As the kids head back to school, consent forms will be filling up their backpacks. When you have a kid with special needs you also get a lot of “special” forms. Parents – you and your child have rights regarding these forms. You don’t just have to sign your name and in some cases your rights away. Pay attention to what you are signing. You must be informed. Let’s review.
Evaluation Planning Form – signature indicates you were at the planning meeting. It does not imply agreement or disagreement with the plan.
Consent for Evaluation – signature indicates you agree to your child being evaluated for special education services. Note: Evaluators outside of the district should have their own consent forms. You can request information from them so you can give informed consent see below:
1. Know who is evaluating – background/licensure is this person qualified to evaluate the child for the suspected disability?
2. What evaluation are they using? Is it objective and data driven regarding the area(s) of disability?
3. When and where is the evaluation taking place? Setting and time of day can influence evaluation results.
4. Why is your child being evaluated? What is the suspected disability? Are they conducting all of the appropriate evaluations?
5. How is your child being evaluated?
Signing the IEP form. There is NO DEADLINE for the parent to sign the form – never let them rush you. Also, you don’t have to sign you agree, you can sign you disagree and the district will still implement the IEP.
Parents, you can write your own terms on these consent forms. You can write I give consent for this, but not this. Make sure your notes are clear and respectful. You are the project manager of your child’s education therefore you need to manage the flow of information so that the team has all of the appropriate information to make educational decisions for your child.
Always get copies of everything you sign at the meeting or make copies of everything you sign/send to the district with dates.