Re-Evaluations: SCHOOL SAYS NO LONGER QUALIFIED FOR IEP BECAUSE OF AGE

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Carol:  My grandson has had an IEP for 3 years and is now 9yrs old. The school is telling me that he no longer qualifies for IEP due to has age and that he will need to be reevaluated. I fought for an IEP but I feel not all of his needs were addressed . I also have not heard anything about his being reevaluated. What do I do now?

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Amy

There are occasions when a student “ages out” of a specific impairment. This applies when a student is identified with a Significant Developmental Delay (SDD) when younger, but (in my state of Wisconsin, for example) cannot be identified with that label past the age of 9. That’s the law. I believe other states have similar rules for SDD. You’ll notice I said students age out of a specific disability label, but not necessarily special education. Sometimes students age out of SDD due to their age but continue to be eligible for special education due to meeting criteria in another disability area. Was your grandson evaluated for any other areas? I would suggest that you discuss with the IEP team any other suspected areas of disability and include those areas in the re-evaluation.

Jill G

Carol –

Schools must redetermine eligibility for special education at least every three years. This is similar to the initial evaluation, except that your grandson already has an IEP and this will remain in place until the evaluation is complete, eligibility is determined, and a new IEP is developed (if he continues to be eligible).

If you are not satisfied with the IEP, this is a good time to act on it (or his parent/guardian, if that’s not you). You can tell the school what areas you think he struggles in and should be reevaluated. You can ask for independent evaluations if you don’t feel the school’s were comprehensive or accurate. And you can give your input during IEP development.

And if the school does found him ineligible after reevaluation, you do have options to fight it.

I encourage you to contact your local parent center (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/). They can help you understand the special education process, including reevaluation, and provide you with support!