As the parent of a student with a disability, you have many rights involving your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees you those rights. Here's a look at many of your parental rights.
You Can Attend All IEP Meetings
Members of the school district will meet to discuss and plan the educational services the school will provide. They will work this all into a binding contract. You have a right to attend these meetings. You can also attend any later meetings, or call for a meeting yourself.
You Have Control Over Your Child's Evaluation
The school district can order an evaluation, but they must have your signed consent to administer one. In addition, you can order an independent evaluation. In either case, the evaluation must answer in the affirmative to three questions.
- Does your child have a disability?
- Does the disability cause an educational impact?
- Does the child require special education?
You can request an assessment from the district directly. If they do not comply with your request for an assessment, they must use legal channels to deny it. They cannot simply turn it down. This applies to the initial evaluation, as well as to any later evaluations for review of your child's need for special education.
You Can Contest Any Decision Made By the School
At every point of the process, you can contest the district. You can contest their evaluation plan, their IEP plan, and any denial they make. You have a right to meet with the district personnel and discuss their decisions, and you can involve a mediator if you want to. If you're not making any progress, you can request a hearing or even file a lawsuit.
The District Cannot Deny You Access to Your Child's Records
You have the right to peruse all of your child's educational records. You can also suggest changes to the official records and add notes of your own. If the school denies you access for any reason, they're violating your rights.
The District Must Notify You of Your Rights
You have broad rights when it comes to your child, and you need to know what they are in full. The district must notify you of your rights. If you feel the school violated your parental rights in any way, you can speak to special education lawyer about steps you can take to secure fair treatment and education for your child.