22 answers

How Do I Change an IEP That I Already Signed?

Hi moms!

My 3 year old has a speech delay, so much in fact that 99% of people cant understand a word he says. In June I had him evaluated by the school and he scored average-above average in all area except speech. They said he qualfied for a services only iep. I decided that I would enroll him in the preschool and he could get the 2 30 minutes of speech they offered during the day. Well, over the summer, finanes did a 180 and there is no way I can pay for his school ($300 a month). I contacted the school office but we cant qualify for financial aid, so I cancelled the preschool. The principal asssured me that he would come in for his speech twice a week anyways. I have yet to hear from them, even after phone calls, nothing. I did get my son into a preschool program, only because the adminstrator knows my son and she was sympathetic and gave us a discount, but still...doesnt my son deserve a fulll program with specialists and therapy? How will he ever gain so much speech that in less than 2 years he will be ready for Kindergarten? Yes, I did sign the services only IEP, but now I think I made a mistake. Alls I can think of is him going into school and being so far behind that no one plays with him because he still speaks like a toddler (though he isnt that far advanced yet!) HELP!! I want to be a strong advocate for my son, but so far Im not getting what is best for him. How do I get a new IEP and is there anything I can do to change the decision to get him preschool as well included in the IEP?
Thanks for your time!

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The speech was through the preschool itself or through the town or city? If it's through the town or city they should come out to whatever program you have him enrolled in since there's a need there. I would give the town special ed services a call and let them know you have enrolled him in a different school and would like his services performed there. They should be able to tell you what needs to be done. You can also talk to the school director where he is now. They might have some suggestions for you or could know who's in charge of speech and could get the person out there. A simple thing like changing the location shouldn't be too big of a deal. He still needs the services. Plus an IEP has to meet the needs of a child and if it's not meeting the needs then it needs to be changed. If they can't come to this school then they would have to provide some other place where he can get his speech.

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Hi S.,
I work as a Paraprofessional with a Special Educational Department in the local high school where I live. I always refer to the old adage "The squeaky wheel gets the oil!" First, you have every right to expect that your child receive any special educational services that he qualifies for & needs. Go to your town or city's school district where you live and call the Superintendent's Office- ask if they have a Director for Special Education. Explain to them what has happened and ask them what can be done. You may have to "make some noise"- keep checking with people to make sure that things are getting done. Ask if they can arrange a PPT( a meeting with different professionals in the educational field who will do specific tests to assess your son's needs.) Check with your town hall or city hall to see if they have a Youth Services that may be able to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, I will ask a teacher whom I work with if she knows of websites to go to for additional help. ( Try Special Education in your state on Bing or Google to see where it might lead you. You may want to look in the blue pages of your phone book for your state's education department or Special Education if it's listed. Your state should have a website that explains your rights & your child's rights to their educational needs.)

I believe your son will be OK, but never be afraid to fight for what he needs- he is your son and of course you want him to get all the help he needs. I wish you the best!
H. Y.

1 mom found this helpful


An IEP can be changed at any time if the school or the parents request because they see a need. Contact the school and ask that they retest him. Then when they return with the recommendations you request that preschool be a part of the IEP. If this is a public school they should have no problem.

From your description of the evaluation results a "services only" IEP is exactly what your son is entitled to, the "services only" means he is not delayed cognitively which would require special education services (preschool provided by the school district) to increase his knowledge to an age-appropriate level. Speech services will be delivered either at the preschool your son is enrolled in or by you bringing him to the speech/language pathologist (therapist). To ensure he is getting the services go to your district's website, look for the name & number of the Special Services or Student Services Director and call that person.

Yes, you can ask for a new IEP by calling the school and requesting an amendment meeting.

If you are looking for free preschool you won't get that as your son only qualified for speech services not for special education. Those children who have cognitive or physical delays are entitled to the free preschool. Your son would act as a role model for them and benefit by receiving services by the speech and language dept. of the school while he is there.

Being a stay at home mom affords you the time to bring him... your luck.. I know many working mom's who have difficulty fitting in the therapy during their lunch hour.

Good luck!

The way you can still receive the services is to bring him to the school for his 2xs 30mins of therapy a week. Unfortunately most if not all public schools require you come to them for therapy not the other way around.

Hi S.,
I read your previous posts and I'm thinking that your son needs a more thorough evaluation. My reasoning is that he has experienced difficulty with speech sounds, vocabulary and social skills. This is a full communication disorder and usually cannot be appropriately addressed in an isolated therapy session. An integrated preschool in your public school should be made available for him, and he would most probably qualify with the correct testing. Also, you previously mentioned a consideration of Autism. This is a great time to have him fully evaluated.
If you are not getting contact by the system, please contact an advocate ASAP.

Hi S.,

I don't know where you live, but if you contact the Office of Pupil Services at your Public School Dept. they should be able to help. In Massachusetts they are required to test and provide services to qualifying children even of preschool age. If your circumstances changed then the plan should be adjusted. If your son is really as delayed as you say he should qualify for free preschool through the Public School Dept.

Don't take no for an answer. If you can't get the right person, call the superintendent's office and ask for direction. Finally, if you are getting nowhere you are entitled to an advocate. Ask for a referral. Your public school department should have given you paperwork as to your rights with the original IEP. Keep squeaking. The squeaky wheel gets greased.

Additionally, you may want to get an independent evaluation. If you have private health insurance, call the local Children's Hospital Neuropsych Dept. regarding testing. The waits can be very long, so you might not want to delay.

J. L.

An IEP is supposed to be a fluid document, meaning it changes with the needs of the child. If it says that he should be getting speech than they are obligated to provide that. Remember that they signed the IEP too. With the IEP you should have been given a liaison. I would start by calling that person and explain your change in situation and you need to re evaluate or amend his IEP. If you don't hear back with in 48hrs I would contact the SPED Coordinator for your town.
I have friends that have children on a services only IEP, and if your son only needs speech than they only have to provide that. You may not get preschool no matter how much of a fuss you make if he doesn't meet the criteria for your town. Unfortunately while the schools are required to provide services some will do the bare minimum while others will bend over backwards for each child.
If you still get no results call the superintendent of schools office and complain directly to the top. That should get some action.
Also take some time to look at the Dept. of Education website and familiarize yourself with the SPED laws. That way you are informed and able to best advocate for your child.

You can always call a new team meeting - that is one of your rights. You may need a '504' instead of an IEP which will cover speech services/therapies outside of the academic program. The public school system would still be the provider. Don't hesitate to call a special ed advocate or the Federation for Children with Special Needs. They can advise you on how to proceed. It is a maze when oyu are first going through the process, so experienced help is really great! Email me if you want the name of an advocate to consult with you. You are right - he needs help now to be kindergarten ready! Also ask your older son's 1st grade teacher to connect your with the SLP at his school and ask for advice from him/her!

First things first-take a deep b reathe and trust everything for your son will work out.
Second to change an IEP all you should have to do is call a new meeting. My son has a 504-almost same thing-and we change it as wee see its needed. About twice a year or more. Just call a new meeting.
Just to ease your mind a bit-Something I have found with a few of my friends children who were being in speech, was just being around other children and picking up talking with them. At this age they shouldn't be judging eachother so maybe just being in school will help.
But also if the school felt he needed it, they should be helping. Call a new IEP meeting.

If you live in Plymouth, Mt. Pleasant is a public pre-school that is for children with all disabilities and the peers are in on a lottery basis depending on how many children are requiring services that particular year. My son was in early intervention for speech up until his 3rd birthday (when EI ends) and then he qualified for the speech program at Mt. Pleasant. There was a once a week group session for two hours and then two 1/2 hour one-on-one sessions with a speech pathologist. He did this for 4-5 months (until the school year ended) and then in the fall he started the preschool as a speech student. There was a cost for the preschool but it was minimal and based on family income. Try not to worry about no one playing with him, kids that age play more than talk. He was talking once kindergarten started, albiet not clearly but understandable with careful listening - no one ever made fun of him. He is now in fourth grade and still receives some speech but it is for pronounciation of specific sounds. He is not comfortable reading out loud in school but he does it and does it well. Like any disability, parental involvement is absolutely necessary - we have been doing speech "homework" for seven years now but it has paid off! I strongly suggest contacting the school department in your town to see what they have to offer and going in person to meet the principal of the pre-school. Good Luck, it takes time but you will get results.

damn right he deserves special treatment for his problems. i have a daughter that is 11yrs. old and is autistic, and even though i never went through this with her with her ieps i understand. i dont know what towm you live in but i am going to give you some advice i followed to get my lexis everything she deserved from the lynn schools and the special needs dept. contact SUSAN GILROY she works at NORTH SHORE ARC,she is great with me and my kid and i know she can help you out for sure. her #is:###-###-####. At NORTH SHORE ARC,they specialize with helping people who have special needs, and they can advocate for you. She is a wonderful lady and will understand and help you and your son. So please, sweetie, your son needs the help and for free so he should get it,especially w/Susans help. good luck i hope i've helped a little.

OK S., here we go.

PUT IT IN WRITING!!! Send them a letter and CC someone, the school districts special ed coordinator(I am assuming that this is the public school you are dealing with), the Parent Inforamtion Center, someone, if they know that someone else is going to see it they might move faster! If it isn't in writing, it didn't happen(what I got from IEP courses).

And they are wholly in violation of that IEP even if it is services only, they agreed to it and there is a date on it and they are supposed to be giving him those services and they have to MAKE IT UP if he misses it!!! Also for more help contact the Parent Information Center, www.nhspecialed.org. There are SOOO knowledgable and will be able to answer all your questions.

I dont' know if you can change their mind about preschool but you need to light a fire under their backsides and get him the speech therapy he needs. If you have more specific questions feel free to email me ____@____.com, I have 2 kids with IEPS and took an advocate course several years ago now, I can try to look things up if you want (I am in NH, that would make a difference if you are in Mass or somewhere else.) Good Luck and just know that you being concerned and trying is definitely you being a good advocate for your child, don't give up!!


YOur child is entitled to a free and appropiate education with the special services and therapies and that will most likely be within your public school district. If your child qualifies, which it sounds like he does, then this begins from age 3. I agree with the previous post that it's a good idea to contact the ARC for assistance or Mass family ties through the federation for children with special needs 800-905-8437. Depending on what town you live in I think since you signed an IEP you and your advocate may have a fight but it can be done and don't give up. Good luck.

It doesn't seem that you made a mistake signing the IEP. Youwant your child to improve his speech patterns and the IEP requires that your public school district provide the indicated services at no cost to you. This can be done by scheduling a time for you to bring the child to the school for services or by enrolling the child in the preschool at the public school (perhaps at no cost because of the special needs)where he will receive the service during his preschool sessions. Call the public school in your area and ask to speak dirsctly with the speech pathologist to set up a meeting. You are the child's advocate. Make sure you get the services he needs.

there are laws here and he will get what he needs, but you are what he needs to reseach this all and take care of it. Go out and buy or get a copy at the library of:
Here are two books to look into
From Emotions to Advocacy by Pete and Pam Wright is a good one. Also The Complete Guide to the IEP by Lawrence Siegel.
Does your area have a public pre-school? if so enroll him asap and take your IEP copy with you. If they do not call your local Early Intervention office: Early Intervention
270 High St, Clinton, MA 01510 Get directions
Cross Streets: Between Richardson Pl and French Ter

They can advise you.
My son did not speak until after 3, I know what you are oging thru, but you understand him and that is what he needs too..he needs the services signed on for and you need to know the laws by reading these books and talking to your local EI office. This will work out and he will move forward, he wants to be understood and there is help.
Good Luck and drop me a note if you need anything else looked up or any questions. My son got the help he needed, he is in the first grade and no one knows he ever had an issue (well the school records) he started singing at 4 1/2! it was heaven

Most cities have a child outreach program that assist in finding a preschool for children with developmental delays. They also are free. I contacted mine when my son was 3 as he was delayed in speech and language. Now he is 5 and doing considerably well. as a mother, I realized I have to advocate for my child, and if I wasn't getting the right care, I had to find it elsewhere. the child outreach center evaluates, and then finds a placement for your child. You , as a parent have every right to change your child's IEP, or decline it at any point and get a second opinion.

The speech was through the preschool itself or through the town or city? If it's through the town or city they should come out to whatever program you have him enrolled in since there's a need there. I would give the town special ed services a call and let them know you have enrolled him in a different school and would like his services performed there. They should be able to tell you what needs to be done. You can also talk to the school director where he is now. They might have some suggestions for you or could know who's in charge of speech and could get the person out there. A simple thing like changing the location shouldn't be too big of a deal. He still needs the services. Plus an IEP has to meet the needs of a child and if it's not meeting the needs then it needs to be changed. If they can't come to this school then they would have to provide some other place where he can get his speech.

S., what city do you live in?

I agree with some earlier posts about putting it in writing. I would send it to the school principal and speech therapist at the school he would receive the speech therapy.

Some aspects of the IEP laws vary by state and you may be receiving comments from Mamasource Moms in NH, CT or MA, from what I've gathered. Check the state department of education website for the state you live in.

Also, any member of the PPT team can reconvene the team members to look at the IEP at any time. YOU have a right to that as a parent. Again, request it in writing.

Lastly, about the "services only" IEP. I'm not sure if this is the case in your situation, but in CT, a child qualifies for services in the birth to three program only if the deficiencies are in more than one area, ie. speech, motor, etc. A speech IEP for articulation issues may be considered in that way because all of his other areas were average/above average. Now that he is three, the services are provided by the local school system instead of the "birth to three" program. The school should be able to explain to you what the "services only" means.

just request a new meeting.. I'd check into your special ed dept too - my kid got free preschool because he was on an IEP..

I am a SAHM, with a degree in SPED, a former teacher and have a 3 yr old son who too has speech and is preschool. My son receives speech through the school department (free). He was evaluated and only qualified for speech as well. He attends morning preschool and one day a week attends speech with the school department. I bring him there and wait the 30min while he is in class. As for the IEP, YOU have full control and rights to set a meeting and change anything in that IEP that you are not comfortable with. You are the only avocate for your son. You know him best. If I were you, I would call your town/city and register your son for schoool in the district. Call the Early Learning Center in your town, Human Resources could guide you, it may even be called SPecial Services or something. Explain to the administrator that your son has an IEP, has been tested and only qualifies for speech. If he is enrolled in teh district, then he is able to attend services free of charge with the Early learning school. I'd start there. My 3 yr old has the very same problems and I have the very same worries. You are not alone. If you have any other questions please email me back.


That sounds really strange to me. My daughter is three as well, and is completely up to par on everything except for speech (she says only a handful of words). Once she turned three, she qualified for preschool in the public school, and it's completely free. I don't understand why you'd have to pay. In all the papers I got concerning my daughter, there is no charge. Is there anyone you can talk to about this?

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