I hope everyone here in the Northeast is snug and warm! This is a great time of year to review your child’s education and start thinking about school year 2018-2019.
Is your child struggling in school? Problems might include learning how to read or do math, staying organized, keeping up with school work, getting along with others, following directions. If yes, then now is the time to do the following:
1) consult with a non-attorney advocate or a special education attorney about the steps you should take.
2) Make a WRITTEN request your public school district to perform an assessment, which is called an evaluation.
3) If your child attends private school, you can ask for an evaluation. If the private school your child attends is outside of your district of residence, request that the district where the private school is located perform the evaluation.
You can also pay for an evaluation yourself, preferably from a neuropsychologist. Your child may qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which is a document outlining a program that is supposed to allow your child to make meaningful progress. Some public school districts give students 504 plans instead of IEPs. A 504 plan is different than an IEP and simply provides ‘accommodations’ for disabilities without any particular promise of progress. You don’t have to accept what the public district offers. Have someone knowledgeable help you decide what your child really needs. You may be entitled to locate a private school and seek tuition reimbursement or to find your own outside support and seek reimbursement. And if your child already has an IEP, now is the time to assess for yourself whether the program is really making a difference. If not, now is the time to start investigating private alternatives. Stay warm!