If your child is having difficulty in school, and the basic accommodations aren't helping to address the issues – moving to different seats, additional time for homework assignments – it's time to consider testing for special education services. Your child could be dealing with an educational deficit that would be better addressed through special education services. The process to receive special education services for your child can be long and confusing. Here are four steps you should take to make sure that your child receives the educational services they deserve.
Talk to Your Child's Personal Physician
If your child is floundering in school, it's time to talk to their primary care physician. There are some educational deficits that will require a physicians care, such as ADHD. Your child's physician will the first step towards helping your child receive additional educational services. Once you've met with the physician, and you have an idea of what your child is facing, it will be time to move forward with the process of receiving special education services.
Make Sure Your Child is Evaluated for Services
The next step in the process will be to ensure that your child is evaluated for services through their school district. You'll need to talk to the school administrator to arrange for testing and evaluation by the district educational psychologist. This step in the process will require you to fill out paperwork. Once you hand in the paperwork, you'll need to remain diligent in ensuring that the process is followed through with by the district.
Attend All Special Education Meetings
Once your child is approved for services, you and the school district representatives – including teachers and the school psychologist – will meet to develop an individual educational plan for your child. This IEP will become the roadmap for your child. It's also a legal contract between you, the school district, and your child. Once your child has an IEP in place, it's crucial that you attend all meetings. This will be your way of ensuring that the IEP is being followed.
Seek Legal Representation for Your Child
If your child does not receive the educational services they're entitled to through their IEP, you'll need to take matters into your own hand. The first thing you should do is talk to the school psychologist to see if the issues can be resolved. If your child continues to be deprived of services, be sure to seek legal representation. A special education lawyer can step in to ensure that your child receives all the services they're entitled to through their IEP.