Lies About Special Education Eligibility and 6 Ways to Overcome Them! – education

Are you the parent of a young child who thinks that their child may have autism? Do you think your child’s reading difficulty may be related to a learning disability? Have you tried to have your child tested for special education eligibility and your school district said no? This article will discuss lies that are related to special education eligibility and 6 ways to overcome the lies for the good of your child.Lies associated with special education eligibility:1. We will test your child but we get to pick the tests, and the areas to be tested. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that parents must give informed consent for testing (and to give informed consent the parent must know areas to be tested and what tests are going to be performed), and that the child is to be tested in all areas of suspected disability.2. You must sign this medical release form so that we can get your child’s medical records before we do the testing. Medical records are private under HIPPA and school districts do not have a right to them.3. Your child is on the waiting list for testing, be patient. IDEA does not allow waiting lists for testing or special education services. Testing must be complete within 60 days after the consent form is signed.4. Your child has a disability but it does not affect their education. To be eligible for special education a child must have two things: A. A disability, and B. Educational needs; that is it, nothing else.5. Your child does not have autism but has an emotional/behavior disorder. Many school districts state that a child does not have a particular disability; without even testing them.6. We do not do those type of tests for initial eligibility. Remember that IDEA requires a child to be tested in all areas of suspected disability.7. We met and decided that your child does not meet the criteria for special education. Parents must be included in all meetings and receive a 10 day written notice for all meetings for their child. Also, parents are equal members in the team that make any decision about their child, including eligibility for special education.6 Things that you can do to overcome these lies:1. Go to wrightslaw.com and educate yourself about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Then you will know when you are being lied to.2. Anytime special education personnel tell you that they can do something under the law; ask them for written proof of state or federal special education law that says that they can do it. Do this in writing, so that they cannot ignore you.3. Try and find an advocate or another parent that is familiar with special education to help you navigate the system.4. Put in writing all areas that you believe need to be tested, and the reason why. Recommend specific tests, if you are familiar with them. For example: If you think your child has Sensory Integration Processing Disorder (SIPT) ask for an Occupational Therapist that is SIPT qualified to test them.5. Ask for copies of all of the written reports (includes testing and interpretation of testing), 10 days before the eligibility meeting, and ask an advocate or another parent to help you interpret the test results. That way you will understand what the test results say before the meeting.6. If you are concerned that your child may have autism, ask for a Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). When you request the Cars, tell the school that you will expect them to send you the parent survey for the CARS.By using these 6 tips you will be prepared for any lies told by special education personnel. Stand up to them because your child is depending on you!