For any of you that have children, their school life is probably straight forward.  They get up, go to school, enjoy lunch and recess more than school, then come home.  Sometimes they have homework, sometimes they forget to do it.  But, all in all it's just school.  You rarely have to see teachers, or talk to them, unless you're volunteering.  When you have a child, or children with learning disabilities, or other bits of craziness, it's not as straight forward.

The Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP for your child is what the school system lives and breathes while your child is within their walls.  It lays out how they learn, what allowances they get above and beyond the 'normal' kids, and what goals they are trying to reach.  It also covers what additional services they may recieve like occupational, physical, or speech therapy.

This week was the week to redo Minion 1's IEP for next year.  Once you do a few of these, and learn what needs to be written in them, the language that should never be ambiguous, and to ask for everything your child might need and more, they really are easy to do.  They are also pretty easy to spot mistakes and irregularities.  This year, we found one.  A big one.  One that looks like insurance fraud.

During the IEP meeting, everyone that deals with Minion 1 is required to be there, unless the parent signs to exempt them.  The Speech therapist double booked herself into another IEP.  I had questions about some things in the IEP I saw, so I wasn't exempting her. I asked the minions' teacher what actually happened in his 1 session every 6 day cycle.  He explained to me that she worked with him for 10 minutes, max.  He's supposed to be getting 40 minutes.  She has written 30 minutes in one place, 40 minutes in another, with a minimum of 25 sessions per year.  So, during the meeting I ask to have her call me because if what I'm hearing from his teacher is correct, because she bills medicaid for the service, it sounds like insurance fraud.

Back home after the IEP meeting, sent email to school principal that was present in the IEP to have all the billings made to medicaid for the minion pulled and a copy sent to me.  I'm curious to how the therapist is billing medicaid, and if she is billing for multiple services when she is to be working with one child.

The speech therapist calls me the day after the IEP meeting to apologize for double booking herself, which I brush off and start asking what actually happens during the sessions.  She tells me that she works with the minion for 15-20 minutes to go over the lession that she is presenting to the rest of the class that day, and then uses my child as a model for all the other kids, as though it's a fantastic thing. (what parent thinks that exploiting their child for your gain is great?) I asked her why she wasn't using all 40 minutes to work with the minion, to which she replied that she is in the classroom the entire time.  I asked her again, more slowly, in case she didn't understand it the first time and then she came back with but it's not specified in the IEP that I work one on one with him.  I had to explain that a forty minute session even in a classroom setting sets the expectation that you are working with that child for 40 minutes, not using them as a tool.  She also explained that what was going on in the classroom now is really not doing much for the minion, he should be with other peers, so I asked her to write that into the IEP.  She didn't want to.  She aslo didn't want to write it into the current one.  I was bewilderd at that point, and pretty well convinced something squirrely (oh yeah, squirrely) was up.  I started to circle back around to why she was continuing to do something currently that wasn't much good to him and she started going on about how she is in the classroom the whole time again, which I told her she should probably just stop talking now, she wasn't helping her cause and to have her supervisior call me.  End of phone call.

Next phone call comes from the therapists' supervisor, whom I've worked with before.  I explained my issues: not working with the minion for the time specified, using him as a tool without my knowldege or consent, not in the correct peer group, resistence to writing things into the IEP, and what was sounding like insurance fraud.  The sound of crickets was heard momentarily before a reluctant ok was uttered after the last one.  I was assured that the correct info would be put into the IEP, and she would look into the rest.  End of phone call.

I filled in the husband after all of this and I think we'll also be adding that after each 40 minute session the therapist will need to provide me with a written report of what was covered in the session as well as having it signed off on by an adult to double check it actually happened.

Monday, I will have to notify the school, if I still have heard nothing about the insurance documentation, that I will be opening a fraud investigation with Medicaid concerning the speech therapist.  Then, I'll have to call PA Protection and Advocacy as well and obtain a lawyer to deal with the therapist as well.

Really, if people would just do what they are supposed to do instead of finding the path of least resistence and hope it never catches up with them, the world would be a better place.
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