Finding Your Child The Right Education


Finding Your Child The Right Education [EXPERT]
What you need to know about the law and your rights when seeking special education for your child.

If you know your child is struggling in school, don't wait in hope that things will get better. Act on your child's behalf; get an assessment and find your child the support that may be needed. Here are the three basic steps you need to know to get the process started:

Step 1: Request that the school evaluate your child. Put this request in writing!  A school can easily deny that they received a verbal request but a written request documents the date of which it was made. This is important because the school system has 60 days from the date of your request to complete the evaluation. The school then must provide a parental consent for evaluation for you to sign, so ask for that upfront and return it quickly.


Step 2: Evaluation is completed. It is mandated in the law that this evaluation is "full and individual," meaning that the evalution must be focused specifically on that child and must assess all areas related to the child's suspected disability. The results of the assessments are what will be used to determine eligibility for services. If you disagree with the evaluation, you have the right to request an Independent Education Evaluation at the expense of the school. Most parents don't know this and the school does not inform you of this! Make sure you put the request in writing! 5 Ways Divorce Benefits Your Kids

Step 3: An IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting is scheduled by the school and the meeting is held. The school system is required to do the following:

  • Contact every member of the IEP team, including the parents, and send notifications of the meeting.
  • Provide to the parents, with a minimum of 10 days of notice, the date of the scheduled meeting along with an opportunity to reschedule (if they are unable to attend the scheduled date and time).
  • Indicate, in the written notification, the purpose, time and location of the meeting.
  • Inform the parents of all members who will be attending the meeting.
  • Inform the parents that they can bring additional people to the meeting who have worked with or have additional/special knowledge about the child.

Parents are members of the IEP Team and as members of the team, if they don't agree with the plan that is developed, they have the right to disagree to the implementation of the plan until an agreement can be reached. Parents should also be active participants in the creation of the plan.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Leslie Petruk

Marriage and Family Therapist

Leslie Petruk is a Child & Family Therapist

Location: Charlotte, NC
Credentials: BCC, LPC, MA, NCC
Other Articles/News by Leslie Petruk:

The Truth About Happiness: Why Finding Your Purpose Is The Answer


Do you ever have those times when you have been on the go non-stop trying to stay on top of all your responsibilities and get all the necessary things on your "to do" list accomplished — and then it hits you like a ton of bricks. You don't have one more ounce of energy to keep going. All you want to do is crawl in bed and pull the cover ... Read more

What The Country Can Learn From the Connecticut School Shooting


Our nation as a whole tends to stigmatize and minimize the reality and the extent of the impact of mental health issues on our country.  Mental health is always on the top of the list when budgets are slashed on local, state, and national levels.  Insurance companies are making excessive profits at the expense of families ability to afford ... Read more

How to Talk to Your Child About the Newtown School Shooting


It's unthinkable that when you send your child off to school you would ever receieve a call such as those parents in Newtown, CT did on December 14th.  It's a parents worst nighmare.  My heart aches for those families, as I know everyone's does.  As a parent or one who works with children, you may face difficult questions.  It is ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular