Special Education Eligibility Case Study

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Special education eligibility is governed by IDEA, but there are no fixed guidelines for determining who is eligible for special education. This is an essential notion to understand. It means that under IDEA, the IEP team has the flexibility to decide if a child will be eligible for services. IDEA gives qualified children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 the right to a free appropriate public education (Ed.gov, 2016). Although a child 's doctor identified them with a disability that is not enough, the school has its own procedure to see if he or she qualifies for special education services. This paper will discuss the issues that plague special education eligibility, which include; who qualifies and when do we qualify. These two issues …show more content…
This information will be included with the data gathered through the referral process and any additional assessments needed to determine eligibility. Determination of eligibility must not rely on a single measure, but consider all the information gathered in the educational evaluation report to determine special education and services. Most parents believe that a doctor’s diagnosis is enough for their child to receive services, unfortunately, it is not. IDEA allows data collected from RTI to be used in determining specific learning disabilities. Data is gathered through observations, assessments, and the RTI process all must show that a student is adversely affected in their education performance to qualify under one of the thirteen categories of disabilities under IDEA. Controversies are present within certain disability classifications as well as across general eligibility measures. There are three categories of disability that have presented to be problematic: specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and other health impaired (Bateman, Lloyd, Tankersley, 2015). In 2012-2013 6.4 million students ages 3-21 were receiving special education services (U.S Department of Education, 2016). This is a daunting number and one that requires a process that makes sure that a student needs the help …show more content…
It really depends on the child and their specific situation. Fortunately, IDEA was written to support this flexibility. Making a recommendation for special education services, for students who are struggling in the general classroom should be well-thought-out and all support services available to all students should be implemented. If a student continues to encounter complications in the general education after the delivery of interventions, the student should be referred for a full and individual initial evaluation. Providing special education programs and services at appropriate times helps prepare a student with a disability to engage in their academic setting sooner and be ready to learn. Eligibility contains too many variables to be molded into a format that would cover all students equally. For now, as special educators, we have to do our best to identify as soon as possible after exhausting all resources

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