Saturday, April 16, 2016

Evaluation and IEP Blog Post #3: What is an Adverse Educational Impact???

I highly recommend that you read my last blog posts on IEPS and evaluations before you read this post. I think that this series may end up being longer than I originally anticipated. In my last two posts I discussed adverse educational impact very briefly. If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD or autism they can receive services on an IEP without having to meet a severe discrepancy. So what is an adverse educational impact??? My little guy was just re-evaluated in the fall of 2015. At the evaluation meeting the psychologist discussed my son's standard scores on an academic test called the WIAT. As discussed in my last post, a standard score of 100 is average and most people are within one standard deviation from the norm which would be 85-115. All of my son's academic standard scores were within the average range, but he still qualifies in math and written language on his IEP. We elected not to qualify him in reading, because he is in the advanced reading group at school. The psychologist would have qualified him in this area, but I did not feel that he had an adverse educational impact in this area. You may be wondering why we decided to have goals put into his IEP if he is functioning within in the average range for math and writing. The answer is Adverse Educational Impact. My son's written language standard score was 103, but writing is an area that causes my son quite a bit of stress. Many children with autism experience difficulties with fine motor, and my son is one of these kiddos. His autism has in turn given him an adverse educational impact in the area of written language. He gets his writing in the general education classroom, but he has a goal written into his IEP so that his case manager can track his progress in this area. He also has accommodations written into his IEP to help him be more successful in this area. I want to add this point: It is imperative that you use the term adverse educational impact when you are advocating for services for you child. After mentioning adverse educational impact, be prepared to discuss what the impact looks like for your child in each area. I mention this, because at my son's last evaluation meeting they tried to exit him from fine motor. He had a standard score of 83 in this area. I made the argument that you are going to qualify him in writing with a higher standard score due to adverse educational impact, but you are looking at discontinuing services in fine motor with a much lower standard score??? Needless to say, I got my way! My son has gone through countless hours of private occupational therapy and there was absolutely no way that I was going to let the school district exit my son in this area in his kindergarten year. I found out later that the real reason that they wanted to exit him was due to staffing. Always advocate for the needs of your child. Remember that parents are a key player in the IEP team. I also want to add that despite being a special education teacher, I still get anxious before walking into one of these meetings.

1 comment:

  1. This is really helpful, and I wish I had this information at my last IEP meeting. I have my son enrolled in a private school in Cincinnati-Linden Grove School. All the kids are high functioning on the ASD scale. I am praying that I do not have to fight so hard for what he needs, but thanks to you, I will go in prepared just in case.