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Special Education: Protecting Your Child, Protecting Your Rights

October 2016

If you think your child needs special education services, this guide can help you have your child evaluated to see what services are needed. You will also learn how to help make sure your child gets the services he or she needs to do well in school.

Si usted cree que su niño necesita servicios de educación especial, esta guía le puede ayudar para que su hijo sea evaluado para determinar qué servicios son necesarios. También aprenderá como asegurarse de que su niño reciba los servicios que él o ella necesita para hacer bien en la escuela.

What is an evaluation?

An evaluation is a way to gather information about your child that will help you and the school to make important decisions about your child's education.

The school usually cannot evaluate your child without your written permission. If you don’t want your child to be evaluated, you can say no.

Before you sign the form agreeing to have your child evaluated, read it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The school may evaluate the child’s

  • intelligence;
  • motor skills;
  • behavior;
  • mental health;
  • speech or language; and
  • hearing, vision, or physical health.


  • Evaluations must be given in the child's native language or way of communicating (for example, sign language).
  • They must not discriminate against the child’s race, culture, or disability.
  • They must be free for the child’s parent or guardian.
  • The results of the evaluations may not be shared with anyone outside of the team unless you agree in writing.

What happens after the evaluation is finished?

After the evaluation is done, another PPT meeting will be held so the team can look at the results and decide if your child should get special education services.

If the PPT decides your child is eligible for special education, the team’s next steps are to identify your child's needs and to decide what services your child needs.

If the PPT decides your child is not eligible for special education, the school must tell you in writing and give you information about what to do if you disagree with the decision.

What if the school won’t evaluate my child or I disagree with the school’s evaluations?

The Planning and Placement Team

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