SolveYourProblem eLearning Series: Learning Disabilities
The Bottom Line On Learning Disabilities

( 50 articles in this series )



Your Learning Disabled Child: A Parentís Rights

It can be hard enough when you find out that your child has a learning disability. There is nothing worse for a parent than to know their precious child will suffer with the struggles that will ensue. There are rights you have to make sure that your child gets the help they need to live up to their fullest potential. You are the number one advocate for your child. You need to make sure you address the school and work with the teachers. This doesnít mean you have to do everything they say. You need to do what works best for your child and his or her specific needs. Each child is different and needs an individualized plan. If your childís learning disability is not severe, then the need to remove the child from the mainstream class is not necessary. There are ways to allow the child to stay with his or her peers and use adaptive equipment to aid in learning.

If you believe that your child has a learning disability, you should get a comprehensive assessment for free to determine this. If the school believes that your child has a disability, they must ask you permission first before testing takes place, and they must respect your wishes once you answer. You have the right to see all test results and have them explained to you at your request and can view your childís records at any time. If you disagree with the school you can request an independent evaluation at the publicís expense. Some school systems donít have the right tools to do a proper assessment. You child can be tested at your request in any area that you are suspecting a disability including hearing, vision, language, motor skills, perceptual skills, and emotional state. The school must take into account any individual evaluations and any other reports of finding from other professionals out side the school when determining your childís learning needs. You also have the right to have your child reevaluated as often as need be or every three years to see what is going on.

Once you child has been deemed eligible, you have the right to an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). This must go into an effect no later than 30 days after your child was deemed eligible. You can a IEP meeting at anytime you wish to discuss any new developments or revisions as long as the times are good with both you and the school staff that must be present. You should have a statement of your childís current performance in the plan as well as how long the services will continue. The schools goals and how they plan to accomplish them with your child should also be in there. Have anticipated evaluation times also set in the IEP so you know when you will be due for evaluation. For those students who are over 16 years old you have the right to transitional services that will enable your child to progress to the real world after school has ended. The school is responsible for providing these services and finding new alternatives if other agencies fail to provide. To have all the services and assisted technology required at no cost as written in the IEP. This can include speech and language therapy, transportation, and other types of therapy and equipment needed to help your child succeed.

When it has been determined what type of services your child will require you have the right to consent or deny the proposed services or placement before they can be delivered. You and your child have the right to have the program if not at the school be as close to you as possible and in the least restrictive environment. If your childís needs have changed you can have your child reevaluated at anytime. The services you receive for your child are free and it doesnít matter if you have insurance or not. Make sure you are constantly informed of all progress your child makes and are notified immediately when they have a new need or passed a goal. At any time at your request you should be provided with your childís records, where they are at, and how to get access to them in a timely fashion. You should also be provided with help if you need some when interpreting the records. You may at any time have a representative you choose to look at your childís records at any time. As a parent you have the right to act in your childís behalf to make sure he or she gets exactly what is needed to be a productive member of society.

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