If your student is preparing to transition from Special Education in High School into College there are several savvy questions they should ask at the Disability Services office to help them understand what is help and support is available. These sample questions are from pdf called “Preparing Your Special Needs Student for College” from the Georgia Department of Education.
- How many hours are tutors available? Is there a limit to the number of hours per week per student?
- Is my advisor trained to work with students with LD issues?
- Are there added costs for the services I need?
- Will my professors be notified of my LD/ADHD and is the notification done by the student or the Program Director?
- Are course substitutions allowed?
- Is any other assistive technology or human professional help available that I have not already asked you about?
I particularly like the last part of the last question…. it’s a phrase that we should all put into our vocabulary. Is there help available that I have not already asked about? Frequently, answers are not given because the questions are not asked. By asking this open ended question, we put the focus back on obtaining the necessary help without having to know exactly how to ask for it.
An IEE, which stands for Independent Educational Evaluation, is the Special Ed version of a second opinion. We’ve talked about the importance of Evaluations (http://spedtransitions.com/dont-decline-triennial-evaluations/). But what happens if you and your student don’t agree with the school’s evaluations?
Parents may obtain only one IEE at public expense each time the school district conducts an evaluation with which the parents disagree. 34 CFR Section 300.502(b)(5). The purpose of this regulation is to protect the parents’ right to an IEE (OSEP rejected a suggestion limiting a parent to one IEE in a child’s school career) while ensuring that a school district does not have to bear the cost of multiple IEEs concerning a single disagreement. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46690 (August 14, 2006).
When should you request an IEE?
A dispute may arise regarding who performed the school’s evaluation (qualifications), how that person performed the evaluation (assessment tools or methods), the results of the evaluation or the structure of the IEP resulting from the school’s evaluation. This is especially true if you as the parent are observing things that are different than those that were described in the evaluation or are hearing different things from your child’s physicians and therapists.
Now is the time to request an IEE at the school’s expense. “A parent has the right to an IEE at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained” by the school. Once you, the parent, request an IEE, the school must either agree to pay for the IEE or file a due process complaint to show that its own evaluation was appropriate.
If you have a student in the Transition Years (15-18) or beyond, Please take a minute to complete this quick 10 question survey:
“If you ask the wrong questions, you will always get the wrong answers.”
— Matthew Kelly, Building Better Families
This site is about learning to ask the right questions to begin the discussion on how to transition your teenage special education student into adult life and the “real world” as effectively as possible.
It’s about learning the best sources of information in your geographic area and your specific circumstances. It’s about making sure your student has access to the most appropriate services for his or her needs. It’s about making a long-term difference in the life of your child.
I don’t have all the answers, but I can help you ask the right questions so you can begin to make a difference in the successful transition of your special education teen to independent adulthood.