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When is it too late to seek school services?


EmilyM

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A family I'm working with purely as a random teacher is in a bind.

The student in question is 19 years old and only has an 8th grade education. School was difficult to attend due to behavior issues contributing to lack of attendance and one year of simply not registering.

The family admits they dropped the ball, but also lately have begun to suspect a disability. 

The question is if a possible disability was obvious enough that the school system should have stepped in.

Despite the age, I am aware services can go to the 22nd birthday. No high school will accept the student, but if there is a disability, what are the odds of retroactively getting an IEP for the next few years? 

If not, what options are there for a kid who slipped through the cracks?

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You are correct that Child Find is on the school so they should be identifying students with disabilities and requesting that parents sign a PTE so they can do an evaluation.  I have seen where a student's needs were no properly identified and the student graduated and they did come back & get an IEP & services.  Not sure if an attorney is needed to move forward with a situation like this.  (Most do offer a free 15 min consult.)

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I agree to seek an attorney's input on this....because you'd be seeking comp ed, if they child went through an entire academic career without needed supports.

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So... The family is consulting with an advocate right now, may talk to an attorney to get an idea of where to go.

The schools (yes, multiple, it's a lousy situation and the family admits this) say the young man attended too infrequently and unevenly for them to have been able to observe him enough for suspecting a learning disability. Plus some of this was during COVID and truancy laws and followups were all over the place.

New question: does the family have any wiggle room if they're getting slammed with "you didn't send him to school"?

If nothing else, they have found information for our state's adult education programs.

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On 5/24/2023 at 3:44 PM, EmilyM said:

New question: does the family have any wiggle room if they're getting slammed with "you didn't send him to school"?

I'm curious if you got any follow-up on this. 

I don't think the family has much defense if the schools truly didn't see the student enough to observe and suspect a disability and it was the family's fault the student wasn't attending. 

And I am aware that a disability could result in school refusal and it's sad  no one thought of that in time. I think many families just don't know what they don't know. 

I'm glad they're at least trying adult education. They may be able to get help through them.

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3 hours ago, Backroads said:

I'm curious if you got any follow-up on this. 

I don't think the family has much defense if the schools truly didn't see the student enough to observe and suspect a disability and it was the family's fault the student wasn't attending. 

And I am aware that a disability could result in school refusal and it's sad  no one thought of that in time. I think many families just don't know what they don't know. 

I'm glad they're at least trying adult education. They may be able to get help through them.

Last I heard the family couldn't get a case together. 😞 They're going the adult ed route.

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When a student doesn't attend school, the assumption for any educational delays is that they were not there to get instruction which is why are delayed.  You are right that proving a disability caused school refusal is tough to do.  If the family can afford to, my suggestion is a neuropsych eval.  Some insurances will cover this.  I've also heard of due process after a student has graduated.  If the school's lack of Child Find caused the school refusal, there could be a case.  With adult ed, disabilities need to be accommodated for so having an evaluation on which to base the accommodations the students needs would be helpful.  I wish this student & their family luck in getting a GED & it opening doors to being a gainfully employed and productive adult.

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