In order to determine whether a disability is suspected, a team that includes school district staff, AEA staff, and the child’s parents consider all the available information to determine if the child meets one of the three conditions described below.
According to the Area Education Agency Special Education Procedures (July 1, 2012), these are the three situations in which a disability is suspected:
- The child has a diagnosis of a condition that is specifically listed in IDEA’s disability categories or is clearly included within one of IDEA’s disability categories, and the condition has a discernible, adverse effect on educational performance.
- There are data to suggest that the child has received high-quality instruction, and the child’s performance is not meeting standards, is unique when compared to peers, and can’t be explained by other, more plausible, factors.
- There are data to suggest that the child has received high-quality instruction, and the child is meeting standards or progressing toward meeting standards with the provision or targeted or intensive interventions, and may require ongoing and substantial resources.
When the team considers the evidence and suspects a student has a disability based on meeting one of the three criteria above, they must seek parental consent for an initial evaluation.
An AEA staff person must be involved in this decision, and they must complete the Disability Suspected form.