In Texas, an estimated one in eight public schools offers special education services and programs. Regardless of your child’s needs, a number of courses have been developed to better assist with one’s learning capabilities and overall skillset. Since 1975, Texas has served the educational needs of disabled children all across the state.
Determining If Your Child Requires Special Education
Enrolling your disabled child in a school with special education services is key to his or her academic growth and bright future. In order to determine what type of education your child needs, school officials in your area will review several records to develop the best, age-appropriate program. The state may ask to look at documentation that includes the following:
- Your child’s discipline reports and progress reports
- Report cards, teacher notes and achievement tests
- Reports and evaluations conducted by the school district
- Reports and official notes from your child’s physician
- Summary of your child’s performance and behavior
Make sure to keep a copy of all these records in your possession, so that you can easily present them to school officials when asked.
How to Enroll Your Child in Special Education
- If a child is suspected to have a disability, either a school professional or a parent can refer him or her to special education services. In order to determine whether or not the child is eligible, a referral process between the appropriate parties will commence. However, an evaluation process cannot move forward without a parent’s consent in writing.
- Upon full consent, an individual initial testing will begin to help decide what kind of special services (if any) your child needs. By law, the school has up to 60 days to complete this process. Thereafter, the parent will be contacted to come in for an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting.
- If the committee determines that a special education program is the right solution for your child, they will then put together an education program that he or she can benefit from. Bear in mind that you must give your written consent for a school to provide special education services to your young learner.
- An Individual Education Program (IEP) is then created for the student, confirming the agreement between both the parent and school about the proper educational services he or she will receive. Your child’s IEP will be reviewed on a yearly basis, as long as he or she requires special education.
It is important to keep in mind that you should not hesitate to request parent-teacher conferences as many times as you see fit for your child. By attending these special meetings, you will be able to keep track of your child’s progress and any areas of improvement that need to be focused on.
For more information about special education rules and regulations in Texas, send your written request to the following address:
Texas Education Agency Division of Federal and State Education Agency 1701 North Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701
You can also speak to a TEA representative by phone when you call 512-463-9414.