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Special Education Articles: Learning Disabled Articles: Getting Your Child Tested For Special Education Services

How Do I Get My Child Tested For Special Education Services?

Author: Carl Bendroff, M.Ed.

Parents of special needs students, prepare yourselves for the new school year. If you have questions about whether your child is placed properly, or whether your child is getting all the services needed, then request testing by the school psychologist ASAP . If your child is a hard working student who, despite genuine efforts, is not understanding many of the concepts, is getting poor grades, or appears to be lagging behind his grade level by at least two years, then your child may qualify for adjustments in the educational program. Note: Children who are doing poorly due to poor study habits will not be considered for special education classes.

Testing by the school psychologist will determine whether a special program may be beneficial to your child. Initiate the testing procedure by writing a letter to the school psychologist, requesting assessment to determine whether your child qualifies for special education. Hand-deliver this letter to the district office, or to the principal at your child's school. Expect to receive a "Request to Assess" form within 2 weeks. The school is required to send this form describing the tests the various school specialists will be giving your child. Immediately sign and deliver this form to the school. Upon receipt, the school staff has up to 50 calendar days to assess your child. The school psychologist will then set up an appointment to discuss the results of the assessment and offer recommendations, if any.


Carl Bendroff received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1980. By 1982, Carl earned three California teaching credentials from UCSB: a Multiple Subject credential to teach in a regular education classroom, a Learning Handicapped, and a Severely Handicapped Teaching credential to teach Special Education. He also earned a Masters Degree in Education from UCSB. Since 1983, Carl has taught a special day class for the seriously emotionally disturbed in the public school setting. The students in this setting may also experience learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder with/without hyperactivity, behavior disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. Carl has developed successful teaching strategies to maximize the learning potential of each student.

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