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Teri:  how do I get my school to test my son for IEP. He has ADHD and probably sensory needs. I have asked for two years to get an IEP for him, they say he is passing. However he is a major disruption to his class and I get phone calls weekly from the principal. He is entering 4th grade.

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09/11/2016 10:04 pm

Here’s an inspiring federal guidance letter about ADHD specifically. Among other things, it says, “Through our enforcement efforts, we have learned that many students with ADHD are still experiencing academic and behavioral challenges in the educational setting, and that policy guidance
is needed to ensure that those students are receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE).”


09/11/2016 4:51 pm

First – IDEA 2004 includes functional performance in addition to academic performance. Document each of these phone calls with a brief email to the principal. Collect them and take them to the eligibility meeting. Also, request a Functional Behavioral Assessment as part of the eligibility evaluation. Say that the child’s behavior is interfering with his education and that of others.

Second – if you’ve been requesting an IEP for two years, there should have been an evaluation and an eligibility meeting long before this. If you can document this, it sounds like you’ll have an open and shut state special ed complaint. Each state has its own rules about filing a complaint.

As soon as you’ve sent the two letters, do some brainstorming about what you think would help your son function better in school. Be very specific. Make an appointment to observe the class to get some more ideas.

Try to get as many of these things tried, on an informal basis, as soon as possible, through collaboration. Keep track, week by week, to see whether you see any improvement. These records can help you establish eligibility.

08/10/2016 3:15 pm

Teri: This is a frequently asked question at Wrightslaw. We have written articles for Wrightslaw.com and the blog to answer the question. A child with passing grades CAN have a disability and MAY be eligible for special ed services under IDEA. Please read this blog post: https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/is-child-with-passing-grades-eligible-for-special-ed-under-idea/

You need to WRITE a letter to request an evaluation for special ed. Include a few sentences about areas where your child struggles and what school staff have told you when you asked for help before. You’ll find sample letters in the “From Emotions to Advocacy” book [ https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta2/feta2.htm ] Don’t give up until the school evaluates, has an eligibility meeting, develops a plan of action.

08/09/2016 11:05 am

I suggest that you contact your state parent training & information center. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/