Are you concerned about your child’s academic progress because of Migraine? Does he or she struggle with school attendance or completing assignments because of Migraine? If so, consider that there’s an established process for accessing special education services for students Migraine.
Set them up for success!
We all want to give our kids the best chance for success. If Migraine is interfering with your child’s academic progress, special education services, such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan may provide accommodations essential to their educational success.
- No penalty for absences or tardies due to Migraine symptoms
- Flexible due dates and no grade penalty for late work
- Permission to wear sunglasses, a hat, or FL-41 tinted glasses
- Permission to wear earplugs or headphones
- Ability to rest in a quiet, comfortable room during an attack
- Ability to leave the classroom quickly and independently in case of vomiting
- Older teens may be allowed to keep acute medication with them during the school day
- Access to water and light snacks throughout the day
- Note-taking service during absences or visual disturbances
- Tutoring services or home-based instruction in the event of extended absence or hospitalization
- Alternate testing (quiet room, verbal instead of written, etc.)
- Exemption from pep rallies or assemblies that may trigger attacks
Legal protections for student with disabilities
All U.S. public schools are required to provide every qualified student with “a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.” This right is protected by two federal laws:
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) addresses the responsibilities of schools to children with physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses disability discrimination in general.
Under both laws, disabled students are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, free of discrimination. This is accomplished through the implementation of either:
- Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are regulated by IDEA.
- 504 Plans are regulated by Section 504 of the ADA.
Benefits of an IEP or 504 Plan
- Gives students with disabilities a fair chance to fully benefit from public education
- Reduces the risk of academic failure
- Facilitates the development of self-esteem and self-confidence
- Facilitates the transition to work or to higher education
- Facilitates access to university or college disability services.
Requesting an evaluation
- Your student is entitled to one evaluation per school year.
- Requests for evaluations must be submitted in writing.
- The school is required to obtain your consent and begin the evaluation or explain in writing why they decline.
- You have the right to appeal the decision.
- The appeals process must be explained in writing and may vary with each school district.
- Once you start the process, it is important that you follow through to get services as quickly as possible.
- The school psychologist or social worker will contact you for written permission to begin the evaluation process, typically within 30 days of initial request.
The evaluation process
- The school has 60 days to begin its evaluation after receiving signed consent.
- A variety of methods may be used to evaluate your child:
- academic and disciplinary records
- standardized testing results
- psychological testing
- medical records
- mental health records
- When the evaluation is complete, you and your child will be invited to an IEP meeting, where the results of the evaluation will be discussed and eligibility determined.
- You may invite anyone you desire to participate in the final evaluation, including outside professionals such as doctors, counselors, or ministers.
- If your child is eligible, you will be asked to sign a consent form to implement the IEP.
What happens if my child is not eligible?
He or she may be considered for a 504 Plan or other special services. If you disagree with evaluation, you may request an independent education evaluation at no cost to you.
Evaluations can take months to complete. If you think your child might qualify for services, submit your request at the beginning of the school year. Get started by downloading our free customizable letter requesting a special education evalulation for your child.
- Save the Word document on your computer or cloud drive.
- Open the file in MS Word or other word processing application.
- Enter your personal information where indicated.
- Save a new copy of the document with a different file name.
- Print the new document and mail it.
Practical tip: Some students benefit from an evaluative placement. This allows the special education staff to observe your child and offer limited services during the evaluation. If the impact of Migraine on your child’s school performance isn’t obvious, he or she may benefit from such an arrangement. This allows the teacher’s to see first-hand how Migraine affects a student. Their observations and recommendations are carefully considered in the final decision.