revoke-iep-dyslexia“My daughter currently has an IEP. We asked that we keep her accommodations of the IEP in place but take a break from the support she is receiving from the resource teachers, with both pull out and push in. We were told that we need to revoke her IEP in order to do this. I am nervous to do that at this time, because we may want to add back the support and we also lose her testing accommodations, etc. Do you know if this is true?”

It’s confusing. The IEP says Agree or Disagree, suggesting that your decision is yes or no – but it isn’t.

Do you need to revoke the IEP if you want to refuse part of the plan, but keep other parts like accommodations? The answer is NO, you do not have to revoke the IEP and you don’t have to accept and either-or situation.

From Wrightslaw:

You can allow the school to implement parts of the IEP. The school may not draw a line in the sand, or force you to accept the IEP “all or nothing.” The school may not use your refusal to consent to one service to deny other services, benefits, or activities in your child’s IEP. (34 C.F.R. § 300.300(d)(3)) See page 24, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, and page 239, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition. – See more at: http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/can-i-revoke-consent-for-a-service-in-the-iep/#sthash.kSp6gEXA.dpuf

What’s the risk here?

If special education resources (pull-out or in-classroom changes “push-in”) aren’t working for a child, it is appropriate to request these services come to an end, but if the entire IEP is revoked, then accommodations also no longer have to be provided, and it may also be more difficult to obtain accommodations when standardized testing by an external organization (like the College Board) is required.

So what shall I do?

We advise doing your research when choosing to revise an IEP. An IEP can be changed. It is never an either-or-situation. You must document your requests in writing. Read more about changing an IEP. Try to have at least one other person attend your IEP meeting, whether it’s your spouse, neighbor or friend, or advocate.

Recognize that it is very common that students with dyslexia will need to have their IEP changed over the course of their schooling. Most students with appropriate intervention will see decoding aspects of reading improve, but writing, spelling, time for test taking, and organizational issues may be more significant as the demands for increased written work rise in middle school and beyond.

More information about consequences of revoking an IEP from Iowa.

Did this issue come up with you? If so, please share your experiences here in the comment thread or our on Facebook page at: http://facebook.com/dyslexicadvantage

Here’s helpful comments (thanks folks!):

From Joe: Also interventions be they pull out or pull in must be regularly measured to verify they are effective at making progress towards the goal. if they are proven to NOT be effective then rather than taking a break or removing them and choosing to leave the accommodations section alone, the parents or advocate should demand that the school provide a different service that is proven to have a greater likelihood of success. The RTI data should clearly indicate if progress is made, and if not the law requires the school to provide a different service that is effective. the only loophole is the school needs time to measure and evaluate RTI. this cannot be an unlimited time or anywhere near as long as the school year. basically they can’t get all the way to the end of the year after measuring no progress and say “oh well, guess that didn’t work, at least we tried”…. and your kid just lost a whole year. usually 6-8 weeks is enough to measure progress, and never allow more than 12. if no progress then call another formal meeting and demand another method be tried. better yet, call the meeting at 8 weeks so when they use all 30 days to schedule it you are at 12. demand current data in the meeting from no more than one week prior.

From Barbara: No you don’t have to “revoke” the whole thing. In fact, remember that the IEP is an agreement between parents and the school. IF you refuse to sign it then the school can (and should) be held accountable for not complying with the law. My school tried to get me to sign an unacceptable IEP and I knew that the deadline was in 7 days so I refused and by day 3, they were willing to give me everything I wanted because they knew I would contact the state on day 8 and sue the pants off them!!!! I write my child’s IEP each year and send it to them as a starting place for our discussion. Resources in and outside the classroom are specifically defined in measurable terms and I hold them accountable. Most resource teachers are not familiar with dyslexia so I educate them annually on my expectations and don’t hesitate to call the school, district office or the state if they are out of compliance. My child is NOT mentally handicapped nor is he a behavior problem and most resource teachers only understand those problems. It is a constant “staff development” opportunity that I meet head on every year. I call the school the week before it starts and request a meeting with all the teachers and resource people and we exchange emails and phone numbers. I pull out the accommodations in the IEP and bring copies for everyone and we review them to make sure they understand my child’s issues and MY expectations. Happy mama = good year….

From Helen: My daughter was diagnosed in 3rd grade not from the school board, they stated she was smart and she just needed extra tutoring.After most of her 3 Rd grade we knew something was wrong, she knew she learnt differently. We did Sylvan who promised a full increase in her grade level, not!
We paid privately for her to be tested, dyslexic! After reading a parents guide to dyslexia all her signs made sense. We got an excellent Wilson tutor after that and in 3 weeks my daughter felt better and understood the tools she gave her.
Her elementary school here in Florida for her IEP was a nightmare, one meeting we had 23 people there 21 being from the school.Middle school another nightmare, teachers do not understand that a simple tool like a highlighter or extra time, is important to help kids with learning issues, it helps level the playing field for these kids.
High school has been SO much better, my daughter is finishing her junior year and has completed and passed 4 college classes( the college also very supportive).

My advice to parents, stay strong, stay united, it is a long hard fight but you know your kid and ideas once if you do not believe in your kid who else will. I know so many parents who were told their kid would be lucky to get a job in Walmart, they are scientists, one is a vet , a manager for a large hotel. Have your kids believe in themselves support them and their strengths and weaknesses, love them