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I believe my child needs Special Education Services, such as an IEP, what should I do?

If you believe your child needs special services in school because of a physical, learning or emotional disability, you can request the school evaluate your child. Schools are obligated by law to identify and provide services to students who have disabilities that affect their learning in school. Be sure to:

  • Put the request in writing. Put the date on the letter and keep a copy for your records.
  • Keep all letters from the school.
  • Attach any letters or evaluations to the request from your child's doctor regarding a medical diagnosis.
  • Keep copies of all important documents such as disciplinary notices and report cards.
  • Write down a summary of all telephone calls you make, voice mail messages you leave and meetings you have.
  • Do not sign anything you do not understand or do not agree with.

If your school will not test your child, talk to a lawyer about it.

Next Steps

Visit a brief advice clinic or contact Legal Aid.

Other Resources

School Discipline: Know your Rights - School Expulsions
Pro se Forms
Glossary of Education Terms

You may be able to find an attorney who can help you by contacting:

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service
(216) 696-3532

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