Eligibility for special education is determined through the evaluation process. The evaluation is initiated by either school personnel or the parent and can only occur after the parent has provided permission.
Once permission has been received, the student will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team which is assembled based on the suspected disability. Members of this team typically include a school psychologist, general education teacher and special education teacher. Often speech pathologists, occupational and/or physical therapists, behavior and/or autism consultants also participate. The purpose of this evaluation is to gather as much information about the student first to determine whether or not he/she meets the guidelines as a student with a disability under Indiana Article 7, and second to identify student strengths and areas of need. The actual determination of eligibility is made by a case conference committee which is comprised the parent and members of the multidisciplinary team.
If the student is identified as a student with a disability and found to be eligible for special education services, the case conference committee develops the individualized education plan (IEP). This plan is based on identified student strengths and addresses areas of need. At least once a year, the case conference committee is reconvened to review the plan and make necessary adjustments.
If you have concerns that your child may be eligible for special education services, contact the principal of the school your child attends to discuss whether or not a referral would be appropriate.