Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards in Special Education. They are the same thing. They are the papers that the school district gives you at the beginning of every IEP, or should give you at the beginning of every IEP. It is usually 4-5 pages of fine print back and front stapled together.
Have you actually read it? Or understand what it means?
If you said no, you’re not alone.
Not many people have, even the lawyers!
Don’t be surprised.
Even most school district administrators have not read them, nor are they required to give you a run down on what they mean.
They are extremely important because they guarantee you the following:-
That you as the parent have the right to do three main things…
- Participate in meetings in regard to your child that involve the identification, evaluation, and educational placement and the provision of a free appropriate public education
- Examine all school records relating to your child
- Obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation of
The Notice of Procedural Safeguards is required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and must be provided to you:
- When you ask for a copy
- The first time your child is referred for a special education assessment
- Each time you are given an assessment plan to evaluate your child
- Upon receipt of the first state or due process complaint in a school year, and
- When the decision is made to make a removal that constitutes a change of placement
Sounds simple enough.
Except that so many parents feel like it’s an uphill battle.
When you know HOW to go about obtaining the basics for you child, you’re starting to know how to play the Special Education game.
With an organized approach, skilled letter writing, and requesting additional assessments, you are on your way to practicing your rights under IDEA and ensuring your child’s success.
There is more in the procedural safeguards than the 3 things listed above, including your right to complain, to file a due process hearing, and parental consent. The point is to be informed and know what your rights are.
You’re the only one who is going to bat for your child.
Time to step up to the plate.
Helen Painter MA, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist, Consultant, and Advocate located in Riverside County California. Helen helps children with disabilities reach their highest potential in learning and life. She does this by assessing individual needs, developing a plan, and guiding parents to fully access available resources as an independent advocate. Helen has performed IEEs in the past.