Requesting an eligibility determination meeting and evaluation
Once your child has been diagnosed with an eosinophilic associated disorder (EAD), the following steps should be taken to initiate supports in the school.
- Send a letter to the school requesting an eligibility determination meeting. You can use the sample template found here to personalize your letter. The letter can be sent as an attachment to an email or via certified mail.
- Gather and organize medical documents to support your child’s diagnosis. Some districts will accept letters from doctors while others will also request that a medical form be completed. At a minimum, the letter should include the disability, the impact of the disability on a life function, how the disability may impact the child at school, and educationally relevant recommendations including what precautions must be taken to keep the child safe in school. A document for medical providers that includes recommendations can be found here.
- If it is suspected that your child may experience additional educational impacts above and beyond the medical aspects of his or her experience with the eosinophilic disorder, request a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation to look at cognitive functioning, social and behavioral adaptive aptitude, academic achievement, visual motor functioning, and speech/language development. You can use the sample template found here to personalize your letter. The letter can be sent as an attachment to an email or via certified mail. It is often helpful to send the eligibility determination meeting request and evaluation request at the same time if you intend to do both.
Some states and local school districts require a full evaluation process in order to determine the full extent of supports, services, and interventions needed for a child to receive a “Free and Appropriate Education.” When requesting your eligibility determination meeting, be sure to include that you want to complete any additional consent forms required for the initiation of the process at the meeting to avoid further delay.
Federal guidelines provide that evaluations must be completed within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. Some states have shorter timelines. Request a copy of your local school district’s evaluation policy to confirm the expected deadlines. It is important to note that if the school refuses to provide an evaluation at your request, they must provide you with written denial including the reasons for denial, otherwise known as Prior Written Notice. If you are not granted an evaluation, be sure to request a written notice of the denied request if the school does not immediately provide one.
Should my child have a 504 Plan or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)?
- If your child’s disorder/disability does not negatively impact your child’s educational performance, but meets all other eligibility criteria (see Eligibility Under Section 504), then the child qualifies for a 504 plan.
- If your child’s disorder/disability does have an impact on his/her educational performance (including social, emotional, and behavioral) and meets all eligibility criteria, then you should pursue eligibility for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Next: Section 504 Eligibility
Authored by Jennifer Cardenas, The Right to Learn, http://therighttolearn.net/.©2012, The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.