Many parents believe their child would benefit tremendously from special education services and would qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
What parents do not know is how to get the special education services. How do you get the process started? What steps do you take to secure the proper education for your child? Here are the six steps to take in Ohio.
Ask for an evaluation
To start, you need to have your child’s school complete an evaluation to determine if the child qualifies for special education services. Request the evaluation in writing. Keep copies of all documentation between you and officials at the school.
Provide informed consent
Because your child is a minor, the school needs parental informed consent to begin evaluation. Informed consent means you understand what the school is going to do. To be fully informed, ask the school what assessments and evaluations will be done.
Determine the type of evaluation
Every situation is different. Evaluations can be focused on data collection, an initial evaluation of the student or interventions. Examples of intervention can include monitoring of student progress, counseling and access to programs and materials that support student achievement.
The next step is to review the completed evaluation and determine if your child meets necessary criteria. If your child is eligible for special education services, then you and the school officials can work to develop a plan based on your child’s unique needs.
Consider a Section 504 plan
In some cases, a child may not be eligible for an individualized education plan but may be able to receive services through a Section 504 plan. These plans are for those who have a “substantial limitation” in their life.
What if you run into problems?
There is no guarantee things will go smoothly. Perhaps school officials will deny your request for an evaluation or claim your child does not meet the criteria for eligibility. It is very important to achieve the right outcome in a situation like this. Do not be afraid to seek legal guidance if you need help.