Can I Revoke Consent for a Service in the IEP?

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Teacher and student working togetherMy son is dyslexic. He has an IEP and receives services in a special education classroom. Because he is not making enough progress, I enrolled him in the Barton Reading program. The school is implementing a new reading program that will conflict with the Barton program.

If I refuse consent for this new intervention program, can the school terminate my son’s IEP?

No.  You can revoke your consent for special education services in writing at any time. (Note: The regulations about a parent withdrawing consent for special education services changed on Dec 31, 2008.)

As the parent,  you represent your child’s interests. You are a key member of the IEP team. When you negotiate with the school on your child’s behalf, you increase the odds that your child will receive appropriate special education services that are designed to meet his unique needs.

The school must obtain your consent before your child is evaluated, reevaluated, or placed in special education. Consent means that you understand and “agree in writing” that the school may carry out the activity for which they need your consent. Granting consent is voluntary. You may revoke your consent at any time. (see Regulations adopted on December 31, 2008 at

Implementing Part of the IEP

You can allow the school to implement parts of the IEP. The school may not draw a line in the sand, or force you to accept the IEP “all or nothing.”  The school may not use your refusal to consent to one service to deny other services, benefits, or activities in your child’s IEP. (34 C.F.R. § 300.300(d)(3)) See page 24, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, and page 239, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.

After you revoke consent for a service, the school may not continue to provide that service. (Regulations adopted by USDOE, effective December 31, 2008 at

If you don’t want your child to receive a particular special education or related service,  and you and the school agree that your child will receive FAPE without that service, the school should remove the service from the child’s IEP. Be sure to put your request in writing.

  1. My 15 yr old son has dealt with bullying relentlessly over the past 2 years. Upon this school year he was gang assaulted by peers and bullying has continued by random students. My son no longer felt safe because the school did nothing. My son currently has a note from his Dr to do home instruction because the effects of his ADHD and GAD are exasperated because he does not feel safe in the high school. We have been fighting for an alternative placement but the school has been refusing this and violating my son’s rights all across the board.

    I have currently requested for the home tutoring to be done virtually because there will be no guarantee that someone over 18 will be home during the time of tutoring. I have been informed that because my son has an IEP virtual cannot be done. However my son already receives his speech services virtually because he doesn’t want to go to the school. I told the school we feel a little pressured to drop the IEP because the school district is using it against my children. My 14yr old daughter was being bullied by boys in her class and she asked the teacher to move her seat. Almost 4 weeks later her seat still is not moved and the school told me they have to plan the move in coordination with the IEP. Since when is it supposed to be a burden to have an IEP like this?

  2. My first grade son has an IEP for social emotional content. His IS quit mid year and he is being assisted by the principal and occasionally a substitute IS and/or one of the other ISs. He is being pulled out of his regular education classroom and spends more than half of the day in a room of unregulated students causing a negative effect on his behavior. We have asked he received push IN support for his social emotional concerns or merely take small breaks. They had been removing him from his regular education classroom to merely work on advanced math and reading (which is NOT on his IEP to be working on).

    Can we refuse to allow the district to take him to the special education room until an IEP can be amended? The principal is adamant that he continue to be withdrawn from his regular education room, and that his time in regular educator setting be gradually increased, but he comes home screaming obsenities (this is new) and is quoting things I know for a fact the other kids in his special education room are saying.

    • It appears that the principal is arbitrarily removing your child from his regular education class, thus violating his IEP. If this has not been reported in writing to the special education director, & their bosses it should be. A written complaint to the state education agency is also an option. The parent training and information project for your state can be of help to you.

  3. I was in an IEP meeting and the majority of the team agreed that a study skills class and counseling service would be removed as the student did not want it and was not attending. The LEA said the District stance was if services are refused by the student and parent (study skills class and counseling) they must exit the IEP. The District’s position is that they have deemed these services necessary based on assessments. Can the LEA do this? I always thought it was the IEP team that made the decisions? Thank you.

    • The law and regulations say that the school may NOT terminate an IEP if the parents disagree with changes the school proposes.

      The school is still responsible for providing the child with a free appropriate education that includes special ed services, related services, supplementary aids, and services the child needs. This responsibility continues, regardless of whether the parent agrees or disagrees.

      If the parent disagrees with the school’s proposed changes, the parent needs to request “Prior Written Notice.”

      Here are two articles that will help you:

      Throwing the Flag – What to Do When the School Says “No” by Pete Wright, Esq.

      Prior Written Notice is a Powerful Tool When Skillfully Used

      Please keep us posted!

  4. The “All or Nothing” rule still applies to an IEP once it is implemented, so a service cannot be revoked without negating the entire IEP. An Amendment meeting can be held, and in good faith, assessment should be done to determine if the child should be exited from that service. The only other way around it is to decline the service (no-show), but it will catch up at the next eligibility evaluation and you’ll be in the same situation if the child still needs that service according to testing.

    • Hello,
      My son is going to daycare/preschool. He has been going to speech therapy for over a year. Can we still get an IEP if we decline the schools services, since he is already doing his speech therapy elsewhere?

      • I am not clear on why you want an IEP. A district can provide some services to a child attending a preschool through a “services plan”.

      • Hi Val, following up on Chuck’s question. Did the school evaluate your child and decide he needs special ed services? (speech therapy is a related service)

  5. What should I do if the case manager thinks that my child should no longer be on an IEP and they try to convince me to revoke consent so that they can take her off an IEP without evaluating?

  6. My daughter has dyscalculia with math IEP goals but the school does not have anyone trained in dyscalculia (outside of the normal special education training). I have found someone specializing in dyscalculia that I will pay for privately so I would like to decline math services at this time but not have the math portion of the IEP removed. Is this possible? The school is telling me that I may decline but that they will remove the math portion from the IEP. Is this true? Thanks!

    • Katie, An IEP is supposed to meet all a child’s needs that result from the disability. If your child has dyscalculia, the IEP should include all special education and related services (which can include tutoring by a specialist) to meet the child’s needs related to dyscalculia.

      As you probably know, the school is responsible for providing FAPE – not “the best” education, not to maximize a child’s potential. It isn’t unusual for parents to get private tutoring to “supplement” the “appropriate education” provided by the school.

      The school is making a mistake if they remove the math portion of the IEP. If a child has dysgraphia, a school looks bad if they try to pretend the child doesn’t have math problems by removing references to these problems from the child’s IEP. Look like they are trying to cover up their failure to provide the services required.

      You say the school doesn’t have anyone trained in dyscalculia. How do you know this? Is this a fact or your opinion?

      • So does this mean the school will not remove a service from the IEP if the parent deems it unecessary? But they will allow total removal of an IEP?
        What crap beuacracy. I am trying to remove a totally unecessary service from our IEP as I am capable of implementing this all on my own and having it through the school and their providers only adds more stress and is not appropriate. Can the school force us to get an assessment just from refusing the service?

  7. My son is 18, and in a treatment facility. We live in CA. I’m looking for a form for him to sign – a temporary Power of Attorney – so I can go to his IEP meeting and make designs on his behalf. Anyone know the right forms for this?

  8. Hello

    This february they transfer me to a Alternative Program because due to my behaviors . My dean and principal decide to put me to a evaluation. I finish evaluation with my social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist. and now im still working on finishing my evaluation with my teachers and Speech Pathologist.
    If they say That I am qualify for ” Special Education” Is my mom able to get me out of there?
    By writing?? ( revoke writing) ??
    So I could go back in my original school?

  9. My daughters school special ed teachers and associated staff are overstepping their boundaries at school by trying to force assessments. She is 15 with four months left this year, and we intend to withdrawal her from school when she turns 16 anyway.
    Recently, she had a disruption at school pushing another student and flipping desks. She is expierincing the monthly biological issues that women go through. She doesn’t want to attend school and has voiced this for nearly 3 years now. Because of this she is more vocal due to her age and self realization. I have communicated my desire to remove her from school early if necessary and requested the schools help with no response.
    The teacher stated she was no doctor and neither was my wife. My called to have me put teacher in her lane.

  10. yes, but what if you go to due process, with a partial consent IEP – and the hearing officer finds for the LEA, and states “fully implement the partially consented IEP”? Can a due process hearing officer actually override the parent’s right to partial consent? We’re trying to get to the bottom of it now – but the placement they’re insisting on makes no sense at all.

    • Since this has been a few months ago and no one has responded, can you share what has happened in your case? We may find ourselves in a similar situation here pretty soon

      • Heartbreakingly, nothing.Placement they chose (no evidence that they considered a “continuum”) circumvented the HO’s amended order, but they insist the “HO made them do it”. So no services all year, since they’re blaming it on my refusal of their placement.The HO’s amended decision didn’t even reflect the previous IEP or the current one, so that effectively negated the HO’s decision of FAPE, although that was not expressed.So we’re headed into Federal court. Last school year, although stay put IEP, they didn’t provide services for that either – but the HO took them at their word on that, not ours. It’s a game of strategy and expert witness counts – and most expert witnesses don’t want anything to do with it for the parent in our state, because they know it’s ruthless and unproductive.

  11. We are in NC and have asked both at an IEP and also in writing for a service to be discontinued for our child. It is a service where she was to use a 45 minute class period to learn how to improve her study skills and so do better at tests. The class was not successful and the team had no data to show anything happened during this class, so we asked that our child do an elective instead. Unfortunately the LEA had the last say and over ruled us. We asked if as parents did we have the right to refuse service but were ignored. We contacted ECAC Parent help line and they said we could refuse the service. Currently the Principal is insisting on having a full IEP to discuss this and our child is upset at not being allowed to do her elective. IDEA seems to confirm that we have the right ?

  12. We recently put our request to revoke speech services at school (in favor of receiving private speech services) in writing at our IEP meeting. The school case worker told us we were not allowed to revoke consent for one service but had to have all services or no services.

      • In Texas, they can draw a line in the sand and say we have to accept all services or receive no services.


        What Parents Need to Know

        “Before you make the decision to revoke your child’s special education services, there are some very important things you need to know:

        If you revoke special education services, you are turning down all of the child’s services. You can’t pick and choose the services you want to keep. Revoking your consent is not something you should use if you disagree only to a portion of the IEP proposed by the school. Please see Dispute Resolution Process for more information on what you should do when you disagree.”

        We were told at the IEP meeting that we had to accept all services even if we disagreed.

        • Since we disagree with speech services, we now have to revoke consent for all special education services or allow the school to implement something we strongly oppose. These IEP meetings are for schools to persuade parents to their point of view and parents really have no power. I’m not sure why parents are even invited to them.

          • Rebecca, I did not realize you are in TX. You have done your research. I work for the TX Parent Training & information Center. I do not understand why TEA has taken this position, but they have. We have staff all over TX, so you might want to reach out to our person in your area. or you can contact me at:

  13. My son in currently on an IEP for speech and OT. He also gets online tutoring for math and LA. The online tutoring in not working for my son, so I asked that we revoked the SAI service. I was told that revoking SAI would mean we would be revoking the entire IEP! I’ve never heard of this and would love some clarity please. We live in California

  14. hello, my daughter has severe dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia and has been on an IEP for more than 7years, and she has always received all the accommodation she needed and never had a problem. We moved from Florida to Tennessee, and apparently her new high school doesn`t recognize all the doctors documentation about her dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia, and pretty much all her IEP in general. they are saying that they want to retest her completely to see if she can keep her IEP, change it with a 504 or the worse case took it away. I have a list of all the tests but none of those tests is about m dyslexia. can I refused to sign the paper where I give them permission to test her? Can they tests her anyway? what can I do?
    thank you

    • They need your permission to test, but without that they can say that they cannot say she still qualifies for an IEP. I suggest that you contact TN parent training & information center. They will be able to discuss the rules on this and your options.

  15. Our daughter has dyslexia and has been on an IEP for 4 years now. We entered a new school this year for middle school and it has become a disaster. The school is insisting that we either have to take the entire IEP with remedial reading (MAP testing scores show her reading level advanced 2 years beyond her grade level) or refuse the entire IEP. Additionallythey are re-writing the goals, accommodations and service deliveries which are not reflective of what was agreed to in the IEP MDT meeting. Can we suspend receiving services without cancelling the IEP while we try and resolve?

    • Inform the principal and district special ed director of this and that you are willing to consent to new testing if it is needed.

  16. My seventeen year old has an IEP and has lived out of state for a year and a half in a therapeutic high school. He completed program, enrolled in a step down program, was kicked out and in limbo for three weeks and I was told either he goes back to original facility or another in state program that we did not like, that’s IF they would take him. My son turns 18 may 8th, i requested discharge to return home and our next IEP meeting is coming up. My son only needs 3.5 credits to graduate, he’s registered and all set to begin community college. I was told the IEP team will decide if my son is discharged so I considered terminating IEP, bring him home and conduct a brand new one at a local continuation school.

    • Hi Lori,

      My son has autism and I interact with an IEP team, too. Though I do not have definitive advice, I would like to offer empathy and opinion. I think you have the right to terminate the IEP team because sometimes, I feel that the team forgets who is the parent and who can best represent the student’s interest. I actually repeated what I just typed almost in verbatim to the director of Special Services during a recent meeting, and that woke her up a little lol. My intention was not to be confrontational or negative, but sometimes, they are negligent and dictative and seem to forget that the pivotal role is the student, who must come first. Best of luck! Molly

  17. I am a single parent and my child has As. he and the school tries to make it seem like a behavior problem because he will and won’t write. they always tell me he is so bright and very gifted and intelligent but because he have his days he won’t write, they are holding that against him. we have iep meetings where we have set goals for him to try to accomplish but here’s the thing. I feel like I made a mistake. I don’t know much about iep, but some things about it is very understandable and some that isn’t and I believe I made the wrong choice of waiving my rights. I look back at the meeting and I feel like I was ambushed without truly thinking about that decision. my question is can I cancel it and get the rights back? I’m sorry i hope I made sense

    • You can withdraw consent for all special ed services. Some states and districts will allow parents to withdraw consent for some services. Your state parent training and information center can provide you with some ideas and options in dealing with this.

    • MzSan: This is so common among children with AS and ASD. My son with ASD struggles with handwriting too, and I have seen the stress that it caused him in the past. I let his teachers know early on that this is not something I am willing to spend too much time on. I only insist that he writes legibly so his answers are clear. Technology is moving in a direction that makes handwriting less important anyway. I understand that there are some definite educational benefits for students that write their notes rather than typing, such as improved comprehension and retention of information.

      But when writing becomes a source of anxiety and stress for a child, is it really worth the fight? They have so many other things to deal with that this is probably not the one to focus on…IMO!

  18. What if the school will not agree that the child’s FAPE will be met elsewhere (such as during homeschooling)?

  19. If you don’t want your child to receive a specific service: I am tutoring my child in a specific reading program for her dyslexia that the school doesn’t provide. As a result I chose to revoke reading services and keep Math. School says I must choose all of nothing. What if you the school to agree that the child will still get FAPE if they are removed from services?

  20. THE social worker last year was great! This year guy is not. BUt if we take away the social work… will it then not be available as an option in college when she goes in 2019?

  21. My Son was on an IEP for four years. At the end of the year last year the school insisted that my son no longer needed to be on an IEP. School has only been in session for a couple months this year and they are telling us that he is failing already. It is clear that we should have insisted he stay on his IEP. How hard is it to get him back on his IEP?

    • IDEA rules make it fairy easy, but the school may or may not be agreeable. I suggest a letter to the principal, & special ed director requesting that he be placed under an IEP again and evaluation be done if needed. They are to respond to this request in writing. If they deny the request they must provide reasons for that decision. Your state parent training and information center can be a resource to assist you in working with the school.

  22. Hello,
    My child has an IEP but it’s was basically from a behavioral point she has never had a problem with learning…how ever she is now wanting to attend a regular school and the only way I can get her in that setting is to revoke the IEP. I asked if I revoke the IEP and things don’t work out what will happen next? The services they are so call providing now are not even helping her she hasn’t met with the therapist from the school since she been there. Thankfully she does see an outside therapist twice a week. How will I every know if she can handle a regular school setting if I don’t allow her to she is now 17 and in the 11th grade. What a parent to do…


  23. This seems to be a bit of an older thread so I’m hoping I can get an answer here. My son has Spina Bifida. As he was exiting pre school they convinced me this new program they were starting was “perfect” for him and would be highly benefical and he would still be a part of gen ed. Sounded great to me so I consented to “life skills” in his IEP….only I found out different when school started. So I called another IEP meeting where once again I was dooped into thinking they fixed what I wanted for him…it wasn’t until 1st grade IEP meeting the red flags really went off…the biggest was a statement by his teacher of “Dominic enjoys collecting the recycling”…wait…WHAT?! I quickly discovered they told me what I wanted to hear just to be able to keep him there. Can I withdraw conscent?

    • You have a number of options. I suggest that you contact your state parent training & information to talk about the options you have.

  24. Need answers I went to an IEP meeting for my son I thought I was going to hear just good news about his progress but Instead was told they want to change him schools they can’t meet his needs anymore that he’s progressing to well and want to send him to another school I am not happy with the area of the school the student teacher ratio or the overall academic score of the school I just want the best for my son I grew up in schools like this didn’t make it anywhere I no want I want for him and this transition I do not want I’m happy were he’s at what can I do

    • Valerie,

      First off its great that your son is making progress. The school cannot just transfer your son. You need to fight this and invoke stay placement to ensure your son says in his school. This usually happens during a due process hearing. You can request mediation with the school or use your states dispute resolution

  25. Hi, my son’s has IEP service. So, if he apply for a job in the future, will IEP affect his study? Like, the company who will hire him could ask the high school, college where he was studying in about IEP or not? Will they have the right to know what services my son had in school, and the IEP service will affect his future when he apply for a job in the future or not? Please tell me more about that. Thanks so much.

  26. My name is Emily, I’m a high school student and I have been stuck in resource math since kindergarten. Now let me clarify that I am not a disabled student, my kindergarten teacher enrolled me in special education with my parents consent and now I have been stuck with an IEP ever since. My parents are however aware of my situation and are searching for a solution to remove my IEP. If I may ask, I would like to further enhance my search for a solution to my problem.

  27. Id like to know if i disagree with mobility services for my child, can the school still provide said services even if i don’t want this service for my child?

  28. What if the teachers tell your parent that you should keep going for more help but your parent or kid wants to take it off, can you or not? Is the iep mandatory?

      • My daughter has nf1 and she is meeting all her goals this year for special education. Her Iep meeting is coming unfortunately I can’t make it. But i want to get my daughter out of special education because shes had bad experience with one teacher who barely spoke English. The school fired her. So I dont know what to do. I lost full respect for this school. Any thoughts

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