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Primary ASD school eligibility question


Laurel
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 Hi I need some resource information or guidance please!  My son has ASD and ADHD but the school said they won’t put ASD as his primary eligibility because he doesn’t qualify for “academic ASD” but his doctors have sent in numerous letters advocating for this.
 
The public school in Arizona says it doesn’t matter that he has ASD medically and I have to wait until his next MET 1.5 years away and go through the school testing at that time again. They said he didn’t qualify academically for ASD eligibility which is a different criteria. 
 
I am stuck if I ever want to apply for ESA funding to switch to a private school from public. 
 
Help! 😅 Any advice? 
 
Thanks. 
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If you go to the DSM - the book doctors use to diagnose things like autism - you'll get a definition of autism.  If you go to IDEA - the rules that govern school IEPs - you'll get a definition of autism.  The definitions aren't the same.  Guess which definition the school uses?  If you guessed the one in IDEA, go to the head of the class.  They do not have doctors in schools so they don't use the medical definition.

There are educational providers who can do a school eval & use the IDEA definition.  This is the person whose letter the school might follow.  Yes, might.  Schools only have to consider an outside eval.  I wish I had a better answer for you.

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My state has an Autism Scholarship Program and separate scholarship program for children with disabilities (which could include autism, but the Autism Scholarship provides more $). Reach out to the AZ Dept. of Education, ask about their Empowerment Scholarship Account Program, and ask if there are any other scholarship programs that could assist a child with a medical diagnosis of autism, but an educational diagnosis on the IEP of (other health impairment, multiple disabilities- whatever the school chose). 

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I would look at his previous school evaluations to see if they did indeed perform evaluations to assess his eligibility for educational ASD. Your state regulations should have the exact criteria they look for. If they didn't do a full evaluation, I would request an evaluation in writing. You do not need to wait until the next re-evaluation date. You can ask for additional evaluations at any time, especially if there have been changes in academics, behavior, social skills since the last evaluation. Unfortunately I don't have any additional information about the ESA funding. I tried to look information up for you on the AZ Department of Ed website and their site is down. 

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Michigan mother of two with IEPs, and owner of MI Student Advocacy Services. Trying to change the world one IEP at a time. 

 

 

 

 

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