If a child is not progressing in area despite interventions, extra practice, and on-going assistance the school may then decide to request a referral for a Special Education IEP (Individual Education Plan). If a referral is made a letter asking your permission is sent. If you give us permission to proceed with testing then a team of educators will observe, administer standard measures, discuss your child with members of the school community and ask for your input into what you see happening. After this information is completed a meeting will be scheduled to go through the testing results and determine if your child meets the eligibility criteria and qualifies for an IEP.
Special Education serves a wide variety of need. Learning disabilities, Behavioral Disabilities, Autism, Vision, Hearing, Cognitive Disabilities, Other Health Impairments. Children who need these services receiver them across a wide range of settings. Most often within their school classroom, in a small group setting, and through assistive technology and other methods to make the educational system accessible.
Special Education is guided by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act). The procedures are highly organizes, legal in nature, and are meant to provide you with the assurance of the special measures your child needs to access an education. This is a collaborative model and parents need to be involved with the process and also involved with the decisions. Having a good rapport with teachers, directors, and working to make sure that appropriate measurement are in place can be a gratifying experience. Providing FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) is our goal and that we are able to provide it in LRE (least restrictive environment) is important. Sometimes making these decisions are hard work, take patience, and demand that we work together for the benefit of the child.
The Special Education on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction offers much information on the process, criteria and the rights you have as parents.