Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Educational Services for Children with Special Healthcare Needs

05/08/2017 | Published by: Becky Tarwater

Every school district is required to assess children for school services. Many children with disabilities or special health care needs qualify for services through Special Education or Section 504. Here are ways families can work with their school district to get educational services for their children, starting with an evaluation.

If you think your child qualifies for school services, you may ask for an evaluation. It is best to make the request in a letter. The letter should include your request for an evaluation and a limit of 5 school days for the school to set up an appointment for you to sign a consent. The timeline starts once you have signed the consent. The school has 60 calendar days to complete the testing. If you do not agree with the results, you may ask the school for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)—to be paid for by the school.

You will meet with the school in an ARD meeting to decide if your child qualifies for special education services. If you and the school do not agree, you may ask for mediation or due process through Texas Education Agency. If you have questions about that process, call the TEA Parent Hotline number at 512-463-9720. If the school district asks to stop your child’s special education services, and you do not agree, you may also request mediation or due process.

It is important to learn ways to help get your child get what they need. These quick tips may help.

  • Always put requests in writing
  • Save all paperwork
  • Keep a notebook for your child’s records
  • Make a “diary” or log of all school communication
  • Learn the laws
  • Talk with other parents about strategies
  • “No” is not always the final answer
  • Keep trying!

Remember that schools and families can work together and that parents are the best experts on their children. 

For more information about Texas Special Education Legal Framework to


Read More Posts from Education & Schools

Strategies to Improve the IEP Planning Process & Educational Outcomes for Your Child

Learn strategies to create a vision for your child’s future and help them achieve that vision using the Individual Education Program IEP process.

The Value of Knowing What You Don’t Know

There is no truer statement than "You don't know what you don't know." But what is the impact of not knowing? If your child has a disability, the value of knowing what you don't know could be life changing!

ARD 101: Before a Meeting

Planning in advance for your child's Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meeting may make the process go more smoothly and make you feel more comfortable as your child's school advocate.