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My 3 year old’s pediatrician and his preschool teacher referred him to our IU for assessment. It was performed and his teacher told me “the evaluator saw signs but she wasn’t sure if it was enough to qualify him for services.”
 

how does this work? Why wouldn’t the evaluator know if it’s enough to qualify? Isn’t that her job? Does she need to take it to a superior to see if he qualifies? I’m looking for information on how this process works. Can anyone help?

if they deem he doesn’t qualify, do I have any rights to pursue it in some way since it was his doctor and teacher that referred him? I believe he needs supports. 

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Forgive my ignorance, but what does "IU" refer to?  And when you say "our IU," I take it you mean s/he is an evaluator within the school district and therefore you consented to an evaluation being performed by the school district?  If so, I would assume at this point you should be invited to a meeting to determine eligibility.  The evaluator alone would not determine eligibility.  But I'm not in PA.  I would reach out to someone in the school district who is over their Early Childhood Special Education program and ask what the next steps are after the evaluation is complete.

If after the meeting he is deemed not to qualify, I would assume you have the right to request an IEE, but I am not familiar with early childhood IEP's.  At a minimum, you should receive procedural safeguards from the school district setting forth your rights.  Ask for those.  You could also reach out to the PA State Department of Education and ask for their policy/guidelines for preschoolers showing signs of a disability. 

Under the IDEA, the requirements for an IEP are:

1) The child is at least three years old;

2) The evaluation shows a disability or developmental delay; and

3) Special education services are needed to address the disability or delay before the child enters Kindergarten.

 

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It is not the job of the evaluator to determine if a student qualifies for an IEP or not.  (I'm also not sure why someone moderating the PA specific group isn't aware that an IU is an Intermediate Unit and that most of the 500 school districts in PA contract with the IUs to provide preschool sp ed services.)  Carolyn Rowlett is wrong when she says you should have gone to the school district.  What you did is the correct procedure in PA.  You will not find a preschool sp ed person in your school district because most of the districts in PA (I think there are 4 that do their own preschool sp ed) have contracts for the IUs to do this.

The eval needs to be completed within 60 days of when you signed the PTE allowing your child to be evaluated.  The next step is a meeting to go over the eval report.  This should happen 10 days after you get a copy of the report and within 30 days of the report being completed.  If the team going over the report decides that your child's disability makes them eligible for an IEP (you are a member of this team - be sure to go to the meeting), an IEP meeting will be scheduled (it's often held right after the eligibility meeting since the team is already there at the eligibility meeting).

You can request an IEE at school expense with preschool sp ed.  In PA, that works the same as school age IEPs.

This links to preschool sp ed procedural safeguards in PA:  https://www.pattan.net/Forms/Procedural-Safeguards-Notice-Preschool-Early-I-1

The other thing that PA has is Medicaid for children (anyone under 18) who have a disability.  If your child doesn't qualify for school services, you can get documentation from the doctor and apply for Medicaid for your child.  Medicaid will cover therapies and there is no limit like employer insurance often has.  This links to the Medicaid application:  https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/Apply-for-Benefits.aspx  Be sure to check YES for the question if your household has a disabled family member.  (You will be asked for proof of income but they shouldn't look at that since you are applying under PH-95.)  Also, Medicaid is an HMO & you will need to go to a participating provider to have things covered.

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