Referral for special education services can be described as an information gathering process in which the student’s communication skills, hearing, vision, language preference, sociological information, health information, behavioral history, attendance, prior years’ state-mandated testing results, class participation, grades, and results of response-to-intervention strategies are considered.

Once this information gathering is completed, a full and individual evaluation (FIE) is conducted. Diagnostic evaluations in the schools are provided for several areas of suspected disabilities, including learning disabilities, speech and language development, physical impairments, vision or hearing problems, cognitive disabilities, emotional disturbances, autism, health disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. After assessment personnel have performed appropriate individualized evaluations, a report called the Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) will be written.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires school districts to evaluate students suspected of having a disability to determine the student’s eligibility to receive specialized services. The thirteen disability conditions include:

· Autism

· Deaf-blindness

· Auditory Impairment

· Emotional Disturbance

· Intellectual Disability

· Multiple Disabilities

· Orthopedic Impairment

· Other Health Impairment

· Learning Disability

· Speech Impairment

· Traumatic Brain Injury

· Visual Impairment

· Noncategorical Early Childhood

At the completion of the FIE, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) Team meeting will be convened with parent(s) in attendance. This team determines if the student is eligible for special education as a student with a disability. If eligible, the IEP team members determine the student’s individual needs and develop an Individual Education Plan for the student. The IEP will address those services the student will receive and how the services will be implemented. For more information concerning eligibility criteria and referral procedures, contact the principal or counselor of your local campus or call the Special Education Department at 409-276-1337.