I decided to contact the local school system to see if my 8 yearold dd might use speech services as visiting student (we are in NC). I have up-to-date evals that indicate language deficit, probably dyslexia. I have been advised that she needs speech therapy for language/narrative/expressive/auditory memory/ etc. The system SLP says that her evals indicate that her issues are with reading and would need to be addressed with the reading resource teacher (which is not available to homeschoolers). Also, she would need to be evaluated through RTI (which can't happen as a homeschooler).
A friend has advised that Federal law upholds the right of a parent to request an eval INSTEAD of the response to intervention procedure and I could fight for my right to request an eval in lieu of RTI and that this is especially important given that my child is home-schooled and, thus, there is no opportunity to observe her response to intervention within the classroom. I am wondering if it is worth the fight? Any thoughts? Pros, cons, experiences? Thanks
the following exerpt is from link: http://www.decodingdyslexianc.org/?page_id=1152.
Another regulation addressing initial evaluations in all situations also serves to emphasize that “either a parent or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability” (see IDEA 2004, 34 C.F.R. § 300.301(b)). The United States Department of Education (ED) commentary accompanying the regulation indicates that the same timelines and procedures applicable to all initial evaluations would apply to evaluations involving students with potential LDs (see IDEA 2004 Consent for Initial Evaluations, 2006). The only exception to the regular timelines to complete evaluations is in situations where the school staff and parents mutually agree in writing to extend the timeline, ostensibly to allow additional time for interventions to proceed. The USED commentary also reminds us that interventions can be provided during the weeks while the evaluation is conducted, a point made in response to concerns that parents, by requesting evaluation, could “short-circuit” or opt out of the intervention process (and in the commentary, ED stated that “if parents request an evaluation and provide consent, the timeframe for evaluation begins and the information required in §300.309(b) must be collected (if it does not already exist) before the end of that period”; IDEA 2004 Consent for Initial Evaluations, 2006). In sum, however, the referral scheme under IDEA’s federal regulations respects the parent’s right to request an evaluation with no specialized exception for circumstances where the school is attempting high-quality research-based interventions.Indeed, the current legal framework makes little concession to the expanding universe of regular education interventions available in an increasing number of public schools. Although schools can, technically, refuse to refer the student, they must then provide parents with written notice of refusal and notice of IDEA procedural safeguards (since parents must be informed that they can challenge the school’s refusal to evaluate the student). This course of action also creates the possibility that the school will face a failure-to-identify legal action challenging the refusal to evaluate. If the parents can prove that there are reasonable grounds to suspect disability and the need for special education services (admittedly not a high threshold), then the school will lose the case, will be ordered to evaluate the student, and will likely be liable for the parents’ attorneys’ fees.Against this backdrop, one would think schools would be treading quite cautiously in addressing referral questions, particularly when faced with parents’ requests for evaluation. The emerging court cases, however, demonstrate otherwise. Unfortunately, some persistent and inaccurate notions may be at work in how schools observe child-find under IDEA in the modern RtI era.
Common RtI/Child-Find Misconceptions
The advent of RtI, together with the modernization of the SLD evaluation process, has given rise to some common notions and confusion spots that can lead schools awry in complying with child-find while also implementing RtI programs. Some of these misconceptions include the following:
· RtI interventions are a mandatory prerequisite to LD evaluation
· Intervention programs must be implemented for the entire period of instruction
· In tiered intervention models, all tiers must be completed prior to referral
· Data from RtI intervention programs is a mandatory part of an LD evaluation
The most entrenched misconception involves the need for RtI data as part of SLD evaluations. Although individual states may, if they wish, make the use of RtI data mandatory, the federal statute or regulations do not. Rather, the 2006 regulation allows for part of the evaluation to include a determination of whether a child responded to high-quality research-based interventions, but it does not require it (see IDEA 2004, 34 C.F.R. § 300.309(a)(2)(i); see also Memorandum to State Directors of Special Education, 2011; Alexandria Comm. Sch. Corp., 2010; and Meridian Sch. Dist., 2010. Indeed, from a practical standpoint, the regulation could not have possibly required such a determination, since many schools would have been unprepared to fully implement such intervention programs at that time. This is why the regulation also contains an option for an assessment-based determination based on patterns of strengths and weaknesses in assessment scores instead of the RtI determination option (see IDEA 2004, 34 C.F.R. §300.309(a)(2)(ii)).