Duff Freeman Lyon Attorney, Tiffany Butler, Featured in Special Ed Connection “How I Advise My Clients”
“How I Advise My Clients” is a Special Ed Connection® feature that provides expert opinions from attorneys and education consultants for overcoming common problems and core challenges in the field. Special Ed Connection (specialedconnection.com) is an LRP online resource for special education research.
‘How I Advise My Clients’: How should a district respond when parents request a specific methodology for their child with dyslexia?
Tiffany Butler, School Attorneys, Duff Freeman Lyon, LLC, Columbia, S.C.:
Dyslexia affects each child differently, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to addressing the needs of children with dyslexia.
Like any other parent requests, school districts should address a parent’s request for a specific methodology for their child with dyslexia through the IEP process. Consider the following points:
- For students with an IEP, convene an IEP meeting to include key service providers to discuss the parent’s concerns and review all available information for the
- If there are indications that the current services are not fully addressing the child’s individual needs or that his needs have changed, consider and discuss what changes need to be made to the student’s
- While school districts are not required to adopt a parent’s preferred educational methodology for their child, they are required to develop a program tailored to that child’s needs. Such a program could include adopting a specific
- If the IEP team determines that the child’s current program is appropriate, the child’s individual needs are being met, and the child is making appropriate progress in light of his circumstances, it is OK to refuse the parent’s request. However, it is imperative that the team includes the basis for its decision in the prior written notice issued to the
- In the case of a student without an IEP who has been medically diagnosed with dyslexia and the parent requests a specific intervention as a result of the diagnosis, convene a multidisciplinary team to determine whether a comprehensive educational evaluation should be completed for that child. An evaluation will determine whether the child needs specialized instruction or whether his educational needs can be met with accommodations pursuant to a Section 504
- More importantly, support by data and thoroughly document any decision made by the IEP