When a child needs additional support to be successful in school, that student may qualify for certain types of assistance. Through special education programs, students can obtain critical help, such as practical interventions that can help him or her succeed in the classroom. It is not always simple or straightforward to obtain these services, and California parents may have to advocate for their kids to get the necessary help. Parents will benefit from knowing what to expect from this process.
Practical steps for parents
There are specific things parents can do that will allow them to effectively advocate for their children to obtain special education services. While every situation is different, the following steps may be useful if a parent believes that his or her child is eligible:
- Talk to a doctor about concerns to see if there are grounds for an evaluation.
- Document ongoing struggles in school or with structured activity.
- Talk to the child’s teacher about his or her concerns.
- Request an assessment of the child with a professional.
It is not always easy to obtain services, even for a child who is clearly eligible for an Individualized Education Plan. That is why it is critical for parents to know how to advocate for their children if necessary.
The best interests of the child
Students in California have certain educational rights. A parent has the right to know how to fight for his or her child’s needs and pursue the support necessary for a full and fair educational experience. If a parent is unsure of where to begin, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable legal professional.