Over the years of teaching special education, I have learned quite a few things. As a father of two grown children and now a grandfather three times over, I have always believed in the rights of the parents. I think they trump every aspect of the moments we raise children. It is important to know the parent’s rights in special education.
One of the reasons I started doing this with Inclusive Minds is to raise awareness of special education as it is in real-time. Also, to provide a resource for parents as they navigate Special education.
So this will be an ongoing series, if you will, an ode to parents’ rights in special education.
Special education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Related services are needed to support students’ special education so they can progress to meet their academic and functional goals. Related services can include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, counseling services, orientation and mobility services, and/or transportation services.
Parent’s Rights in special education
Parents have several rights in special education designed to ensure that their child receives an appropriate education that meets their individual needs. Under IDEA, parents are given a significant level of participation at every stage of the special education process.“
To help you further understand your legal rights under IDEA, the school must give you a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards at certain times in the special education process.
The document must be provided to you at least once a year and when any of the following circumstances occur:
• When you request an initial evaluation of your child;
• Upon receipt of the first state complaint in a school year;
• Upon receipt of the first request for a due process hearing in a school year;
• On the day a decision is made to make a disciplinary change of placement; and
• Upon your request.
Some of the key parent’s rights include:
The right to be informed: Parents should be informed about their child’s evaluation, placement, and progress in special education. They also have the right to receive notice of any meetings or changes in their child’s program.
The right to participate: Parents have the right to participate in meetings regarding their child’s education, including the development of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and any decisions related to their child’s education.
The right to consent: Parents can give or withhold permission for any evaluations, assessments, or services related to their child’s education.
The right to access records: Parents can access their child’s education records, including their IEP and any assessments or evaluations.
The right to appeal: If parents disagree with any decisions made by the school district regarding their child’s education, they have the right to file a complaint or appeal.
It is essential for parents to be aware of their rights in special education and to advocate for their child’s needs. Parents can work collaboratively with the school district to ensure their child receives a high-quality education that meets their needs.
I intend to break these areas down into bite-size parts.