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My Child is Not Eligible for School-Age Special Education Services - What Now?


If your child is not found eligible for School-age Special Education services, he or she may still be able to receive some support. For school-age students, there are two other options for receiving support other than the special education system: (1) a 504 plan; and (2) Early Intervening Services.

504 Plans are part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law which gives people with disabilities greater access to services in school and in the workplace. They provide accommodations for students who qualify. Accommodations are changes that help students overcome or work around their disabilities. 504 Plans do not provide specially designed instruction.

Early Intervening Services may be provided to students who do not receive special education services, but who need some academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education setting. They are designed for students who have not received a special education evaluation and may be offered when a parent has requested a school evaluation and the school has refused to provide one.

However, if you disagree with the finding that your child is not eligible for special education services (or the school's refusal to evaluate), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) sets forth dispute resolution procedures, such as filing a Due Process Complaint, which allow you to appeal the decision to deny your child special education services.

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.