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Home Resources Expert Chat Archive IEP Goals and Section 504 Accommodations for Children with SM
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IEP Goals and Section 504 Accommodations for Children with SM

March, 2007 Expert Chat Session archived transcript.

[kervatt] 17:03:53 Welcome to our March “Expert Chat”; IEP Goals and Section 504 Accommodations for Children with Selective Mutism: What to Include for Your Child to Get an Appropriate Education
gscher 17:03:56 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:04:26 Hi Gail - my fingers are ready!
ginoandsus 17:04:44 enters this room
[kervatt] 17:05:49 Our expert for this evening is Joleen R. Fernald, MS CCC-SLP, a NH licensed, ASHA, and Hanen certified speech-language pathologist. She is a New Hampshire Connections Co-coordinator for SMG~CAN and a member of SMG~CAN's Board of Directors.
[jrfernald] 17:06:09 Hello Everyone
[kervatt] 17:06:16 Ms. Fernald's interest in Selective Mutism started three years ago when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with a moderate social anxiety disorder and selective mutism.
[kervatt] 17:06:37 Ms Fernald focuses her "free time" on increasing SLP's awareness of SM and is determined to help parents navigate through the maze of finding appropriate services for their children within the educational system.
[jwalker] 17:06:39 my kid is having trouble w/oral reading to the point where the school may retain her- are there any accomidations for testing such as oral fluency for a child with sm?
[kervatt] 17:06:56 First as the moderator, I would like to post a few chat room rules:
chalker 17:07:00 enters this room
[kervatt] 17:07:13 Be respectful of others at all times.
[kervatt] 17:07:32 Strong language, insults and vulgarity are prohibited.
[kervatt] 17:08:01 Allow the “Expert” to answer an attendee’s question before asking or typing in another one.
[kervatt] 17:08:18 Please try to refrain from any attendee-to-attendee exchanges during the first hour.
[kervatt] 17:08:35 Please do not insert references to personal businesses or personal email addresses unless prior permission has been granted.
[kervatt] 17:08:50 Feel free to stay and chat with other attendees after the scheduled one hour and after the moderator and “Expert” have exited the chat room.
[kervatt] 17:09:05 Have fun while we all learn from each other!
[kervatt] 17:09:17 Thank you for your cooperation so that we keep our chat environment focused on the topic and as a safe and friendly place.
[kervatt] 17:09:37 Thank you Joleen for being our “expert” this evening. I’m sure some of the attendees would like to know more about types of school accommodation plans.
juliasmom 17:09:53 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:09:56 It looks like we have a good crowd!
[kervatt] 17:09:59 Perhaps, Joleen, first you could let us know the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan.
[jrfernald] 17:10:15 An IEP falls under IDEA. It requires that a child's disability adversely affects her educational performance. It covers all school-aged children who fall within one or more specific categories of qualifying conditions (i.e., autism, specific learning disabilities,speech or language impairments, e
[jrfernald] 17:10:52 emotional disturbance, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other health impairments).
[jrfernald] 17:11:08 Provides related services, if required. Related services may include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy,
[jrfernald] 17:11:21 physical therapy, counseling services, psychological services, social services, and transportation
[jrfernald] 17:11:48 A Section 504 Plan falls under the Office of Civil Rights. It covers individuals who meet the definition of a qualified "handicapped" person --
[jrfernald] 17:12:05 for example, a child who has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or is regarded as handicapped by others.
[jrfernald] 17:12:17 (Major life activities include: walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.) Provides related services, if needed.
[jrfernald] 17:12:33 They are both similar, yet slightly different
[jwalker] 17:13:36 can we ask questions yet
[jrfernald] 17:13:56 Did you ask about the oral reading
[kervatt] 17:14:06 Sure, jwalker, ask away!
hogie 17:14:29 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:14:41 I strongly suggest having the teacher provide you with materials for you to tape record at home
[jrfernald] 17:15:04 This way you can "test" your child at home to determine the reading level
[margintx] 17:15:07 What is our recourse when teachers don't follow the accommodations on the IEP plan? My IEP team says it's not up to them - got to the pincipal.
[jwalker] 17:15:35 they said that it would not be a good measurement of her reading b/c they said they don't know if iam coaching her
[jrfernald] 17:15:48 margintx... hang on one second
chrisepple 17:16:10 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:16:24 jwalker: if you video tape your daughter reading something novel provided by the school that day, that should be sufficient to de
[jrfernald] 17:16:36 to determine her reading fluency
[jrfernald] 17:17:05 oral reading is one of the greatest challenges for our children
[jrfernald] 17:17:37 If your child is on a 504 plan, you should be able to have the accommodations in place to prevent retention
mariel 17:17:54 enters this room
ldabney 17:17:57 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:18:13 margintx:if your team is not accommodating your child, you should get an advocate or a lawyer familiar with sped law
[jwalker] 17:18:25 did/does anyone else have a issue with their child possibly being retained due to oral fluency- the tests are not a true measure for her reading
[jrfernald] 17:18:44 The IEP is for the teachers and team working with your child
kcopeland 17:18:49 enters this room
[cmdixon] 17:18:59 My son will be entering the public school system next year for first grade. How do I get the school to understand that he needs an IEP? Or how do I go about creating one?
[jrfernald] 17:19:16 Retention should not be based upon a single subject ---
[jrfernald] 17:19:57 The referral process for both special ed and section 504 plans are similar
[jrfernald] 17:20:15 Contact the school and ask to speak with the special education coordinator
[kcopeland] 17:20:23 I have a question regarding the SM eighth grade girl I work with when I can chat. Just let me know. Thanks!
[jwalker] 17:20:24 how do we as parents educate the school that many kids with sm also suffers from test anxiety? they don't seem to understand
[jrfernald] 17:20:56 When you talk with her, request a referral for the special education process... explain your concerns and that you would like to evaluate to determine your child's eligibility
[jrfernald] 17:21:41 Unfortunately, it has become a parent's responsibility to educate many professionals within the schools
[kervatt] 17:21:42 If a child is identified under IDEA, what should her identification be - Speech and Language Impairment, Emotionally Disturbed, or Other Health Impaired?
[kcopeland] 17:22:10 Good ?
[jrfernald] 17:22:28 In my opinion, the best and most descriptive identification is Other Health Impaired. 30% of children with SM also have speech and language impairments, so it is possible to have two identifications: OHI as the primary and SLI as the secondary.
[jrfernald] 17:22:46 kcopeland: go for it
[kervatt] 17:23:59 Who should work with my child in the school?
[kcopeland] 17:24:01 Oh wow, 30%? I have been wondering if there is a correlation between SM and the possibility that the child is anxious about speaking due to articulation errors or dysfluency.
[margintx] 17:24:12 jrfenald - is the IE team and the teahers the same thing? My IEP team says they're not.
mariel 17:24:44 exits from this room
Lilysing 17:25:00 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:25:07 Anyone working with your child, margintx should be part of your child's team
[ginoandsus] 17:25:22 When you are ready - In your experience what are the key 504 accommodations for SM elementary kids? Our daughter is in Kindergarten. She didn't qualify for an IEP. School personnal don't have a lot of experience to draw on.
[jrfernald] 17:25:26 Schools have many talented professionals, some with experience working with children with SM. Unfortunately, not all professionals within the school setting know a lot about SM. The types of professionals who are typically involved in working with kids with SM include: Guidance Counselors, Speec
[jrfernald] 17:25:44 Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, School Psychologists, Nurses (for help with medication), Reading Specialists, and Special Educators.
[jrfernald] 17:26:48 There is a possibility that speech issues increase anxiety, which contributes to the sm
candrus 17:27:05 exits from this room
candrus 17:27:14 enters this room
[gscher] 17:27:21 For a kindergartener who has not spoken but is keeping up with the work, which do you recommend (IEP or 504) and why?
[kcopeland] 17:27:27 Okay, I will ask...we have an issue at our school regarding the oral speaking requirement that is now within the standards. How do you suggest we handle it? And also, the girl's IEP is due for an annual and she did not reach any of her goals, "Saying hello to just one teacher" for example,
[jrfernald] 17:27:51 gscher: I will be right with you
[kcopeland] 17:28:28 also, "Uh-huh and Mmm-mm" for yes/no and she has not accomplished either in a year. What would be a reasonable goal for me to write for next year?
[jrfernald] 17:28:28 kcopeland: The wonderful benefit of an IEP is that it provides for an alternative method of education
[jwalker] 17:28:53 what would u suggest if a teacher is not into giving tanigable rewards for speaking. last yr. her previous teacher provided rewards and she was doing better the teacher and principle say the other kids may get "jealous" that the reward should be given athome- shouldn't the reward be immediate
[jrfernald] 17:29:12 So if you are able to assess her in a different way, you can determine her level of progress
ldabney 17:29:24 exits from this room
[jrfernald] 17:29:40 back off on the type of goals and start with more non-verbal and social communication
karengus99 17:29:51 exits from this room
[chrisepple] 17:30:25 I am in the process of getting an IEP for my 4 year old child. They have suggested a choice board as an accomadation for her. Are you familiar with this and do you feel it is appropriate for a child with SM?
[ginoandsus] 17:30:26 The IEP is not accessible though to kids who are transitional, but still need lots of help
[kervatt] 17:30:28 If there were three accommodations that are must haves in a child’s IEP/Section 504 Plan they would be?
[jrfernald] 17:30:33 Igscher: I would suggest a 504 - because your child does not need direct instruction at this point
[kcopeland] 17:30:43 More non verbal, social...examples please.
[kcopeland] 17:31:14 Good ? kervatt!
[jrfernald] 17:31:36 I am not a big fan of "rewarding" children for talking... if your child is able to speak without hesitation when provided reinforcement, there is possibly more of a strong will going on
[kcopeland] 17:31:41 And does it differ depending on age? Must have goals?
[jrfernald] 17:32:20 chrisepple: yes, choice boards are wonderful
[jrfernald] 17:32:30 Some children really take off with them
[jrfernald] 17:32:53 There are probably far more than three I would include, but if I had to choose… In no specific order of importance…(1) Instead of verbalizing, Student will have alternative methods of demonstrating academic achievement in class, (2) Teacher will not require Student to respond verbally, (3) Alt
[jrfernald] 17:33:07 , (3) Alternative methods of assessment will be offered
[ajsmomx3] 17:33:25 My son has a 504 plan. The principal says to receive speech services he would need an IEP.
[jwalker] 17:34:02 what about if the teacher does not have any suggestions for alternative methods of testing
[jrfernald] 17:34:05 ajsmomx3: not true
[kcopeland] 17:34:06 What's an example of alternative methods of dem. ac. achiev. in class? and what would be alternative assessments..especially in the area of oral speaking?
[kervatt] 17:34:10 I often have this same question in working with schools, Joleen.
[jrfernald] 17:34:30 one of the biggest things people do not realize is that related services can be provided within a 504 plan
[kervatt] 17:34:53 Is a full scale special services eval needed for an sm child to receive SLP intervention?
[jrfernald] 17:35:01 many schools also do not allow preschoolers to be on a 504 plan, which is absurd
[jrfernald] 17:35:22 kervatt: not under a 504 plan
[jrfernald] 17:35:39 yes, if the child is on an IEP
[kervatt] 17:35:56 Most schools tell me that SM is not a speech and language problem, therefore, the SLP is not available.
[jrfernald] 17:36:28 Kervatt: I use the argument that there are significant social communication problems with kids with sm
[ginoandsus] 17:36:31 our experience too
[kervatt] 17:36:32 I realize that SM is not a speech problem, but some SLPs service our children and some refuse.
[jrfernald] 17:36:51 because SLPs are the experts in pragmatics, we are the perfect fit for working with kids with sm
[gscher] 17:37:00 SLP means what?
[jrfernald] 17:37:03 I think people are scared
[jrfernald] 17:37:17 slp3Dspeech language pathologist
[kcopeland] 17:37:20 refuse? well then who serves the child? yeah, pragmatics does definitely come into play!
[jrfernald] 17:37:42 if I had my choice ten years ago - I wouldn't have worked with kids with autism because they didn't talk either
[jrfernald] 17:37:53 it's not a choice - it's the law
[jrfernald] 17:38:00 I sound like a commercial!!
[jrfernald] 17:38:31 I use the methodology of taking care of the anxiety first (reducing it)
[jrfernald] 17:38:46 This should be done by a psychologist, social worker, guidance counselor etc.
[jrfernald] 17:39:12 When the anxiety is reduced and the child can "accept" help from the SLP, she should step in to further the communication skills
[jrfernald] 17:39:30 It really should be a team effort when done correctly... I will be honest
[jrfernald] 17:39:49 even my daughter's "team" has no idea what they are doing... they come to me for help
[jrfernald] 17:39:59 We are our children's best advocates!
[jwalker] 17:40:32 would you suggest that a child w/sm goes into a class w/a special ed teacher and a reg teacher or just one teacher
[kcopeland] 17:40:32 What other services should be ideally provided besides SLP and Psych.?
[jrfernald] 17:40:34 kcopeland: asked about alt. methods of dem. ac achievement
[jrfernald] 17:41:00 an example would be to have Sarah read with her mom after dinner, but tape record the session
[jrfernald] 17:41:37 write the number two instead of verbally saying the answer to a math problem
lauriekozi 17:41:51 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:42:03 does that make sense
[sdl] 17:42:28 My child has had difficulty with timed testing? The teacher usually lets him retake or finish it after he has not done well. I do not like him feeling like he has had to fail it first. In research I have done, it seems to advise against timed testing? Should this be covered in a 504 or IEP?
[jrfernald] 17:42:53 Yes, definitely - great question
[jrfernald] 17:43:04 you can say that your child should not have timed tests
[jrfernald] 17:43:26 one of the best accommodations can be for your child to take the test in a different setting, so he has all the time he needs
[kervatt] 17:43:27 What goals should be included in a child’s IEP?
[jwalker] 17:43:32 how should I go about the school wanting to put my chilkd in an intense 4 wk summer school program- for reading and fluency. If she does not score 90 word a min. they will retain her wouldn't this cause more anxiety/is it fair
chalker 17:44:07 exits from this room
[jrfernald] 17:44:19 you should consider getting help from an advocate...
[margintx] 17:44:48 who pays for lawyers?
[jrfernald] 17:45:10 it sounds as though your school really does not understand your child... however, you should be sure that she is able to read at grade level before jumping to the legal battle
[jrfernald] 17:45:22 you pay for the lawyer usually
[jrfernald] 17:45:57 unless you go to due process and mediation --- it's a very unpleasant road and you should do all you can to work with your team
[margintx] 17:46:22 Is it possible to have an IEP under more than one designation (OHI, Speech, ED?)
[jrfernald] 17:46:27 An IEP is individualized for a reason. Each child with SM is different. However, considering the challenges for kids with SM, I would suggest having goals around reading out loud in class, verbally answering teacher’s questions, and developing appropriate social skills.
[jrfernald] 17:47:23 margintx: yes, you can have an IEP with a primary id and secondary
[kervatt] 17:47:23 You might, also, do an internet search to see if there are any agencies in your state that offer free advocates. I know there is in NJ - SPAN.
[jrfernald] 17:47:58 thanks kervatt for reminding me... there are parent information centers etc. who offer free support for families in this situation
[jwalker] 17:48:01 about how long has the diagnosis of Sm been around? how come soo many people don't understand it. Iam not a professional but at times I feel that I am
[margintx] 17:48:03 I get reports for the speech (pragmatics) part, but the others (psycologist, key person) don't seem to be accountable, even though what they're supposed to do is written in the IEP. (
[margintx] 17:48:32 Can the IEP team give the excuse that they have too many kids to serve?
[jrfernald] 17:48:44 SM has been around as a diagnosis I believe for over 70 years
[jrfernald] 17:49:04 for a long time, people just grouped it with being shy
[kcopeland] 17:49:10 People understand SM very quickly when I ask them what their fear is and imagine if they had to face that fear head on. What would they do?
[ginoandsus] 17:49:10 jrfernald: can the need for developing social skills be covered in a 504?
[hogie] 17:49:30 margintx: professionals, including psychologists, are accountable through progress reporting of goals if you have an IEP
[jrfernald] 17:49:36 no, too many kids is not an excuse
[jwalker] 17:49:51 how many time a should you meet to discuss your childs IEP and goals
tammy 17:50:03 enters this room
[jrfernald] 17:50:17 yes - social skill development can be included within a 504 - I have put social skill groups in as a related service
jenibratch 17:50:49 enters this room
[jwalker] 17:50:55 Do we as parents have any legal rights as to obtaining all and any test results
[jrfernald] 17:50:59 IEP meetings are required annually, unless the team decides to extend it under the new IDEA
[paulr] 17:51:07 What type of interventions and frequency do you like to see for children w/ SM?
[jrfernald] 17:51:12 As a parent, you can request to meet more frequently
[jrfernald] 17:51:36 Parents have a right to your child's entire file - ask in writing and document
[jrfernald] 17:51:50 good question paulr
[jrfernald] 17:51:58 again, this varies from child to child
[jrfernald] 17:52:16 I usually try for at least twice a week to maintain a rapport
[jrfernald] 17:52:48 there are a variety of interventions and unfortunately tonight is not the night to discuss specific methodologies
[lauriekozi] 17:53:27 I have a son who is in first grade with SM and whispers only to one gril in his class. We are in the beginnings of the IEP process. Do you have any suggestios or examples of achievable goals?
[jrfernald] 17:53:47 How wonderful he is talking with her
[jrfernald] 17:54:05 In your accommodations, you should be sure to have him placed / seated near her
[jrfernald] 17:54:41 think of speaking as the final outcome and all of the little steps to get there
[jrfernald] 17:55:03 maybe you would want him to whisper to 5 kids in 3 different settings
[jrfernald] 17:55:31 then have him increase his volume by having the girl move farther away from him etc.
[jrfernald] 17:55:46 Please know that it is a REALLY slow process for our kids
[lauriekozi] 17:56:04 He is seated next to her. The teacher is getting frustrated with him. She thought that he would be speaking by now and is not happy that he is using his friend to help him ask for help.
[jrfernald] 17:56:08 I think that's why schools don't know what to do... make your goals achievable
[jrfernald] 17:56:39 Educate your teacher - have her watch the Good Morning America clip
[jrfernald] 17:56:54 Morgan is 7 in the clip and she doesn't speak at all in school
[lauriekozi] 17:57:45 I have given her a lot of information/books from theSmart Center. It didn't seem to help much.
[kervatt] 17:58:12 My two cents...An SM child can sense when a teacher is not happy resulting in pressure and increased anxiety!
[jrfernald] 17:58:16 so sorry to hear that.... keep in mind teachers have many kids to teach - ours are not the only ones
[jrfernald] 17:58:29 good point, gail
[jrfernald] 17:58:49 I interviewed all of the possible teachers for my daughter...
[jrfernald] 17:58:59 the school didn't like it, but I was a bit assertive
[jrfernald] 17:59:13 this assured me that I was getting a good "match" for her
[jwalker] 17:59:18 you may want to remind the teacher that you son has NO control right now over this
[lauriekozi] 17:59:21 I agree. I just don't want her to let him see her fustration.
[jrfernald] 17:59:26 Not all schools will allow this, however
[lauriekozi] 18:00:18 I'm hoping that I can have some say about his teacher for next year.
[jrfernald] 18:00:32 you should definitely have some input
[jrfernald] 18:00:42 most schools take that into consideration
[lauriekozi] 18:01:20 I hope so.
[sdl] 18:01:26 How did you get buy with this? Our school allow you to pick 2 eacher you donot want? I think getting the "right" teacher is so important. It can make all the difference in a good year or bad year.
kbudny 18:02:04 enters this room
[sdl] 18:02:10 Sorry for the speeling--I did not mean to send this this way.
[jrfernald] 18:02:19 Kids have personalities just like adults and some just don't mesh...
[jrfernald] 18:02:45 I am lucky because I also work in my district... it does help to have friends in "high" places!
[paulr] 18:03:13 Our daughter will be starting middle school - any suggestions for the trans.
[kervatt] 18:03:18 We’re out of time so we’ll have to wrap it up for tonight.
[jrfernald] 18:03:38 paulr: I have found transitions to be wonderful for our kids...
[kervatt] 18:03:44 Joleen, thank you so much for the information and for taking your time to "chat" with us tonight. You have certainly helped us to understand the different types of school accommodations available and how to implement “goals” into an intervention.
[lauriekozi] 18:03:55 Thanks so much. Wish I could have joined you earlier.
[ginoandsus] 18:03:59 Thank you - great ideas to incorporate
[jrfernald] 18:04:04 many kids find going to another school is great because no one sees them as a non talker good luck!
[kervatt] 18:04:07 Join us on April 19th to chat with Dr. Greg Markway, renowned author of Nurturing the Shy Child. He will discuss how to survive as parents, how to nurture yourselves, and how to see the strengths in your selectively mute/anxious kids.
[jrfernald] 18:04:11 Thank you for having me
[jwalker] 18:04:12 thanks for all of the info !!!
[paulr] 18:04:17 Thank you Joleen!
[sdl] 18:04:18 Thanks for your time!
[jrfernald] 18:04:58 Have a great night, everyone
lauriekozi 18:05:23 exits from this room
jrfernald 18:05:40 exits from this room
[kervatt] 18:06:04 Stay and chat if you like....Have a good night.