The last few years have revealed how a disruption like the pandemic can have a profoundly negative impact on education. The return to school following an extended period of remote learning was difficult for many students, with a higher number of them demonstrating the need for different types of support. In addition to academic issues, increased behavioral struggles in classrooms and a manifestation of mental health concerns have pointed to a growing need for special education services for California students.
The source of the problems
Both parents and education professionals have struggled to determine if the growing number of concerns are isolated issues triggered by the pandemic or if they are indicative of other long-term disabilities. Within the current definition of who is eligible for special education support, it can be difficult to determine appropriate supports for students. Many students end up in a gray area where they are clearly having trouble learning in the classroom but are unable to get the specific help they require.
Oftentimes, the onus falls on parents and caregivers who are left in the difficult position of trying to figure out how to help their student get what they need to succeed in the classroom. They may find themselves pushing to have the students evaluated for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). However, many schools are still struggling to catch up with both mental health and special education evaluations due to pandemic-related delays. Thus, the time it takes to secure help can lead a student to fall behind further.
Fighting for each student
Each California student has the right to a full and fair educational experience. Parents may be in a position in which they have to advocate for the needs of their child, seeking either special education help or mental health support. If there is a delay in getting rightful support and services, it may be beneficial to discuss concerns and options with an experienced attorney.