Eligibility: SCHOOL REFUSES SERVICES DUE TO MOTHER’S “EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT”

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Heather: I am working with a foster parent and caseworker with 2 children in 5th and 6th grade. The children were just placed into foster care. They are not able to write all their letters, are reading at a kindergarten level and 2nd grade level respectively. They are both able to add and subtract small numbers. Obviously, they are significantly behind. Their mother said she was homeschooling them prior to their father’s death. The younger child has medical diagnosis of OCD and ADD and is being referred for autism testing. The older child has been diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD. The foster mother requested testing from the school district. After extensive meetings they were tested. They have average IQ’s and their scores on reading and math were K to 2nd grade.

The district then told the mom that the testing is not valid because of the previous educational neglect so they are not willing to provide any services. Is that true that they can refuse to give them any assistance or remediation due to their mother’s previous educational neglect? How does one go about proving there is a learning disability along with the educational neglect?

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2 Comments on "Eligibility: SCHOOL REFUSES SERVICES DUE TO MOTHER’S “EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT”"

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Heather, I’m speechless. Two young children are in foster care. They have lost both parents – their father is dead, their mother is unable to care for them. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would refuse to help them.

When the school evaluated these children, their IQs were in the average range; their academic skills were several years below grade level. After the evaluations, the school claimed their testing wasn’t “valid” because of “previous educational neglect.” The school refuses to provide special ed services because of “previous educational neglect.”

Does the law allow a school to take this position? NO.

The law does not mention “educational neglect” as a reason for denying eligibility for special education. The law does not mention “educational neglect” at all. Not once.

* Lack of Appropriate Instruction by the School
Many experts in learning disabilities believe that most children identified with learning disabilities are “victims of poor teaching.” Nearly all children can learn to read if taught appropriately, but many do not get appropriate instruction because teachers are not adequately prepared.

In the section about eligibility for specific learning disabilities, the law says a child shall not be found eligible as a child with learning disabilities if the child’s problems are due to “lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including in the essential components of reading instruction, lack of instruction in math, or limited English proficiency.” 20 U.S.C. §1414(b)(5)

In the section about eligibility for specific learning disabilities, the law says a child shall not be found eligible as a child with learning disabilities if the child’s problems are due to “lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including in the essential components of reading instruction, lack of instruction in math, or limited English proficiency.” 20 U.S.C. §1414(b)(5)”
So this gets confusing because this is exactly the language they are highlighting and using as the reason the child is not eligible. They say that because there was a lack of instruction (educational neglect/ the children not attending school and the parent claiming to homeschool but really doing nothing at all with the children), that the children can not be found to have a disability. How can we get them help?

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