucky! - you might need to use the IEP in a more legalistic way, to get stroppy and start throwing your mama bear weight around and insisting that your child gets the supper he needs to do his best. This is much easier to do with formal acknowledgements, which an IEP also represents.


Kirsty, mum to Euan (12, Asperger's Syndrome

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Wed, 01-12-2011 - 4:33pm

My boy is 10 now and we are going through the IEP process right now only for social type of needs. He was homeschooled for 2 years and is back in a new district now.

His teacher is amazed at his high academics, and he even does an online school from within the classroom (his teacher's request) at a higher level independently.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2009
Wed, 01-12-2011 - 5:37pm