What do I do if I think my child has a disability?

As a parent of a child with a disability you have a long list of rights and privileges that are guaranteed to you. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these right prior to beginning an IEP or 504 process in order to ensure you are fully aware of what should be taking place and when with regards to your child’s educational needs.

One of the most frightening possibilities is having a child with a disability. This is truly only scary because most parents have never experienced the challenges of having a child with a disability and the fear of the unknown becomes present. Before you head out and book the best Occupational Therapists in the area and buy all the equipment you feel might be necessary to actually assist your child, you need to take a variety of steps in order to be certain your child has a disability.

The steps you need to take include:

  • Talking to your child’s doctor or pediatrician
  • Talk to your child’s teacher
  • Contact your local Regional Center
  • Talk to the school nurse, speech therapist, or other educational specialist
  • Contact your local school district (the school psychologist, school principal, and/or director of special education)
  • Contact your local SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) Community Advisory Committee (CAC), and /or Family Resource Center(FRC)

Starting with the pediatrician will help to discover if there is a medically based disorder present, but the inclusion of any number of the experts listed can assist in the discovery of a disability or a learning deficiency. If you discover your child has a disability you will then be able to start the path toward and IEP or 504 plan in order to provide your child with all the necessary assistance and accommodations to help them grow, develop and become the most advanced they can possibly be.