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Hello, my name is Christina. My son Bryan has DMD and he is 9 y/o. He has been in a manual w/c for the past 2 years. I am trying to write an assessment request letter for O.T. and P.T. Can someone please give me ideas on what to write on the letter. He received these service before at his old school. 2 years ago when he started attending the new school they said they could'nt provide those services to him. The reason why was, because he had CCS. Since CCS was located on the school premises, they were invited to the IEP meeting. This year is different Bryan no longer has CCS, he has private insurence. So he should now receive the services but im afraid the school would find some reason not to give it to him. The school asked me to sign a waiver so they could obtain his medical records regarding O.T. and P.T. Bryan is receiving O.T. once every three weeks and P.T. once every 6 months from Kaiser. I don't know if that will hurt his chances to receive those sevices through the school. I thought medical and educational were seperate. I also understand, since he was receiving CCS it would be hard to get those services, because the funds come from the same source, government funds. They are also inviting someone from my son's insurence which is Kaiser to come to the IEP meet. I think they are going to use Kaisers assessments. I don't know what they are trying to do. The school is not giving their own assessment in those areas so i am writing a assessment request letter. I know i need a good reason for him to receive those services. I was thinking, i should hire an advocate or maybe bring a tape recorder to the meeting.  When the RSP teacher, which is the person in charge of the IEP meeting called me she was concered that he no longer had CCS and she ask about Kaiser. She mentioned, if he no longer had CCS, than the school had to provide. She was not sure on how to go about it. She asked me what i did the previous years to get the assessments done for OT and PT. I told her i wrote a letter requesting an assessment in those areas. She said then do that and also call gallager the place that gave him the assessments before. Since she does'nt seem to know much, I am going to sent the letter to the school district. It seems as if she is not telling the truth for some reason. Can anyone help me, by explaining what the school is trying to do and also help with the letter? 

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I don't know about the letter writing part, but I am curious as to why your son would not get CCS services just because you have private insurance. We have private insurance and my son still gets some CCS services. We only have a few months left, Jon will be 21 in March. We are in the Long Beach area and they have been very helpful and I have really liked having an extra set of eyes on Jon to help, they have also helped get Jon equipment for school when he needed it. I never asked for any PT or OT from the school, Jon would not have wanted to be pulled out of class for that.

Susan

Hi Christina, My name is Leeandra. 

My son Nicholas is 4 1/2 and we have already had 3 IEP's since his diagnosis last year. I have to agree with Susan, CCS should be giving you services regardless of location or private insurance and they should supply you with medi-cal as a secondary. But if you have Kaiser, it works a little different and I know another mom who could help with Kaiser info. The school must provide appropriate and safe services to help him furthur his academics. CCS therapy and school services are different, they work on different things. This is what I did...

 

I sent an email to the superintendent of special education and requested assessments in OT, PT, APE, Speech, and educational phycologist. All those may not apply. But be sure to call, email and request in writing these assessments NOT EVALUATION. In California they have I believe 30days? to comply. Then I would call the IEP to order. We recieve all services through the school and CCS. I think your sons school is trying to be difficult, but they need to be told directly that "Therapy" is provided at CCS, "SERVICES" are provided at the school and you are requesting assessments ASAP because you feel its affecting his academics (you must give examples) . I know our schools in California are broke, but thats not our kids fault or problem. Hope this helps..

Hello Christina,

It is impossible to say specifically why your school is taking the approach it is, yet given school budgets and expenses involved in providing services for students with disabilities it isn't hard to think this may be part of the reason.

You are correct that medical and educational issues are treated separately.  When a child receives Special Education and related services the boundaries sometimes cross provided there is academic benefit to services provided.  Here lies the challenge for the related services you are seeking for your son. 

The procedure required to obtain services is for a parent to write the Special Education Administrator asking for an assessment in a particular area and the school has a predetermined amount of time to respond.  In your son's situation you would be requesting an OT and PT evaluation.  In some cases schools authorize services and seek outside sources for funding, which may be why they seek insurance information.  You may not be obligated to provide that information (Each state's rules concerning Special Education are different.).  Should the school agree to your request they would schedule the evaluations and hold a follow up IEP meeting to discuss findings and possible changes to an IEP.  They may disagree and must provide you with "Procedural Safeguards" which outlines the process you must follow to challenge their decision. It can be a long process.

There are academic reasons for OT and PT, yet schools are given much latitude in making decisions concerning what is educationally beneficial.  In my opinion PT is important when a child is walking to aid in maintaining independence and reducing social isolation.  When a child stops walking PT can help in keeping him stretched improving comfort by reducing contractures which hinder a child's ability to concentrate harming potentially harming academic performance.  OT is needed to help retain function and ability.  In not allowing these services a school aids in hastening a child's physical decline (He is spending much time in school and the activities all contribute to loss of physical ability.) which will lead to more expensive supports including one to one aids, scribes (people who write for another person) and others who are needed to help move a student through the building.  Additionally, having adults helping a child when he could have done the work on his own also leads to social isolation as other students are less willing to interact when an adult is assisting. 

I suggest both writing a letter asking for the evaluation and contacting a Parent Training and Information Center where trained people should be able to help you navigate the Special Education system and possibly help in locating an advocate to help with the process.  In southern California try:

TASK (Team of Advocates for Special Kids)
Monica Flores & Jennifer Ruiz
3180 University Ave. Suite # 430
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 794-2947; (866) 609-3218; (619) 794-2984 (fax)
Email: taskca | at | yahoo.com
Web: http://taskca.org

In northern California:

 

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Susan Henderson
3075 Adeline Street, Ste 210
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 644-5222; (510) 841-8645 (fax)
Email: shenderson | at | dredf.org
Web: http://www.dredf.org

I hope this is helpful.

 

Brian

 

I can't offer much help with the state laws/funding, but regarding therapy, the evaluations should happen in the school setting.  OT and PT should assess Bryan's mobility and participation during the school day and base their recommendations on their findings.  An outside evaluation would provide no information as to how he moves around the classroom, how he participates in specials, and how his desk is set up so that he can get his books and materials.

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