What is IDEA and who is eligible?
- like an ADA for education
- there are 2 parts to it - One covers children from birth to age 3, and the other covers children from 3 to 21.
- the early intervention program is identifying kids under the age of three to make sure they are receiving the services they need
- Once they enter school there is a whole new set of rights including the right to to free and appropriate public education, certain evaluations, an educational plan, parent participation in the plan
- Can essentially start at birth, for example if a child has a disability that interferes with feeding, or may be behind in their milestones
- Anybody in those first three years can make a referral for early intervention.
- Children often may only need those services for a few months, and some kids need it throughout their early childhood.
- Parent may have a concern about their child that they bring to the pediatrician
- Depending on the issue, the pediatrician may then make a referral
- Child is eligible for a free evaluation and may qualify for services such as speed, music, or physical therapy
- It is mandated by law that certain services be provided
- Comprehensive screening is important to help determine cause
- Stands for individualized education plan
- Before the IEP, the child participates in a comprehensive screening to determine what services they qualify for
- Could be multiple disabilities, but IEP lists one main qualifying disability
- Services should address all deficits
- Designed so that child can make meaningful progress in school
- Progress is not just academic, is also social and emotional and everything to prepare them to live an independent adult life
- IEP is a written document and lists their present levels in each area, and then describe the deficit there and what the team is trying to address to make sure that the child is making meaningful progress
- Also lists like service minutes, and the placement for the child - e.g. general education, partial pull-out
- What support they are getting in the classroom
- Ends up being a lengthy document
- If there is something you think should be in the plan, it is important to make sure it is written down
- Parents should always give feedback and reflect your observations of your child
- Can have the IEP as early as preschool
The IEP meeting
- Can ask school for a draft of the IEP ahead of time
- Make some notes of puts you want to make during the meeting, as the meeting itself can be emotional
- Note what works really well at home and strategies at school that have been successful in the past
- Can request an independent evaluation if you disagree with evaluations result, or the placement
- If you don't agree with their decision, you could ask to have a facilitator attend an IEP meeting. Could also seek out an advocate to come with you.
- then you could start through the for more formal complaint process as well, if it became a an issue where your child is not making progress with the plan they have in place, or you fundamentally disagree with the decisions.
- If a school can really not meet a child's needs, they can move them to another school, in the district that can meet their needs, or they can even have to pay for private placement, which means sending the kid to a specialized private school on the district's the district would pay for it.
- That depends on the disability, but they are required to meet their needs.
- A public school cannot tell you that they're not providing it because of resources or budget. That is not, that's not an allowable reason to deny a service. And if they're moving a child, you know, they could recommend it for a number of reasons. The parents really think about what placement is best for their child and meets their needs. But yeah, all schools are required to meet the child's needs, regardless of budget, or pay for them to go outside of district or to a different school if necessary,