Aug 142014
 

Do you need Free IEP Training?

If you have a child on an IEP and feel like you’re a lost fish swimming in an ocean of special education jargon, I’ve been there! Going through this IEP Training will reduce your confusion and feeling of being overwhelmed. It might even help you feel like a true member of your child’s IEP team!

Let me welcome to Learning Abled Kids’ IEP Training. Since IEPs can determine what your child is taught, how your child is taught, who teaches the content, as well as when and where your child’s education is provided, the IEP is a critical document.

The IEP is the document that holds the school accountable for teaching your child. If you are a teacher, an IEP is your guide to teaching a particular child. The IEP lets you know what to teach the child and how to reach the child best.

To get the most out of this IEP Training, be sure to click on exploration links provided throughout the course, answer the knowledge questions for fun and learning. If you want to look up the actual code, you can visit the Government’s IDEA website and search for regulations of interest.

Resource books you may find helpful, both before and after completing this training, are:

How to Develop Legally Correct and Educationally Useful ProgramsIEP Training

Idea 2004: Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act: a Parent Handbook for School Age Children With Learning Disabilities

Wrightslaw: IDEA

These books let you know yours, and your child’s, specific rights as provided by U.S. federal laws. It is often essential that you know your rights in order to know what schools must do for children with disabilities. If you are a religious person, you may also find the “Interfaith Education Prayer” helpful in improving your IEP meeting outcomes.

Also, if you are battling with your public school, or find you are doing so in the future, I’d like to suggest you consider the feasibility of homeschooling your child for better educational outcomes!  First, if you doubt your ability or tolerance for homeschooling your child, please read two resources before deciding homeschooling is an impossibility:


1) Our public school to homeschool to college story, and

2) The book “Overcome Your Fear HomeschoolingIEP Training,”

If you are at any time considering homeschooling your learning abled child, please sign up for the Learning Abled Kids’ support group by clicking here. The group provides support to you whether you educate your child at home. It will help you find specialty curriculum, tutoring/therapy services, homeschool co-op classes, or independent homeschooling programs.

You will find the members are welcoming. Many have given up on the public school battle for an appropriate education.  Having been there, we all understand many of the issues and feelings you have about providing your child’s education at home.  It can be a scary thought!

Truly, homeschooling is actually a GREAT way to meet your child’s needs. Why? Because YOU are in control of your child’s education. You can provide whatever you know your child needs without IEP meeting schedules that drag out over months or years. You won’t be wasting your child’s precious learning time.  So, if you are at all inclined towards homeschooling, please join us!

In the meantime, if you’re still trying to make public education work, please make use of this IEP Training. It is great to arm yourself with the knowledge of IEPs, requirements, and to set your expectations at the level you suspect your child can achieve.  I’m cheering for you and your child no matter which route you take!

WELCOME to IEP Training!  Please press the “Forward” button on each page to go to the next section of this IEP training.

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Aug 022013
 

Return to Questions

Q: My school says they won’t test my child because she is making passing grades. We think our child needs help. What are the rules for special education eligibility?


Answer:

By IDEA laws (Federal), if anyone “suspects” a child has a disability and requests a comprehensive psychological evaluation in writing, the school MUST evaluate the child to determine if the child has a disability.

The referral does not have to come from the school. A parent CAN request an evaluation for learning disabilities. Special education eligibility is NOT dependent upon classroom grades or the movement from grade-to-grade.

Special Education Eligibility Evaluation Timeframes

According to IDEA, an evaluation must occur “within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation; or If the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe.” 

In Georgia, a child must be tested for special education eligibility within 60 days of the written permission to test. However, some states require evaluations in a shorter timeframe.  I suggest checking the special education eligibility laws through your state’s Department of Education.

Your school cannot simply say testing your child is “not a priority” or that they don’t think your child has a disability.

Our school told us because our child was making C’s they didn’t “see a need” for reading services.  I told them I didn’t care if our son was making A’s -he couldn’t read. We suspected dyslexia! Special education eligibility is based upon the presence of a disability, not upon teacher-given grades.

When our son was evaluated, he did indeed have dyslexia. He met the criteria for special education eligibility.

IDEA laws say “it is important to clarify that a child suspected of having a disability but who has not failed, is making academic progress, and is passing from grade to grade must be considered in the child find process as any other child suspected of having a disability.  As noted earlier in the discussion regarding Sec. 300.101, paragraph (c)(1) of Sec. 300.111 has been revised to clarify that children do not have to fail or be retained in a course or grade in order to be considered for special education and related services.” (See Discussion at IDEA.ED.Gov)

Familiarize yourself with legal requirements for special education eligibility. You can learn a lot about IEPs through our Free IEP training at http://learningabledkids.com/iep_training/iep_course_objectives.htm. You can also learn the legal requirements through www.wrightslaw.com, http://idea.ed.gov/explore/home, and your state’s department of education special education eligibility rules.

MANY, MANY school administrators and teachers are mis-informed or uninformed regarding special education eligibility. They mistakenly think that if a child is passing, there is no need for special services. They personally hold to a ‘failure first’ philosophy, which is prohibited by IDEA. Not to mention, a “failure first” approach to special education eligibility is a form of educational neglect as I have written about.

We were able to file a successful due process case against our school system regarding special education eligibility. Take heart, if your daughter needs help.. you can probably get help, but it may not be an easy battle (and it is a battle when the school doesn’t think services are necessary and they refuse to evaluate your child). We got our own private evaluation. Unfortunately, our school STILL wouldn’t provide services because of the passing grades, so we had to file due process. The school admins were MISTAKEN in thinking classroom grades were an adequate measure of a child’s special education eligibility. Classroom grades SURELY don’t indicate the absence or presence of a learning disability.

I hope this information about special education eligibility helps. It isn’t an easy road to get services from schools that fight against parents. Just know, parents are often the first to see their child is struggling and needing help. It is always worthwhile to get help for your child as soon as possible. Hopefully you can get help before the advanced academics of middle or high school catch up with your child and cause failure.

IDEA says Failure is NOT a requirement for a child to meet special education eligibility for receiving services. The goal of IDEA is to provide proactive educational services… So, GO FOR IT! 

special education eligibility

Your child needs you to be his advocate!

You might find the book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy – The Special Education Survival Guide helpful in your pursuit of special education eligibility. The book was invaluable to me in going to battle with our school.

Best Wishes,
Sandy

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