The list of excuses below are some of the more common themes I hear every day from school districts who are trying to get out of testing a child for special education. None of these or other excuses should be accepted by a parent who is trying to find answers for why their child can't access the curriculum. As a parent, trust your instincts, if you think there is a problem most likely there is.
10. Your child isn’t far enough behind academically to qualify for special education;
9. We have not tried response to intervention yet;
8. Your child’s grades are still pretty good, so they won’t qualify;
7. Your child is just lazy and needs to apply themselves more;
6. You, as the parent, are not giving them the support they need at home to be successful;
5. First, we need to convene a Student Success Team (SST) meeting;
4. It is not the school’s responsibility if your child doesn’t have any friends and is having socialization problems;
3. We can’t test for a learning disability until at least the 2nd grade because they aren’t mature enough yet;
2. Your child’s emotional issues are causing the academic problems so we won’t test;
1. We don’t do IEP’s at this school;
Tips to remember when you receive resistance from the School District:
- Any School that receives federal funding must provide IEPs. This includes small School Districts, magnet or advanced study Schools & Charter Schools;
- The School must use multiple methods and strategies to determine special education eligibility. This could include grades, scores on State achievement tests and assessment results to name a few;
- While general education interventions should be tried prior to starting an IEP there is nothing that states that special education assessments can’t take place simultaneously with trying the general education interventions;
- Access to the curriculum means more than just academics; it could include the social/emotional well being of the child as well;
- There are protocols to determine if a young child has a Learning Disability;
- It is sometimes easier for the School personnel to blame the child or the parents than to blame school related factors for causing the problems. This is not an excuse to delay testing for special education.
If you have received these or other excuses from your School District we want to hear about them. Provide your comments and excuses you’ve heard below in the comment section.