Children with disabilities have the right to a public education. Research has shown that outcomes improve for children when their disability is diagnosed at an early age. Early intervention for children with disabilities is essential in providing them with the services they need from a young age.
It is generally the responsibility of the school or school district to inform local families of the evaluation and services that are available through the public school system. This should be done through a variety of means such as flyers, mailings, and handouts. The goal is to make sure that the community is informed of the free options that are available to them. This helps to encourage intervention for even the youngest children.
One of the most important services available to families is the evaluation of children with possible disabilities. Evaluation is done through the school district and may be offered at specific dates and times each year. This is often scheduled during the summer vacation period so that any children with disabilities can be identified before they enter school. Evaluations are often conducted by school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational or physical therapists.
An individualized education plan – IEP – is required for each student who has a disability and is eligible for special education services.
Not all children who are evaluated may ultimately go to public school; the parents will make that decision. By providing parents with resources, they are able to give their young child the best care possible. School districts must create a plan to advise the community of the availability of early childhood evaluations and services. An education attorney can assist a school or district with compliance with this federal law.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities, or other Education Law matters, please feel free to contact Erin H. Walz at 480.461.5379, log on to www.udallshumway.com or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.