Does My Child Need to Be in Special Education?

There are different reasons why a student may be referred to special education. A child qualifies for special education when they:

  • Have a disability and

  • Their disability affects their school performance and

  • Their needs cannot be met in general education

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities"

How Do I Get My Student(s) Tested?

Washington County School District Policy:

When parent(s), adult student, or school staff member suspects a student may have a disability, a request for an initial evaluation may be made through the following referral procedure:

  • Teachers document results of classroom instruction and intervention 

  • The person making the referral/request for initial evaluation completes and signs a referral form. 

  • The referral form is given to the Administrator, who reviews existing data on the student and determines if the referral should go forward for a full evaluation.

  • If it is decided that the evaluation should take place, the Administrator assigns a staff member to oversee/conduct the evaluation, including obtaining the parental or adult student consent.

  • If the referral is not going to result in a full evaluation, the Principal/Administrator sends the parent a Written Prior Notice of Refusal to conduct an evaluation.

  • Washington County School District responds to each request for evaluation within a reasonable timeframe.

Mountain Range
Mountain

How is My Student Evaluated for Special Education?

Washington County Policy States:

  • Review of Existing Data:

    • ​​When conducting an initial evaluation, the case manager gathers existing data about the student's educational performance for the evaluation team to consider.

  • Administration of Additional Assessments:

    • A variety of assessments are used to gather relevant information about the student as indicated on the Consent for Evaluation form. This information will help in determining whether the student has a disability as well as their educational needs.

Below are the Different Evaluations

Academic
Measures a student's current reading, math, written expression, and academic readiness skills
Adaptive
Measures a student's personal independence and social functioning in school, home, and community. Tests include ABAS, BASC, SSIS, and Conner's Behavior Rating Scale.
Communication
Measures a student's ability to understand, relate to, and use language and speech appropriately. 
Functional Behavior Assessment
Identifies problem behavior that may result in a Behavior Intervention plan.
Hearing
Tests a student's hearing acuity and middle ear function
Intellectual / Cognitive
Also known as an IQ test, it measures a student's ability to remember what was seen/heard, the ability to solve problems, and the student's learning rate.
Motor
Tests for large and small muscle coordination, mobility, self-help, and accessibility.
Observation
Observation of the student in classrooms, lunchroom, playground, and other common areas to collect data on functioning.
Psychomotor
Assesses how well a student perceives, processes motorically, and remembers visual and auditory information; the test may also assess large and small muscle coordination.
Social / Behavioral
Assesses a student's personal independence and social functioning in school, home, and community as well as behavioral patterns. Tests include BASC, ASRS, GARS, GADS, ADOS, and CARS. 
Transition
Identifies career strengths, limitations, and interests as well as living skills, work skills, habits, attitudes, and preferences.
Vision
Tests a student's visual acuity, visual processing ability, and mobility skills.