Parents can request an evaluation of their child to determine any needs for special education and/or related services (e.g. physical, occupational or speech/language therapy). The evaluation may include psychological and educational testing, a speech and language evaluation, physical/occupational therapy assessment and a behavioral analysis.
The results of the evaluation determine the child’s eligibility to receive a range of services under the applicable law. If qualifying disabilities or differences are found, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan (often less strict in its definitions) would be developed. Examples of categories of services in IEPs include: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, specialized equipment, and/or the provision of a classroom aide.
Parents do not determine whether their child is eligible under the law, however, parents are entitled to participate in the development of the IEP. Also, the findings of a school’s evaluation team are not final. You have the right to appeal their conclusions and determination. The school is required to provide you with information about how to make an appeal.