Covid Can't Touch This
'Magic language' remains the key to unlocking the resources available under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) - that's the statute that allows your child to have an IEP. Most parents I speak to are not aware that their children need to be tested by the District. The most basic evaluation is a psychoeducational evaluation and school districts must do them at least EVERY THREE YEARS for children with IEPs or if a disability is suspected. These tests will show your child's strengths and the areas where they need help. Without this information, there is no way to develop a program for your child that will allow them to make meaningful progress. When parents have this data, it helps me guide them. Note that I can certainly bring a hearing request to demand an evaluation, but within the New York City Department of Education, the hearing process is so backed up, it is likely to be faster to get an evaluation by the DOE because their compliance deadlines are not effected by COVID.
Several times a week I speak with parents whose children have not been evaluated at all or whose evaluations do not include tests addressing the problems that are showing up in school. Having data allows you to understand your child's needs and allows my firm to be more effective in helping you. I understand that everyone wants quick solutions. Sadly, within the NYC DOE, the process in getting children appropriate programs or services is a long, worthwhile haul. The process is swifter in the suburbs. Also realize that public school district's don't have to provide a perfect education for your children, but they do have to provide them with instruction and services that allow them to make meaningful progress, and COVID can't touch that!