I am a counselor with the local mental health agency. I’m working with a 4 year old boy who has been “kicked out of” two preschool programs for behavior problems. He is diagnosed with ADHD. He has not been tested by the local school district. They refuse to offer him services because of his behavior.
Is this child eligible for any services from the local school district?
I suggested testing for special education. The school says they will try him again next year. Meanwhile, this at-risk child will not have the benefits of early intervention to prevent further delays in education. The mother is seeking an outside source for testing.
The law doesn’t allow a school to opt out of the child find requirements, nor the requirement to provide all qualified children with a free, appropriate public education because the child has behavior issues.
If the child has a disability and needs special education and related services, the school is required to provide them.
Schools are also required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21.
The child find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))
This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are “advancing from grade to grade.” (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be “labeled” or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d)).
Check the information on our Child Find page:
You may want to advise the school that since they refuse to evaluate, despite clear language in the law requiring them to do so, you have referred the child for a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation by an expert in the private sector.
After the evaluation is completed, assuming the child does have a disability and needs special education, you will forward the evaluation results and a bill for the evaluation to them.