As a parent, one of the primary things you want for your child is to ensure that he or she has a full educational experience. You want your child to succeed in school, but your child’s test scores, behavior reports and other things may indicate that this may not happen as easily as you hoped. Over time, it could become obvious that your child needs extra support, or perhaps even special education services. This can be daunting for a California parent, and you may be unsure of where to begin.
It is helpful to know that every student has the right to special education support if he or she is eligible. If you suspect that your child falls into this category, you will benefit from knowing how to seek an evaluation, secure services and ensure that your child has everything he or she needs for school. It is beneficial to know how to move forward and what your child’s educational rights include.
Eligibility for an IEP
An Individualized Education Program is a plan formulated for a child who is eligible for special education services. It is a plan that identifies the student’s individual needs, outlines how the plan will render those services and contains benchmarks and goals for that student over the course of a year. Having an IEP is a significant step forward in improving your child’s experience at school. As a parent, you have the right to know what is in the student’s IEP, as well as to know how the school intends to provide required services.
Before this, however, your child will need an assessment. You may request that your child have an evaluation for special education needs, but your child’s teacher may also suggest this. Before you make this request, you may find it helpful to speak with your child’s teachers to better understand what happens in the classroom daily and how interventions may be beneficial.
Long-term educational success
If your child is struggling in school, you do not have to remain silent. You will benefit from seeking experienced guidance and knowledgeable support if you want to help your child in the classroom. Starting with ensuring your child gets a necessary assessment, you can advocate for his or her educational rights and the implementation of plans outlined in an IEP.