You may think that your child needs special education services, but don't exactly know how to get the ball rolling. The initial step is a request for an assessment from the school of attendance. As a parent, you may have already mentioned to your child's classroom teacher that you "wanted some extra help" for your child, or that you wanted to "get him tested." This is not sufficient.
Any request for anything in the realm of special education absolutely must be put into writing and submitted to the person in charge of coordinating special education at your child's school. This could be a request for initial assessment, a request for an IEP meeting, a request for additional services or a change of placement or anything having to do with special education. Always, always, always put it in writing, date it and sign it. These reasons for this mandate are two-fold.
First, the writing establishes a clear record of your request. This comes in handy to start legal timelines which apply to any request for assessment or IEP meeting. Second, this makes your request clear and unambiguous so that your school personnel cannot come back later and say "Oh, we didn't do it because we thought you meant this . . ." A request put into writing, signed and dated and provided directly to the coordinator is the quickest and most efficient manner with which to accomplish what you seek for your child.
We hear stories every day about parent requests that go by the wayside because they were made verbally, or made to the classroom teacher or just mentioned at the end of IEP meetings. Make it official, put it in writing and keep a copy for yourself so you can hold the school accountable to respond appropriately to your request.
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