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What permissions are required when your child turns 18 and is still in school?


Cat N-S
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My son will be 18 in a little more than 6 months and will still be in school past turning 19.  What are the necessary steps/permissions to make sure I'm kept in the loop with his IEP?  I'm hoping to make this transition as smooth as possible.

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My answer to you depends on a couple of things. One, are you planning to apply for guardianship? Two, what state are you in? Typically, when a student turns 18, educational rights transfer to the student. So they are the ones that will be invited to IEP meetings, give consent for evaluations/reevaluations, etc. However, not all states transfer all rights to the student. I would recommend looking up the rules in your state and/or posting where you are and seeing if someone in the group knows.If you are appointed the guardian for your child, you would typically retain educational legal rights. However there are pros and cons to obtaining guardianship as well. 

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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There should be an agency available and even possibly assigned to you, to assist with this.

Every state has one P&A agency, and most of them are named "Disability Rights State Name." Start there and ask.

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I live in PA & the IEP says that the age of majority for special ed is 21 so nothing is needed to stay in the loop with a child's IEP here.  Other states are different & this happens at 18.  I am not a lawyer but I have studied business law.  In order to sign a contract of any sort & an IEP is a contract, a person has to be competent for the contract to be valid.  Individuals who are under guardianship (not sure if this is also true with a conservatorship) are not competent & cannot sign paperwork.  In this case, a guardian would be the go to person to OK the IEP.  The school should want a copy of the paperwork that shows this.  People who are competent can give away their right to have a voice in things by signing a Power of Attorney.  There are POA that are free online but these might not do what you want so getting a professional to draft a POA is a good idea.  Given this is from a business law perspective, I encourage you to talk to someone who is a lawyer & works with families who have disabled children and know the law in your state.  Most lawyers will provide a free 15 min consult.

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In VA the DOE has a down loadable Educational POA.  Also can use the Disability Rights VA to get free legal advice.  You will want to read your Procedural Safeguards Notice given at your IEP meeting.  The online versions should have imbedded links for specific info on how a young person can give parents the ability to remain engaged in the IEP process.    

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