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Old 11-07-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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The meeting for my son is on Wednesday. I'm very nervous and unsure what to expect. Does anyone have any experience with these meetings? About how long do they last generally?
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:46 PM
 
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How long does it last? It depends. Figure a little under a hour. The committee usually consists of the district director, a couple of teachers, and the parent representative. Bring all of you documentation with you. Does your child currently attend preschool. The preschool teacher could be present or part of the conference via a conference call. Be prepared with your requests for services. What else did you want to know? Do you have any specific questions about your sons' needs or expectations for services? Was your son already evaluated? There is absolutely nothing to be nervous about.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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My son has been evaluated. Originally for speech but other things have come up which I and the evaluators feel are more pressing. I will be asking for an occupational skills evaluation and also for a special education teacher to go into his classroom (he attends preschool 2 1/2 hours three times a week) and work with him on some of his other issues.

Everyone keeps telling me how difficult it is to get services from the district and that I'm really going to have to fight to get them. I think that is what I am most concerned about.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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It sounds like you are on top of things. It's true some school distticts make it easier/harder to get services than others. I don't know about Sachem, sorry. If your son does have speech problems, make sure you get a speech pathologist to help him. Usually, you get 30 or 45 minutes per week if it's a mild/moderate problem. Twice a week if it is more severe.

If you do get services, request that they be continued during the summer.

If his current preschool teacher is in agreement with you about his problems, try to get her or the preschool director to weigh in via conference call during the CSPE meeting, if they can't attend in person. It would be nice, if they have been documenting your child all along and could forward that.

If you do get approval for a SEIT, ask the preschool for a recommendation. I am assuming you want the SEIT to work with your child while he is in his home preschool so ask the school if there is one that they like in particular that works with Sachem kids. Some SEITS are better than others. You could possibly speak directly to the SEIT first, but the SEIT still will have to be hired through the district and agency, but this is one way to get a good one instead of being assigned one randomly. Usually, all the early childhood and early childhood people in an area know each other like in any industry.

It's better to accept all services offered now because it's easier to drop them later if you find that they are not helpful, rather than try to get the district to add something later.

Honey works better than vinegar at these meetings. Remind them that you appreciate all of their efforts and acknowledge that everyone wants to help your child and then make your thoughts/requests firmly, but calmly and politely.

Write down what you want to say and bring the paper with you to the meeting.

Just like going to a doctor's office to discuss a diagnosis and treatment, if possible, bring an extra pair of ears and eyes. It would be helpful if hubby goes with you and show a unified front. If hubby is unavailable, bring grandma or grandpa if possible, only if just to have someone else to confirm what happens. It can be overwhelming with all the jargon the teachers use and its nice if someone else can reaffirm all the information in case you missed something.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,037 posts, read 18,351,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
It sounds like you are on top of things. It's true some school distticts make it easier/harder to get services than others. I don't know about Sachem, sorry. If your son does have speech problems, make sure you get a speech pathologist to help him. Usually, you get 30 or 45 minutes per week if it's a mild/moderate problem. Twice a week if it is more severe.

If you do get services, request that they be continued during the summer.

If his current preschool teacher is in agreement with you about his problems, try to get her or the preschool director to weigh in via conference call during the CSPE meeting, if they can't attend in person. It would be nice, if they have been documenting your child all along and could forward that.

If you do get approval for a SEIT, ask the preschool for a recommendation. I am assuming you want the SEIT to work with your child while he is in his home preschool so ask the school if there is one that they like in particular that works with Sachem kids. Some SEITS are better than others. You could possibly speak directly to the SEIT first, but the SEIT still will have to be hired through the district and agency, but this is one way to get a good one instead of being assigned one randomly. Usually, all the early childhood and early childhood people in an area know each other like in any industry.

It's better to accept all services offered now because it's easier to drop them later if you find that they are not helpful, rather than try to get the district to add something later.

Honey works better than vinegar at these meetings. Remind them that you appreciate all of their efforts and acknowledge that everyone wants to help your child and then make your thoughts/requests firmly, but calmly and politely.

Write down what you want to say and bring the paper with you to the meeting.

Just like going to a doctor's office to discuss a diagnosis and treatment, if possible, bring an extra pair of ears and eyes. It would be helpful if hubby goes with you and show a unified front. If hubby is unavailable, bring grandma or grandpa if possible, only if just to have someone else to confirm what happens. It can be overwhelming with all the jargon the teachers use and its nice if someone else can reaffirm all the information in case you missed something.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
Excellent advice! The last part is particularly important with Sachem...

Also, if they tell you certain things can't be done, or offered, please not only take notes to that effect, but also repeat that "denial of service" or whatever it may be they're saying "no" to, to avoid a possible later "that's not what we said" or "that's not what we meant". By restating what they're saying, you're giving them the opportunity to change things, or to reinforce what they just said. Take time to digest whatever they tell you and if you're not happy, don't say you'll accept; let them know you need time to think things over. BTW, do you have an advocate?

Once your son is 3, according to NYS law, he is entitled to services through the school district, so please stay firm! My grandson had speech services for a few years, twice a week for 45 min, after he got home from his special ed school; however, he's in the Elwood SD. He is 9 now, still not integrated, but coming along well.

Good luck! Will be sending positive thoughts your way tomorrow
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:14 PM
 
25 posts, read 47,389 times
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Thank you all for your words of advice. I'm feeling a bit more prepared. My husband is coming with me but we do not have an advocate. We'll see how it goes.
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