As a parent or guardian, you know your child best. Because of this, your ideas, opinions, and input are very important in mapping out their best possible education. Children learn at different speeds and in different ways. Some children are born with disabilities, and others are identified once they are in preschool or later. If your child learns differently, this does not necessarily mean that he or she has a disability.
If English is not your child’s first language, be sure that his or her language needs are being addressed at school and that they are not affecting the decision about whether or not he or she needs special education services.
If your child is not experiencing success in school, there are many supports and interventions that can be used before considering the need for special education services. Behavioral and/or academic interventions should be provided for struggling students. These interventions provided within the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework should be evident prior to making a referral. Scientific, research-based interventions should be implemented and monitored for progress in the general education classroom to support your child's needs before a referral is made. For example, if your child is struggling with learning how to read, small group interventions and supplementary instruction might be used before making a referral. For more information, please refer to the section Response to Intervention (RtI).
If it is determined that a referral for evaluation should be made or if you would like to request an evaluation at any time, the next steps are outlined in the section, Beginning the Special Education Process.