New here, New to Special Education


New Member
Hi there,
I am new here and looking for information.

I am raising my 6 year old granddaughter. I suspect her mother did meth while pregnant. My granddaughter is a very bright, outgoing child. She is in first grade and has had a lot of issues at school this year, Starting with a teacher that violated boundaries (probing Vanessa about her mom), among other things. She was finally moved to another classroom. She started getting in trouble a lot when her mom came around and is now considered a behavior problem. I attended a "parent Teacher conference" with this week, and was shocked when the principal,the reading teacher and the Special Education contact came in and we had a meeting about how poorly Vanessa is doing in school and they want to evaluate her for Special Education. This meeting took place in the classroom with my granddaughter not far away, at a table in the same classroom. She was distraught when we left after hearing "that she is at a level 0" I am livid that they did this with her in the room and that I was never informed that she was even on the radar for Special Education. I feel I was lied to at every parent teacher conference about her true performance. I had no idea she was testing so far below grade average in reading and nothing has ever even been mentioned about math. She was placed in Title 1 Reading intervention last year and I had no idea. Is this normal??? I don't even know where to start.


Staff member
Welcome @Cin

It really does seem inappropriate that they talked to you about this with your granddaughter within earshot. That seems really inconsiderate and unprofessional. It's perfectly reasonable that you are upset about that.

As far as having her evaluated for Special Education if she is struggling in school then that is probably going to be very helpful for both of you in the long run.

Here is some info you may find helpful to familiarize yourself with Special Education:

This video cover the basics:

To learn about Special Education evaluations, read the articles listed on the following Wrightslaw page about evaluations:

We have some resources listed here:


Well-Known Member
I'm assuming you are in the US - I don't have experience there. If not, please let us know your country or general area (for example, "northern Europe" tells us lots)


New Member
Thank you for the responses and the resources. I am especially glad to hear that I am not only one that thought it was inappropriate for my granddaughter to be in the room for this meeting. I am in the US, in an urban school district.


Well-Known Member
Although I agree it was inappropriate, if your granddaughter is doing poorly in school, she needs help and that is the most important issue, in my opinion. I adopted a child who was born with cocaine in his system and he is on the autism spectrum. We are lucky it did not turn out even worse. Since your grand is only six years old it is not uncommon for kindergarten to go ok then later on the problems show. My son did great in kindergarten, although he HAD been getting services all along and I think that helped him. But he still hit a roadblock later along the way. It is the norm that you are told about Title I, but it's not a big deal. A lot of kids are in it. My son and daughter both were and she was NOT born with drugs in her system. She was justa learning disabled kid and the school caught it, thankfully. I was grateful for the help. I can't imagine saying "no" to Title One. In my daughter's case she needed to move into a Spec. Ed reading class in order to learn to read. Title I wasn't enough. And she's in college now and doing fine. It really did help her a lot. Helped my son too.

If your daughter did meth while pregnant, so did your granddaughter and it makes sense, although it's sad, that she is struggling in school. The drugs they take, usually with alcohol (which can cause brain damage) unfortunately causes the children to have more challenges than if the child had been taken care of well pre-birth.

I would not trust the school district to do any testing though. I have had very bad luck with school district testing. I mean, they HAVE to do it for your granddaughter to get services, but I'd get a private neuropsychologist appointment as well. Usually the private evaluations are longer, more intensive, more thoughtful and more accurate.

Wishing you lots of luck!
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New Member
Thank you for the info! I am very leery to deal with the school district at all. I don't trust that they even know what they are doing. I definitely want to make sure that she gets the help that needs to succeed, I am starting with her pediatrician and will ask for referrals for further private evaluations. I have heard horror stories from so many parents when dealing with school districts, and I am terribly disappointed in the teachers, the brand new counselor and the brand new principal. Very sad indeed.