I think my child needs Special Ed. What do I do?

The best way to request a Special Education evaluation is through the Student Study Team.  This way, the entire team is involved to support the process, and your child’s challenges and strengths are well documented to support the assessment process.  At the meeting you may present any information you have from other evaluations or medical reports.

Another way to begin the process is to write a letter stating your concerns.  Putting your request in writing starts a timeline: the special education team has 15 days to respond to your letter.  They may respond by setting up a Student Success Team to discuss the best way to support your child, or they may respond with an assessment plan.  Once an assessment plan is signed, the special education team has 60 days to complete the assessment and hold an meeting to develop an Individualize Education Plan (IEP).

Note: Many people believe that writing a letter will force the school to assess the child; this is not completely true.  However, your letter will obligate the school to review your child’s file and determine if an assessment is necessary.  For this reason, I suggest requesting a Student Study Team meeting first: this way you will have a team of school professionals focused on helping your child in the moment, instead of having to wait a long time for a response while your child continues to struggle.