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My child doesn’t qualify for an IEP. What now?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Special Education Law |

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), your child has a disability that could make them eligible to receive special education services. However, the school’s evaluation found that your child does not need an individual education program (IEP).

So, what do you do now? There are a few things you should know as you move forward.

Three things to know in these cases

First, it is important to note that this is a common issue parents face as they work to obtain special education services for their child. This may be a challenge on the way to helping your child succeed in school. Here is what to consider if you face this challenge in California:

  1. A disability is not automatic eligibility: IDEA lists categories of disabilities that may need special education services, from autism to learning disabilities and physical disabilities. However, if your child has one of these disabilities, that does not mean they will qualify for special education immediately. There are other factors to consider, such as if the disability is hindering your child’s ability to learn.
  2. You have other options: If your child does not qualify for special education services, there are other accommodations and services you can obtain. For example, this could include a 504 plan that can provide accommodations and accessibility for your child even if they do not receive special education. Additionally, you should also carefully consider the reasons the school lists for deeming your child ineligible or refusing certain services. You have certain rights in these cases, and as Understood highlights, understanding your rights can help you move forward and challenge a school’s denial of services.
  3. You can obtain an independent education evaluation (IEE): As we have discussed in previous blog posts, one of your options is to request an IEE in these cases. If the school’s evaluation finds that your child does not qualify for an IEP, and you disagree, you can obtain an IEE from an independent party to evaluate your child. Remember, you have a right to an IEE.

It can be both saddening and frustrating if the school denies your child an IEP and accommodations. However, it is critical to understand that a denial is not the end of the road.