Despite the fact that special education staff in your school district claim that your child does not have Asperger’s Syndrome or be on the Autism Spectrum, are you concerned that your child might have either condition? Even though school personnel claim that everything is fine, is your child having academic difficulties? This is the article for you! I will talk about the six steps that must be completed before a child is eligible for special education and how you can prepare for each step to increase the likelihood that they will be!
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) is the federal statute that governs special education. which all states are required to follow.
The Request for Evaluation is the first step. Under the Child Find section of IDEA 2004, school districts are required to find, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities. To find out if your child has a disability, you can ask for a comprehensive psychological evaluation for them in writing.
You should include any evidence that demonstrates your child’s disability. Medical reports, outside evaluations, district and state-wide standardized tests, teacher comments, and other such things Also, please include in your request any and all areas in which you believe your child may have a disability, as schools must test for all suspected disabilities.
The second step is for the school district to decide whether or not to test your child; which is typically carried out during a meeting between school personnel and parents. At this meeting, you must advocate for your child and insist that he or she be tested for any disability that you suspect.
The consent to evaluate is the third step. A consent form for this testing must be signed if the school consents to evaluate your child. Parents are required to give informed consent under IDEA 2004. What does it imply? This indicates that you are aware of the upcoming tests and their subject matter. If you don’t agree, you can refuse to give a test or withhold consent for one area.
Inquire about receiving all evaluation reports via mail at least 10 days prior to the eligibility meeting; so that you can fully engage in the procedure.
The actual evaluation is step 4. The evaluation must be finished by the school within sixty days. When a Vineland or Autism Rating Scale is used, most evaluations include interviews with one or both parents. Parents should fill out rating scales because they know their children best; and as a result, the Scale’s reliability will rise.
The Individual Educational Plan Meeting and the Eligibility Conference are Step 5. Bring another parent or an advocate who is familiar with special education if at all possible.
You should ask a lot of questions, especially about terms you don’t understand. In particular, you should ask evaluators to fully explain any scores that are below grade level in their report. Evaluators ought to be able to explain why scores fall below grade level. For instance: Undiagnosed learning disabilities may exist in a third-grade reader who reads at a level comparable to first grade. A child may require related or special education services in any area that is below grade level in order to benefit from their education.
A child’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) must be created if the child is found eligible. The IEP ought to include the number of minutes per week that the child will receive the necessary services as well as all necessary services.
Step 6 is consent for placement in special education. Parents must sign IDEA 2004 to receive initial related and special education services. Your child may require services for special education, but it is not always a separate class. Therapies, assistive technology, counseling, and other similar services are examples of related services.
While eligibility is not guaranteed, standing up for your child will increase the likelihood that he or she will be granted access to special education services!