Anyone can refer a child to special education. Once a referral is received at OSEC or one of its member schools, a team reviews the student's data such as grades, attendance, and what educational strategies have been tried. At this time the team may decide to implement other strategies in the classroom to determine if those changes provide adequate educational support for the child or to pursue an evaluation. Parents are informed of the decision; if an evaluation is appropriate, their consent is sought. If written consent is granted, the child is tested in the areas of suspected disability. Once the evaluation is complete, parents are provided with a written evaluation report explaining strengths and weaknesses, as well as test scores.
At this point, parents and educators meet to review the evaluation results and determine if a child qualifies for special education or related services such as speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. If the child qualifies an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed. The IEP states educational goals and objectives, classroom accommodations, and what services the child will receive. Parent input and consent is sought in each step of this process; parents may decline the development of an IEP or revoke consent of one in place at any time.
Other information on this page includes links to various parent support and education organizations and opportunities. One site that will be of particular interest is Parent Connection. Other links provide information about specific areas of disability.