Ask the ExpertsCategory: Advocacy StrategiesHelp with transition to Middle School
Peter Gray asked 3 years ago

My son is 12 years old and has dyslexia. We enjoyed a good relationship with his teacher and the staff at his elementary school.  This fall he will be entering the 6th grade at the Middle School with an entirely new group of teachers and staff. I’m worried about this change.  We were told yesterday at the IEP meeting that his Middle School does not have a Wilson trained teacher and he cannot continue with his tutoring.  They want to give him help in the learning center to keep up with his assignments.  Is there anything we can do?

Lorna Kaufman Staff replied 3 years ago

Hi Peter, What was the date of the last evaluation that documented your son’s need for reading remediation with the Wilson program?

Peter Gray replied 3 years ago

My son recently completed a neuropsych evaluation in March, 2016

1 Answers
Lorna Kaufman Staff answered 3 years ago

Hi Peter,

Transitions into Middle School and High School need to be handled with care and careful planning.  Start with an IEP meeting that includes teachers from both the current school placement and teachers from the new school placement.  It is important to hear what staff in the new placement suggest for services.  Remember, you can always ask to observe any placements they offer. In your case, you can ask to observe the learning center to see what actually takes place there.  Is it functioning as a supervised study hall or are students receiving the help they need?

Since your son has a recent evaluation that documents his need for reading remediation using a structured literacy program – and since that specific help is currently written into his IEP, you can request that those services continue.  Remember, the school needs to meet your son’s needs.  You are in a good position to request that those services be continued because you have a recent evaluation documenting his needs and because the school has acknowledged his needs by providing your son with remediation in the Wilson reading program.

In general, it is not a good idea to cut back on services during a transition.  Transitions can be stressful and learning disabled students often need support. If you find that your child no longer needs the support he had in his previous school, you can always cut back after he has been in his new placement a few months.  However, if you have discontinued some of his help before the transition, it may be difficult to resume those services if you find that he needs the help.

  • Plan ahead of time with a joint IEP meeting
  • Observe placement options if you have questions
  • Schools must meet the needs of students on IEPs
  • In general, don’t cut back on services during times of transition

Please keep me posted. Lorna

Peter Gray replied 3 years ago

Lorna,

Thank you for your response. I will be pushing hard for my child to continue with Wilson training through the Learning Center at his new school.