A child’s experience at school can shape their future. It is important that all New York youths have positive and educational instruction while attending K-12 programs. That includes children whose needs require special education services.
It is not uncommon for a child to move into special education after enrolling school, but many parents have questions and concerns about how the process works. This informational post will offer some basic information on special education in New York, but when advocacy for special education is needed, support may be sought from an education law attorney.
Referrals and evaluations
The special education process starts with the referral of a student. Once referred, an evaluation can be set up to determine which, if any, special education programs may benefit them and their needs. Throughout the evaluation and eligibility processes, parents or legal guardians must be aware of what is happening and have rights to notice of decisions regarding their referred students.
IEPs and Reviews
If a child is found to need special education services, they will be given an IEP, or individualized education plan. Their IEP must address their needs and must be provided to the child in the least restrictive environment possible. Considerations regarding the proximity of service sites to the child’s home and other matters must be taken into account when preparing the IEP.
IEPs must be reviewed periodically to ensure students are benefiting from the services they receive. Parents and guardians have rights to attend IEP meetings and to be involved in the decisions made about their children’s educational programs. Parents can also change proposed changes or terminations of their kids’ programs.
There are many places that confusion can slide into the special education process. Parents do not have to stand up for their children alone and can seek representation and support from attorneys who serve families fighting for special education services for their children.