When your teen is struggling in school and you suspect that your child may have a disability, it can be an emotional experience. Meeting with your teen’s teachers is the best first step. Your child’s teachers are likely the most knowledgeable people about your child in the school.

After meeting with the teachers, we suggest that you request a meeting with the school’s intervention team. This team is called different things in many different schools. We have frequently seen these teams called: Intervention Assistance Team, RTI Team, MTSS Team or Problem Solving Teams. These teams typically will involve you, your child’s classroom teacher, grade level intervention specialist, school psychologist, guidance counselor, and building level administrator. The purpose of these teams is to analyze student data, design intervention specific to the student’s needs, set an intervention goal, and determine how progress will be monitored. Most teams have a format that will guide the meeting.

At the follow-up team meetings, which are typically held anywhere from 6-12 weeks apart to allow the team to implement the intervention and collect progress monitoring information, the team will work to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

This process and team meetings will likely occur multiple times before team can determine the most appropriate intervention for your child. While participating with your child in the intervention process, you have the right to request that your child be evaluated to determine the presence of an educational disability at any time.

It is best to put your request for an evaluation in writing and provide it to your child’s school psychologist, teacher, or principal.

Once you request an evaluation, the school has 30 days to respond to your request. While requesting an evaluation does not guarantee that the school district will conduct one, if you provide the information recommended above, it is more likely that they will have all of the information needed to reasonably suspect a disability and complete an evaluation.

Setting up the meetings is just the first step. What questions should you ask when you get there? Join our Facebook group or sign up for our newsletter to find out which questions will help you get the answers you need.

Guest blog post written by Achievement Advantage