Children who receive special education services are capable; they only require alternative education services to help them achieve the same academic success as their peers. Parents expect that their child will receive these services, so when they are not extended, it can be disheartening. However, recourse may be available when the terms of the denial are not based on legal grounds.
One of the most common reasons that parents face denied services involve a statement from their child's school that they do not offer the services the child needs. Often, this unavailability is explained away as a result of limited funding or understaffing. Parents must understand that these shortages are not their problems and are not a valid excuse to not provide services.
If a child has an IEP, in many states, the law requires that if a school does not offer the services a child needs, they must take steps to make them available at the school or provide transportation for the child to a school that does. Any parent facing this scenario should contact an attorney to learn their rights.
Achieving Grading Benchmarks
A passing grade is not necessarily indicative of mastery or comprehension, particularly if the grade is barely above failing. However, some parents receive notification from their child's school that their child is ineligible for special education services because they are technically meeting grading benchmarks, in that they are not failing.
Teacher grading discrepancies can lead to a child passing, even if they have not learned the topics successfully, and a less noticeable, gradual decline in the child's academic achievement could lead to a passing grade today and a failing grade tomorrow. The law generally does not require a failing grade as a benchmark. If a child has a diagnosed and documented learning disability, they should be entitled to services no matter their grades.
Limited to Academic Assistance
Challenges that impact a child's academic success do not only come in the form of a learning disability. Yet, some schools will tell parents that they only provide special education services for academic-related challenges. Never settle for this explanation. Children with autism, ADHD, and several other diagnoses are also eligible for modifications that allow them to achieve academic success.
These diagnoses can affect the learning styles that best work for the child, their ability to engage in a general education classroom, and many other important factors. Provided the parent can provide documentation, a child should not be denied assistance.
Has your child been denied special education services? Speak with a special education attorney to learn how you can move forward to get your child the help they need.