Evaluations: INITIAL EVALUATION AND 18 YR OLD STUDENT RIGHTS

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Patrick:  Question from the school end: We have an 18 year old student in our district whose separated parents have joint custody. Student was declassified several years ago (It was at least two years ago, and my understanding is both parties consented), but one parent has recently requested an initial evaluation. As an 18 year old general education student, is the student able to refuse either testing or the evaluation in its entirety (Colorado age of majority is 18)? I’m not really hoping for one particular outcome, I just want to make sure the student’s rights are upheld.

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Patrick – It looks like the age of majority in Colorado for special education purposes is actually 21 (see https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/ta_agemilestones).
So, there in Colorado, the parent has the right to ask for and give consent for the evaluation. Because the student is transition age (15+ in Colorado), he/she should be highly involved in the evaluation (likewise in any resulting IEP) – but he/she would not have the “right” to outright refuse the evaluation.

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