After several phones calls that turned into scavenger hunts for documentation, my sister-in-law learned what it means to be made to jump through hoops.
First they wanted a copy of this, and then they wanted a copy of that ... and in between the voice on the other phone demanded, why do you want your daughter re-evaluated.
And she made up reasons to not be helpful: "we closed this case...years ago."
And, "I can't send you a copy of the file." And, "You'll have to call someone else for that."
And, finally, "No, we won't re-evaluate your daughter; we closed the file."
One of the scavenger hunt runs involved getting the school psychologist to send in the latest evaluation. Let me highlight three parts for you, 1) "specific learning disability" noted as the issue, though no specific learning disability (sld) is named, no treatments for said sld described, and no long-term goal noted. These two go together for emphasis: 2) reading grade level 1.7 [you read that correctly, she's in the 11th grade at the time of this evaluation, and reading at grade level 1 and seven months] and 3) making adequate progress.
These three facts do not make sense together.
The only up side to all of this scavenging for information is that my sister-in-law began to really question all she is hearing. She is starting to feel like being nice and agreeable might not have translated into getting the best education for her daughter.
My sister-in-law started building up for the fight we had in front of us.
We made a game plan.
1) Get the pediatrician to send a letter to the regional center and to start paper work through the HMO to get our own evaluation done. And a letter to the school requesting an IEP meeting ASAP, maybe as soon as before school starts.
2) Research on what is needed for an evaluation and what might the regional center accept from the outside.
3) Gather all of the IEP reports over the 12 years Q. has already been in school.
4) Activate networks and identify other networks that can get us in touch with the appropriate lawyers/advocates, etc.
Battle ready, emotionally and physically... fears and inadequacies pushed aside to do what is best for Q.
Then came the call... we can re-evaluate Q., next week.
It was probably good they said no first. It gave my sister-in-law the time and space to prepare for battle and understand what it might take to get the help Q. needs. It also allowed her to make some moves that demonstrate the power of the parent and the registered letter.
This is good because the re-evaluation is just step one. We still have to stay on top of Q. getting exactly what she needs to be productive and successful.
And so the saga continues...
10 hours ago