IEP re-evaluation and eligibility determination
my meeting was from 2:30 to 5pm!
This time of year is key for parents of pre-k students or students getting ready for kindergarten. When a student is first eligible for services with the school they are most often labelled DD for developmentally delayed. This label drops by age 6 for kindergarten and students will lose all their services! I opened my re-evaluation on 08/31 and did not meet to determine eligibility until January. I also have an additional meeting scheduled at the end of February because we need to follow up regarding additional services/accommodations and behavior plans.
If you need to have re-evaluation and/or eligibility determined I have some starter suggestions below. I also recommend being honest about the time and energy in this process. It will take almost 1/2 the school year, the length of a semester or two grading periods. I also recommend working to take the emotions out of the preparation phase of planning. Have your research, data and outside documents ready to go on the day you open the re-eval.
- be prepared,: water, food, paperwork, family members, baby sitter, time off work
- do your homework on strategies, teachers, alternative therapy, policy
- bring an advocate
- make a short term and long term goal
- don’t give it all away at the gate…they don’t have to know your plan for your child
- play the game to win
- remove emotion
Remember: eligibility does not determine placement
This is a key phrase you will want to have ready if or when the IEP team (you are the captain) decides placement suggestions for your child. This is when you will have to have already made a game plan that is right for the family and stick to it. So, for example when my son is eligible for ASD as a classification it does not determine that he has to go into an ASD classroom at another school. Remember that your child is entitled to a FAPE (free appropriate public education) in the LRE (least restrictive environment). Also, the parent has the final say and has the right to go against the advice of the IEP team.
Best of luck on your next IEP meeting!