Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Sep 05
Avatar of Dennise Goldberg

by Dennise Goldberg

10.  Parents have the right to request that their child be assessed for Special Education without delay. 

9.  Parents have the right to list all of their concerns in the IEP. 

8.  Parents have a right to request a new IEP meeting be held within 30 days of a written request when an IEP is already in place. 

7.  Parents have the right to participate in the IEP meeting and have their opinions heard and noted. 

6.  Parents have the right to bring any person to an IEP meeting with knowledge of the child or the child’s disability including advocates and attorneys. 

5.  Parents have the right to review and receive copies of their child’s educational records. 

4.  Parents have the right to consent, refuse to consent or revoke consent for special education for their child. 

3.  Parents have the right to receive Prior Written Notice when a school district proposes a change in a child’s placement or refuses a parent’s request. 

2.  Parents have the right to ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation at public expense when they disagree with the school district’s assessments. 

1.  Parents have the right to file complaints, including state complaints and due process complaints, and disagree with parts or all of the IEP.

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37 Responses to “Top Ten Parental Rights in Special Education”

  1. I need help! do I have the right to stop special Ed, my daughter is in 2nd grade, in a smaller class and I want her her a regular 2nd grade class now. I told the school I would pay for a tutor and they are fighting with me. She had speech and Ot for the past4 years….what are my rights? Please email me ASAP, my daughter is not in school because of this. Thank you

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    • Jeannette, I am a student studying special education and yes, you do have the right to terminate services at any time. The school may feel like your daughter really needs the services and terminating them may cause her to fall behind. If you were to ever want her to receive services again you would have to go through the entire process again. I would discuss some different options on placement for your daughter before discontinuing services all together. Also maybe ask about letting your daughter participate in certain acitivites with a regular 2nd grade classroom such as lunch, pe, music, art, and recess. I respect your right to discontinue services but I would advise you to speak with your daughters teachers to try to work on a different placement arrangement so that her needs are met and everyone is happy! Hope that helps some!

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      • I also have this same problem with my 10 yr old son, they have him in a self contained class where i want him in general class with pull out resourses .. can you tell me where the new law states i can pull him from the special needs classes and put him back into regular classes ? I have been searching all day for this information please

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  2. Tim said on May 9, 2012

    Question about IEP rights. If it is recommended that my child repeat a grade, do I have the right to refuse?

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    • You always have the right to say no. Just state on the IEP that you disagree with holding your child back and that he will see being held back as a punishment. Also, you might want to state that your child is entitled to a free appropriate public education and if he is that far behind the IEP is not working and it’s time to update it and amend it.

      That being said, make sure you fully think through what the school is offering and why. Most schools won’t suggest holding a child back and will automatically push the child ahead. If they really think its best for him to be held back make sure you fully analyze what they are suggesting and how they came to that opinion.

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      • I have an opposite question…if my child is on an IEP do I have the legal right to have my child repeat a grade? I want my 1st grader to repeat 1st grade and they tell me research shows that’s not good. But he’s wayyy too immature. I need help. I need to know my rights.

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        • Jennifer, Could you Email me ? I am having that same problem with my daughter in IL. Was hoping you make have found some information. Thanks!
          mammalaura@hotmail.com

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        • Hi Jennifer- I want the same for my 1st grader, to repeat. Did u learn anything about your rights? Any info would be great!
          Sandra- Sandra@baeza.name

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  3. Rex said on May 12, 2012

    My kid has autsim and when she gest up set she screams and yells. Becaus of this the nabers are complaining to the manager. What are our rights, and what can we do to keep our place?

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    • Im having the same problem. Have u got anything feedback on what to do?sarah

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  4. I have a autistic 5 year old boy…his school is not allowing me to walk him directly to his classroom in the mornings. The school wants me to leave him at the door. I want to walk him to his class room every morning if i want and pick him up there as well if I want. I was told they don’t allow parents to walk their kids to their classrooms. I also want to be able to sit in on any of his classes during the day to observe when I want? Can I? …….Is it my right to walk him to his classroom as I please?????? Can I also sit in and observe when I want to and feel necessary?
    Please help, they are stopping me at the school door and not letting me bring him in… :(
    jen

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    • If the school is asking you not to walk your student to his/her classroom, then it is most likely in your best interest not to. Your student needs to learn independence, and I am sure this is what the school is striving to do. I do not believe it is a “right” for you to walk your child to the classroom door. Most schools do not allow this for many good reasons. Your students access to a free and appropriate education is your right, however. You are entitled to observe the classroom, but keep it limited so the classroom daily routine is not affected.

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      • The parent has the “right” to walk their child where the child needs to go for their safety. It is a sad day when a parent is told that they don’t have the “right” to be with their child. We have the “right” to homeschool, and the “right” to raise our children as we see fit. The school system does not know how to raise children better than a child’s parent.

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        • I have a 4 year old son who goes to this Rocket Program IEP thing and lately I found out that he is in a different class room.

          He is speech delayed only.
          Pulling him out from the program after two weeks after we have this IEP meeting! he is a smart boy and I want him to go to public school not to Special Ed.

          This program not for speech delayed kids PERIOD!

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    • WRONG, Okay, yes it is true there are reasons that you do not march all around schools and bother teachers and put kids where there is not supervision before the start bells of school! But, this is a special Ed student! Things change here! First, this has to be handled in the IEP! You need to put all this in the parental concerns portion at the first page! If there is no IEP then type up a letter to school of your concerns and why and what safety issues you have! Also, student or classroom aid? Then the schedule should be addressed as to the best safety of the child and his day at school. Now, the Autism part, this is greatly more as I know what you are stating x2 and neither of mine have been able to manage those times before or after school alone and for that reason we drop and receive DIRECTLY FROM SCHOOL STAFF,! They have still lost our kids, yes, and many old schooled teachers have bitched at me about my kids not doing like all the others, but then I catch them loosing my kid again and they freak out and we go on for awhile with them supporting my child’s need for safety! Ps I walk my youngest to the hallway and hang up school stuff and get out the daily things and we wait there for staff to collect our child. She reads her AR book and needs that extra time to do shoes and coats and get ready for day. Then, I get to tell staff of any medical concerns and am notified of any schedule changes or any questions they have today! We have constant issues with the schools saying no staff before bell for start of school and NO SERVICES and I again argue that if they are supporting the child during school and all other kids get breakfast or what ever, then mine does with the needed support per the IEP. And, it gets very grey here as before and after bells is not really in the laws I found. MANY PARENTS IN OUR SCHOOL COME IN WITH THEIR KIDS. They hug and kiss them and send them out to recess, or inside for breakfast or recess. No, bother! We do now have cameras at doors, as this necessity is very saddening to me! I just try to be very unobtrusive to other parents and very quiet to all teachers in the hallways that early. Some are mad, but with this AUTUSM THING AND EVEN WITH SPECIAL ED it seems that is what you will find. Good luck!

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  5. We have a daughter who is 9 and has Down Syndrome. This new school year my daughter has had a lot of changes. First her aide of 4 years retired. Her aide asked if she could come in for a couple weeks to help the new aide with the transition. She was denied. We were shocked! We thought that wasn’t the best interest for our child. She also has a new home room teacher, and a new special Ed teacher. All these changes we thought we needed to have a meeting with her “team”. Now coming on to two months later and no meeting, we decided to move her to a neighboring smaller school. Now they want a meeting…..hummmmm. We have decided to keep the move due to a previous phone meeting with the director, with excuses. Special Ed teacher has over 100 kids, she not the only kid. The school we are transferring to had 10. Special Ed teacher just got out of school, first job. Transferring school has been a special Ed teacher for over 12 years. And the new special Ed teacher has no skills in math….what? So to say the least it was a no brainer. We still will have the same director, and we don’t see eye to eye. How much power do we have with these meetings? This is his first year up here and he is going by “research shows”, instead of my child being an individual, and last years progress. Example, my daughter doesn’t work well in groups. We wasted three quarters of the school year proving this. I asked for her not to be in groups again this year…..she’s in groups! She can’t focus with other kids around. What are our rights as parents. Don’t we have say on her education even though she is in the ESD program?
    We believe transferring her to another school will help, but how or where can we get knowledge on our parental rights with ESD?

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  6. I have a 10 year old son that was placed on an IEP last year because of his ADHA. He was having trouble in reading and writing; after being tested for learning disabilities, the school found that he did not qualify for speacial ed because his test did not show he had a learning disability. After being placed on the IEP and put in tutoring his reading leave climbed and he was doing very well. His dad and I choose to put him in another school in another district which he has attended since 8/8/12. On 10/22/12 I recieved a call from the district office, and was told since my son was on an IEP and from outside of the school district they were not required to give him special ed, and he would be unenrolled by the end of the day. When I requested that the IEP be removed, I was told sorry your son will not be allowed to reattend school and we will not honor your request to remove the IEP. When I asked to speak with the womans boss, she told me he was busy. I asked her to please take my name and number and have him call me, she said ” sorry but he will be busy for the next few week and wont have time to talk to you.

    Can they do this??????????????

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  7. Hi I want my son evaluated for any learning disabilities he may have. There is family history, and he is really struggling in school. I was told by his teacher and the school that he could only be evaluated if she thougt that he needed it and that was only after a 3 month waiting period. She than went on to say that he probably wouldn’t even get an evaluation done if he needed one until the school year was over. Isany of this true? As a concerned parent, can I ask or, put strongly, demand he be tested? Also waiting until the year is over is not going to help him. He is basically going to not pass the grade he is in when it could be due to a learning disability. Also going back, if I have the right as a parent to request an evaluation, how do I go about doing so? Do I go through the school or some other channel? Thank you for any advice and help.
    Michelle

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  8. Michelle,

    You need to fight the school on this. There is no reason you can not get him tested. Do your research there are all sorts of rights parents have. Also try http://www.pacer.org. They can help. I don’t know what your son may have, but I have a son that had issues in school. So we went to our family doctor, because the school felt he may not be eligible. So we were able to get a behavioral IEP, which does not mean a bad thing. We are still working on the IEP and pushing for it to be done by the end of the year. I hope this helps. I have learned even though it can be exhausting to fight to get that help.
    Good Luck

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  9. last week my son had this annual IEP. and the principal is telling me, they going to transfer my son to a different school because he going to 4 grade… i haven’t sign the IEP yet but are calling me to sign… what i would like to know is!! if i sign the IEP would they move my son??? what can i do to keep my son at the same school he is now….

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    • aL said on May 3, 2013

      Elio919…
      Do not sign the IEP, if you do sign you are consenting to doing so and he will be moved to another school. As long as you don’t sign it, he will stay put as is.

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      • I have a 3rd grader this year and we had a IEP review @ the end of last school year that took 3hrs. I am wanting my daughter to be in general ed with what the school calls learning center (title 1 and erc) but the teacher says she doesn’t think that is the best placement for her and I haven’t signed the IEP but recently I was told by people @ the district level that I don’t have to sign the IEP for it to be as I say put in stone is this true?

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        • Yes, they can start using it even if you do not sign it! You are better off attending all meetings and tape recording them. Request all school records too, and set up an awesome file, ans then school staff will start respecting you as a team member more! Niow, you need to sign the IEP and state on it that you disagree and why you do and that some IEP is better than NONE! You can read this in WRIGHTS law website! The school will freak and you may have to continue on to mediation but you are still showing you are a team member!

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    • dont sign anything unless u are certain its going to work .. I made this mistake, signed for a trial in another school self contained class and now its been a nightmare, cant get himn out of it .. going through due process hearings now … horrible

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  10. I have been trying to find out if it is legal for a school to hold back a student as an intervention rather than evaluating a student for disabilities and providing proper services. Does anyone know the legalities of this?

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  11. I want to know if my child with severe special needs can be obligated to attend the new intergration program in the fall of 2013? What can I do? According to principal my child was sign up to this program but I never sign or gave any consent for him to participate. Please help

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  12. my daughter is 16 yrs old she has a modified IEP for behavior issues she was attending Commonweatlh Challenge Program and was removed for behavior issues she had 16 infractions but had never been suspended I was never notified of any of them there was a riot at the school I was told that although she did not have anything to do with it after review the girls file the director felt she was one of the kids to be remove because her presents he feel effects the environment. Her IEP WAS NEVER reviewed when I inquired about it I was told they would look into it. what rights do I have

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  13. hello, i was trying to search for a new law that was passed allowing parents the right to remove their child from special education classes and back into general ed classes… I was told if i pulled him i could have issues with the school but then after talking to the US department of education I was made aware of this new law allowing parents to pull child out without issues .. does anyone have the law information / bill as to this before i go ahead with my actions .. My mistake was signing the amended IEP to allow my child to go into self contained class as trial now i cant get him out … its been a nightmare for him and I with this school now …

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    • Dear Sharon,
      I unfortunately don’t have an answer to your question. I would like to get an advice from you. My son is currently in general ed. with aide and the IEP team suggests as a trial to go to special ed. class. I saw your post and now worry that if something goes wrong, we will not be able to come back. Did you find out something regarding the law?

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  14. Mine is a 13 yr boy. He has a disability from a traumatic head injury from being hit by a truck, and he also has ADHD. He has been very bullied at school, and now he says he cannot take it any more, and is starting to become a bully back to these kids that are in his special ed class. He dislikes the teacher very much, and he is on a IEP. I asked the principle if he could get a different teacher, and was told no, that the one he has, is the only teacher for that level of student. He gets in trouble if he tries to call me, and he feels he is not treated fairly. I do not know what I can do about this – I do not know my rights, or what rights he has. Any advice on our rights would be very appreciated.

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    • Immediately request an IEP meeting, I would actually do this without giving a reason! Do it in writing! They will freak and contact you like “oh, why” very casually like everything is okey dokey! They must answer this, also in writing why they are or are not going to agree! So, you got your meeting and documentation now of what is happening and the placement and IEP must be reviewed and adjusted if needed. His behavior should be looked at for relation to his disability, and then if so they must respond with a program and/or services to support these needs and HUGE safety issues and possible lawsuits from staff and other kids etc, this could get out of hand very quickly! Also, request info on his room teacher and her info, such as is she Highly qualified and is the room staffed okay, does it need a TA as support to the teacher ? you have a right to respond that you attempted the placement the school gave you and WHY T IS NOT WORKING! Good luck!

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  15. I emailed a written request to my 3 rd grader’s private school to not pull her out of class to learn with a smaller group as they did it for 2 years with no improvements, The principal bypassed my request and still sent her out on a title one program that she was not qualified for. When I found out i inquired as to why he sent her out when i specifically wrote not to. He replied with ” if i wish for her to miss the opportunity than he ll stop” . Was he allowed to by pass my written request ?

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  16. You say parents have the right to request that their child be assessed for Special Education without delay.

    My school said it takes six weeks. Who is correct?

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  17. can a school district go and change parts of your child’s IEP without your knowledge?

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