Many parents face a similar dilemma with disciplinary action against their special needs child: We went to an IEP labeled a "manifestation determination," and the team said the child's behavior was not manifestation and my child is now being subjected to disciplinary action. Most have a million questions, but most prevalent is "why was the behavior not a manifestation?"
Many parents are aware that their special education child is entitled to re-assessment at least every three years by the school district in all areas of suspected disability (called a triennial assessment). However, in many cases, children with special needs are provided an IEP every three years that is not accompanied by warranted re-assessment. The school district officials may say to you that your child doesn't need another assessment, or provide you with the child's present levels of performance and say that qualifies as an assessment. You may be wondering if that is appropriate or adequate?
Your child might be offered Extended School Year (or ESY) in their current IEP. You may understand this as being scholastic services delivered during the Summer vacation period, which is accurate. However, this is not the same as the traditional understanding of Summer School, and many parents are unpleasantly surprised when they find out just what ESY consists of.
Based upon reports from various states regarding the practice of restraint and seclusion of various children qualified to receive special education supports, the United States Congress is currently holding hearings regarding these practices. Much of the hearings have centered around testimony regarding unsafe and injurious restraints and seclusion. However, earlier this month various individuals testified as to the positive benefits that proper restraint techniques had on their children.
The situation seems hopeless. Your child was suspended for a violation of CA Education Code Section 48900, most likely for 5 days. To make matters worse, you were called into a meeting with the principal and other school personnel, and you were told that your child is being recommended for expulsion from the school district. You were given a date where an expulsion hearing would take place, and told you could have someone there to represent you and your child, but really what can anyone do?
You may be thinking about enrolling your child into a charter school. Parents in a parent group you're in, or maybe even friends or family have their children in charter schools, and they rave about how well those kids are doing. Charter schools can boast smaller learning environments, better teacher to student ratio, smaller campuses and more teacher and staff availability to parents. All of these things are great, and they do work out very well for some students. However, you may be wondering if the charter school route is right for your child, who is enrolled in special education.
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.
As a parent, you always want to know how your child is doing in school and what you can do to help. This might include checking out your child's school records to see what exactly is going on while they are at school. In the alternative, you might just want to have a copy of the records because you think you might not be getting all of the information you need from your child's school. You may be asking yourself: Aren't I entitled, as a parent, to a copy of my child's records?
You just had your child's IEP, and a bunch of information was thrown out there by multiple professionals over the course of a couple of hours. The school district administrator is now asking you to sign the place in the IEP document which indicates that you consent to the IEP. What do you do? Is it ok not to sign it?
You just had an IEP meeting, and the school district offered your child a change of placement from general education to a special day class. What do you do? You may be wondering if this placement is appropriate for your child, even though the school district personnel told you it was. You may be wondering what other options are available?