The Basic Special Education Process Under IDEA

26 May

The Basic Special Education Process Under IDEA

The writing of each student’s IEP takes place within the larger picture of the special education process under IDEA. Before taking a detailed look at the IEP, it may be helpful to look briefly at how a student is identified as having a disability and needing special education and related services and, thus, an IEP.

Step 1. Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services. 

Child Find.” The state must identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities in the state who need special education and related services. To do so, public school districts conduct “Child Find” activities. Parents may be asked if the school district can evaluate their child. Parents can also call the public school district and ask that their child be evaluated. Or–

Referral or request for evaluation. A school professional may ask that a child be evaluated to see if he or she has a disability. Parents may also contact the child’s teacher or other school professional to ask that their child be evaluated. This request may be verbal or in writing. Parental consent is needed before the child may be evaluated. Evaluation needs to be completed within 45 school working days after the parent gives consent.

Step 2. Child is evaluated. 

The evaluation must assess the child in all areas related to the child’s suspected disability. The evaluation results will be used to decide the child’s eligibility for special education and related services and to make decisions about an appropriate educational program for the child.

Step 3. Eligibility is decided. 

A group of qualified professionals and the parents look at the child’s evaluation results. Together, they decide if the child is a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA. Parents may ask for a hearing to challenge the eligibility decision if they disagree with it.

Step 4. Child is found eligible for services. 

If the child is found to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, he or she is eligible for special education and related services, and the IEP team will write an IEP for the child.

Once the student has been found eligible for services, the IEP must be written. Detailed information on the IEP process is available on the ESE Web site http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/iep/.

1 This summary is taken from A Guide to the Individualized Education Program, published by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education, July 2000, pages 5 – 7. It is slightly revised consistent with Massachusetts requirements. http://www.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/iepguide/iepguide.doc

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: