Requesting Special Education Evaluation

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by weenie1, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. weenie1

    weenie1 crazy mom

    Ok I have verbally requested 3 times that easy child get tested for Special Education services. Not done, I even mentioned it to the princple, not done. So fri I sent a letter to his teacher again (hoping that if I put it in writing it will get done) I also sent a letter throught the mail to the principle with a copy of the letter I sent to his teacher. So I am hoping it will get done.

    I just need to know the laws for this, I know they ony have a certain time to get it done once I request it. If anyone has info please let me know. I am at the point that I am ready to move out of this stupid town.
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I believe the school district has 25 school days to respond. In my experience, it is always best to send a certified letter with return receipt to the Director of Sped Services when requesting a full and initial evaluation (also referred to as a multi-disciplinary evaluation (MDE)).

    A mod should be along soon to correct me if I am wrong.

    Good luck!
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    You need to send a *certified* letter requesting a full multidisciplinary evaluation to the Special Education director of your district. The certified part is important because it starts a paper trail and the timeline for getting the evaluation done. They have I believe actually 10 days to respond, then 60 (school?) days to get the evaluation done.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Depending where you are in TX moving might not be such a bad idea if you have difficult child's with special needs and you have the ability to move to where you can get high quality (or any?) services for them/family.

    The "rules" for how long the school district has to respond to a written referral from a parent is not spelled out in Texas, at least as far as I could find in the TX statutes/regs. And IDEA 2004 was largely silent on this except to say/imply that it should be done in a reasonable amount of time.

    As slsh said, you need to send your request in writing to the school district Special Education people. Submitting it with proof that it was received is the point of using certified mail but that can take several days depending on your area. In addition to sending a back up copy certified mail, these are some additional ways to deliver the message that are quicker:

    1. Hand deliver it to Special Education office and stand there while they date/time stamp it and give you a copy. Take a duplicate copy of your letter and hand deliver it to the school principal and do the same thing there so both the district and the school have been notified in writing of your concerns and request for assessment.
    2. FAX it and keep a copy of the log showing when it was faxed/received.
    3. E-mail your request to the school district if you can maintain permanent e-mail records and can request a read receipt for proof of delivery.

    In your written request you should state your concerns that show why your child may be a child with disabilities that needs help in order to benefit from a regular public education.

    And it is perfectly fine for you to say in your letter that you expect a response by such and such date (if you will follow up with them on/by that date).

    It is not unreasonable to expect a reply to a written referral for assessment (your letter asking for Special Education) within 15 calendar days or 2 school weeks if school is in session. This is the time line many states use for a reply either

    1) offering an assessment plan (you have 15 days to sign and return it)
    2) telling you why the school district believes your child is not a child with a disability. In Special Education lingo this is called "prior written notice" or "prior notice".

    A lot of schools will immediately offer an "informal" parent-teacher-team meeting that may include the school Special Education teacher to discuss parent concerns and to consider interventions that may not require Special Education. Depending on the school and the particular situation this can be helpful or it can be a delaying tactic. If you agree to such a meeting verbally, confirm in writing to the district Special Education department that you have agreed to this meeting but expect the district to proceed with an assessment plan unless you advise them in writing that you agree to a delay or dismissal of your request. Use the same delivery methods discussed above for that letter too.

    There are fixed time lines once you have an assessment plan or a denial from them. They have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment once you approve an assessment plan in writing. And they have 30 calendar days to make a Special Education determination once the assessment is completed. That would mean that they have at least 90 calendar days from the date you sign an assessment plan so, if you are running on a regular school calendar, you are most likely out of time to get it done this school year. But if you start the clock running now they will have to either conduct the assessment during the summer or at the very beginning of next school year.

    If you feel your child will lose current skills (called regressing) over the summer without extended school year services (ESY for short) then you should make that clear to the school district in your letter requesting assessment as that may be grounds for you to insist they do the assessment during the summer.

    good luck,