A multidisciplinary team consisting of the parent, a classroom teacher, special education teachers, and others will meet to determine your child’s eligibility for special education services. If your child is attending a private school, a similar team should meet to develop an academic plan and special services. The team should determine a plan that spells out your child’s unique educational goals and ways to meet them in the “least restrictive environment.” Some helpful hints:
- Parents must be assertive. Make sure the plan spells out exactly how the school will help your child meet his or her specific goals.
- Ask for team meetings whenever you think they’re necessary to monitor your child’s progress and make changes to the plan. Keep notes of all meetings if you need to. Afterwards, write the team a thank you note along with a synopsis of what went on at the meeting, just to make sure you’re all on the same page.
- If there’s any disagreement or impasse, you don’t have to go it alone. Free and low-cost education advocates and attorneys are available to attend team meetings with you throughout the year.
- Cooperation is key, but doesn’t always work. Know the laws and how to use them.
Sometimes special education isn’t the best choice for your child. Talk to friends and call local ADHD support groups for referrals to the appropriate schools and teachers.