Are you a parent waiting for the school system to evaluate your child to determine if he has a specific learning disability or other disability for special education eligibility? If so, please read on . . .
The Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) has developed a Pyramind of Intervention that has four tiers. Beginning with the first tier, all students are provided a core curriculum and basic interventions and supports to help them with their learning problems. Each higher tier provides more support, smaller group and specialized instruction, data collection as well as progress monitoring of your child’s educational progress. The question is how long do you have to wait to determine if your child is eligible for special education? Four weeks? Nine weeks? Twelve weeks or more? The GDOE has established a confusing and perhaps erroneous method and process of determining whether a child should be evaluated for special education eligibility. This process has resulted in significant delays in identifying and evaluating children with all types of disabilities, including specific learning disability. Some school districts wil not even consider evaluating your child until he has received at least twelve weeks of Response-tontervention. This is wrong. The United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued memorandum that states an evaluation should be not delayed if the child is suspected of having a disability and is in need of special education and related services. Too many children are now falling through the proverbial cracks and are not timely identified and evaluated to determine their special education eligibility. If this is happening with your child, you may want to contact an advocate or attorney who is familiar with special education and the Response-to-Intervention process.