Once the psycho-educational evaluation of your son or daughter is complete (See this post for more details on getting an evaluation), if a disability is found the next step will be to have a school meeting to determine if that disability significantly impacts his or her educational performance. That sounds simple enough, but can actually be a great sticking point, particularly for gifted and disabled students. I covered that topic in detail in an article reprinted on the ISER web site. One thing is for sure that a student does not have to be failing in order to qualify for a 504 Plan or IEP, as many school districts would like you to believe.
If you disagree with a school districts’ evaluation because it’s inadequate or inaccurate, you have the right under federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to request an Independent Educational Evaluation. – that is, a private evaluation at public expense. If the school district refuses to grant an I.E.E., they must sue you in administrative court to prove that their evaluation is appropriate.
If the evaluation shows that he or she has any type of disability which impacts his educational performance (according to school district standards, of course), the student will get an I.E.P. or a 504 Plan. Then the IEP or 504 Team, which includes a parent, discusses what accommodations would be necessary for your child to be successful in school. Here are some of the questions the team may ask: How independent is the student in completing assignments?; Can the student be expected to use the same kind of books as others students?; Would a peer buddy help?; Does the child need physical/occupational supports – such as a slant board, foot rest or weighted blanket?
For a detailed list of types of accommodations, go to this web site FAPE and click on the document entitled “School Accommodations and Modifications.”