Parents’ Right to Request Evaluation for Special Education Services at Any Time

Oarents and their son meeting with a school officialParents who are aware their child is having a difficult time with reading, mathematics, written expression or other aspects of school work might suspect that the child has a learning disability (LD), also known as specific learning disabilities (SLD), and may be in need of special education services. As a parent, guardian or advocate, you have a legal right to request that your public school evaluate your child for special education.  Read LDA's Position Paper on Right to an Evaluation of a Child for Special Education Services to learn more about this important legal right and the first step towards helping your child in the public school.

Comments

  1. I feel it is wonderful that you are sharing this information with the public and in turn making it easier for the public to understand the special education process. However I encourage you to revise your statement to suggest that parents first contact their child’s school to discuss their concerns PRIOR to making a referral. Many times parents lack a sufficient understanding of the necessary criteria to qualify a student, have misconceptions of their child’s actual performance, or are unaware of the intensive interventions and supports (including tracking and monitoring) that their child is ALREADY receiving. In turn we are encouraging parents to make poor referrals which then put the child through an unnecessary process, waste school resources, and tie up valuable staff time (were they could instead be working one on one with the student or crafting quality interventions).

    • Angelia K Bacon says:

      AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE PARENTS THAT TRY AND TRY AND NOTHING GETS DONE? WE AS PARENTS MAY NOT UNDERSTAND BUT I FEEL AS IF WE AT LEAST SHOULD BE HEARD. I AM
      RAISING MY GRANDSON AND WE REPEATED THE 1ST GRADE WHERE I WAS REPEATDLY
      TOLD THAT HE WOULD NOT QUALIFY FOR ANYTHING. WE ARE NOW IN THIRD GRADE AND
      STILL STRUGGLING. CHILD HAS BEEN EVALUATED AND THEY ASURE ME THAT HE HAS NO
      LEARNING DISABILITY. THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT AN OUTSIDE EVALUATION SAYING THAT
      IT HAS TO MEET STATE GUIDELINES. SO BASICALLY I AM BEING TOLD THAT THERE IS
      NOTHING ELSE THEY CAN DO FOR MY GRANDSON. HE IS RECEIVING HELP FROM HOME
      AND AS HIS GRANDPARENT I NEED HELP FROM THE SCHOOL OF WHICH I AM NOT RECEIVING.
      LACK OF SUFFICIENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE NECESSARY CRITERIA TO QUALIFY A STUDENT, HAVE MISCONCEPTIONS PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND!!!!!

      • Robin VanDyke says:

        Angelia, check out wrightslaw.com. I just bought the book and he walks you through how to appeal the decision and navigate the system. Invaluable!

        Katie, I’ve never met anyone who said “oh yeah, the special ed system was the best thing that ever happened to us. They had the best interest of my child in mind.”

        Best of luck to you.

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