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April 28, 2021 Meeting Minutes - Follow-up on IEEs, MA, and removal of SDIs

PALS Meeting Minutes

April 28, 2021 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.


Follow-up on Independent Education Evaluations (IEE)

Last month we discussed Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) and the impact they have on 504 Plans and IEPs. It is important to remember that although school districts are mandated to consider an IEE, they do not have an obligation to use the recommendations within the IEE while writing a 504 Plan or IEP. For more information on IEEs visit Wrightslaw.


As a follow-up to our conversation last month (see March 2021 Meeting Minutes), after consulting with Attorney Nancy E. Potter at McAndrews Law Offices in Pittsburgh, a parent was advices to have the IEE performed by a "certified" psychologist. A family decided to go with Dr. Steven Pasquinelli, Ph.D. for a new IEE. Dr. Pasquinelli is the owner and President of Psychological Associates, Inc.. The family reports that they had a good first meeting and look forward to moving forward with Dr. Pasquinelli.


Medical Assistance (MA) AND "The Loophole"

Whether your child is receiving special education services in school, or not, if you are just beginning the evacuation process with your school district, but have an outside diagnosis, your child may be eligible for Medical Assistance. (*These are just some possible examples.) In May 2017 we attended a Medical Assistance training and shared the information during a PALS meeting. It was full day training offered in two sessions. The morning session focused on Children and Youth with Disabilities and the afternoon session focused on Transitioning Youth. The PDFs of the slide show during these sessions available on our website. You will find our notes in red. There are more notes for the Children and Youth session because we ran out of time. If you have any questions at all, please contact the PA Health Law Project. Some information to know before heading over to our May 2017 Meeting Minutes:


- You have the right to apply for Social Security(SSI)/Medical Assistance(MA) based on your child's diagnosis/disability. When a person qualifies for SSI they are automatically enrolled in MA.

- Although a child may be found ineligible for SSI because of a parent's income or assets you can apply for MA alone under the PH 95 program which does not count parental income.

- When applying for either remember to use the language they (SSA/MA) use and provide documentation and examples of how the your child's diagnosis/disability inhibits his/her ability compared to others his age. DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS You can never write too much, you can however write too little.

- You can cover your child through both commercial insurance and MA. MA covers MANY things that commercial insurance limits or does not cover.


For more information on Medical Assistance and PH95, often referred to as the PA Loopehole, please visit our Meeting Minutes from May 2017. Although there may have been some changes since this training, the PA Health Law Project can help.



What if SDIs are removed from your child's IEP without acknowledgment?

The question came up about what to do or what can be done when a school district removes an SDI from an IEP without acknowledging the removal verbally or in writing before or during the IEP meeting. Of course any addition or removal of a Goal or SDI by school based IEP Team Members without even as much as an acknowledgement of intent is worrisome. It is important to remember that IDEA defines consent as follows:


§300.9 Consent.

Consent means that—

(a) The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or other mode of communication;

(b) The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and

(c)(1) The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at anytime.

(2) If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked).


Immediate thoughts on this were to call an IEP meeting to discuss the removal and work together to resolve any dispute. Please stop back for updates on this subject as we intent to find more resources on this subject.


Related Articles/Resources

The School Wants to Change My Child’s Accommodations. What Can I Do?

Pennsylvania Parent Guide to Special Education: Chapter 3 (page 12)

Procedural Safeguards Notification


In the past few months we have experienced an uptick in inquiries about 504 Plans for a variety of reasons, ADHD, Anxiety, and Dyslexia to name a few. We are working to arrange a meeting specifically on this topic and hope to have a training session for our May meeting. Please keep an eye out for updates through our e-mails.

Next Meeting: May 26, 2021 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

**Log-in and Password for this and all upcoming meetings will be sent in all upcoming newsletters. Become a subscriber in the footer of this web page.

SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

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