Reevaluation: A “Must” Before Termination of Eligibility

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Bottom line: Eligibility decisions must be based on comprehensive evaluations.

Terminating your child’s eligibility from special ed is not a unilateral decision the school alone can make. The school is required to do a comprehensive evaluation.

A group of qualified professionals and the child’s parent determine whether or not a child continues to be eligible for an IEP.

IDEA 20 U.S.C. § 1414(b)

Before the school can declassify your child and determine he is no longer eligible for special education, they must reevaluate your child “in all areas related to the suspected disability.” (p. 96, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition )

A good example of the reevaluation requirement is in the 2014 OSEP Letter to Blodgett

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/acc-13-023542r-mn-blodgett-reeval.pdf

In Blodgett, a child has a documented conductive hearing loss. This child qualified for an IEP under the IDEA category “deaf or hard of hearing.” Surgical procedure corrected the hearing loss and the child is no longer deaf or hard of hearing.

The child’s classification in that category no longer exists.

Is he still eligible for special ed?

Federal Regulations 34 CFR § 300.304(c)

“The evaluation must be sufficiently comprehensive to identify the child’s potential need for special education and related services, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child was previously identified.”

Long-term Impact of Disability

OSEP is clear that, in this case, “hearing loss during the crucial early years can have a long-term impact on a child’s speech and language acquisition and development.”

“The child’s language needs and whether he qualifies under the “Speech or language impairment” category would be important considerations when evaluating that child’s continued eligibility for services.”

Although the hearing loss has been corrected, the child could be eligible based upon another disability category. And that is why IDEA requires a comprehensive reevaluation.

Assessments of Hearing, Vision, and Motor Skills

Children who are deaf and hard of hearing are a diverse group. Many children with hearing impairments also have language and communication problems.

Some children have sensory impairments that affect both vision and hearing.

If your child has impaired sensory skills, you can expect him to have difficulty learning.

Learn about Assessments of Hearing in Wrightslaw: All About Assessments, Chapter 11, p. 109.

 

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5 Comments on "Reevaluation: A “Must” Before Termination of Eligibility"

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Hello. My son was given reevaluation tests recently because his teacher says he has mastered all his goals and may be dismissed from his ESE -AM/PM program & IEP. We are also having his matriculation meeting soon, he starts Kindergarten this fall. I disagree that he should be dismissed from the program, can I see the results of the reevalutaion before having the matriculation meeting? Or would it matter if the results were given to me at the meeting? I’ve posted these questions on a local ESE Facebook group and received some good feedback. Thank you.

Hi M. Ann. It is my understanding that you have the right to have copies of the reevaluation results before any ARD/IEP meeting. Just make certain that you make your request in writing. Make sure that you state that you need these results so that you may be better prepared for the meeting. Access to such data allows you an opportunity for input, asking questions, and making informed decisions as an equal member of the ARD/IEP committee.

Thank you Juan. I appreciate your response and advice. Hopefully I’ll be able to see the results prior to the meeting. I was recently told by his teacher I could not see the results and that’s what the matriculation meeting was for, to go over the test results. I don’t have any dates yet for the meeting, so in the meantime I still have people to contact and inquire about my situation. Thanks again

Mastering his goals does not mean that he is developmentally where he should be. The sooner you can see this info the better, even if it is only a half hour or hour before the meeting. Also learn about the state rules on disagreeing with the team’s recommendation. Your state parent training & information project can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Thank you for the link, I found my local contact for my area. I never knew of that organization, so thanks a lot! I emailed them and hoping for a reply soon. Thank you for your response, everything helps.

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