If your child has recently been diagnosed with any number of medical conditions, you may be wondering whether or not he or she qualifies for special educational opportunities and protections under the law. In order to qualify for these opportunities and protections under federal and state law, your child must meet certain eligibility criteria.
The primary federal law that governs special education opportunities and protections is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. According to IDEA, school districts must assess children who may qualify for special education under this act. If your child's assessment demonstrates that his or her educational performance is adversely affected as a result of his or her medical impairment, your child will likely qualify for special education.
Certain medical conditions are listed within IDEA and other regulations as qualifying impairments. Relatively straightforward medical conditions such as mental retardation, language impairment, hearing impairment and traumatic brain injury may obviously qualify a child from the outset of his or her assessment. However, each child's situation is unique and therefore must be evaluated as such. This is especially true if certain behavioral disorders or chronic conditions do not immediately present as adversely affecting performance but almost certainly do/will over time.
If you have questions about your unique situation, it may be beneficial for you to speak with an attorney experienced in matters of special education law. This kind of meeting may be especially beneficial if you believe that your child's medical conditions are not being taken seriously by your child's school or district administrators.