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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Getting Ready for School: Become a partner with school

Starting the School Year off Right by Requesting Evaluations

A sample letter to the school that parents can use to request evaluations and get action.

Should you as a parent be starting the school year off with a request for evaluations? Keep in mind that the evaluations take 60 or more days to complete after the parent has provided consent. So if a parent waits, the evaluation process will be pushed back.

I've lost count of the times parents have told me that they have been requesting evaluations from the school for years, but evaluations have either not been done, or are out of date. Become an equal partner with your child's school team and craft a formal evaluation request. This will bring together the multidisciplinary team and get the ball rolling.

Many students struggled through the year last year, only to have a meeting at the end of the year, but too late for any real actions to occur.

Parents!  Evaluations form the foundation of any plan for your child.  Trying to intervene for behavior or academic problems without evaluations is like taking medicine without a diagnosis, like feeling your way in the dark, and like trying to do a home repair without the right tools.  It won't work.

You can find lots of sample letters in my SPECIAL NEEDS ADVOCACY RESOURCE BOOK and here is a letter you can use now, for the start of a successful school year. I wish you all the best as you advocate for your child! Good luck!

Dear Principal, Counselor and Special Education Coordinator,

I am the parent of (name your child) whose date of birth is (insert date of birth).  I am writing to formally request that the multidisciplinary team conducts evaluations and assessments in all areas of suspected disability for my child. I understand this request triggers timelines for the evaluation and that I must provide informed consent for evaluations.

I am requesting the following evaluations: (name evaluations here, such as: Neuropsychological, psychological, educational or academic, assistive technology, vocational, speech language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, functional behavior assessment, executive functioning, attention).

These evaluations are needed for progress monitoring, development or revision of my child's IEP and 504 plan, and to determine eligibility for special education and related services (select the situation that applies to your child). 

These evaluations are needed in order for my child to receive a free appropriate public education, FAPE. I understand that as a result of this letter, the multidisciplinary team will meet with me and therefore, I am available on the following dates: (provide dates). Please provide written confirmation of these dates, or offer mutually convenient date as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and consideration for my child.

Sincerely, sign your name



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