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Requesting an Evaluation for Special Education Services for Your Child

Category Evidence-based Practices, Family Partnerships, Professional Learning
Imperative Access, Equity, Progress
Resource Type Resource

Tip #2: Even if your teacher or child care provider doesn’t immediately recommend testing, listen to your instincts. You have the right to ask for testing from the school or child care center. Send a written request for evaluation to your child’s principal that outlines your concerns.

The processes for receiving an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are designed to provide special education and early intervention services to children who need them. But many families may wonder: How do I know if my child needs these services?

Child care providers and teachers are excellent resources for knowing what to expect in typical child development stages. Keep an open dialogue with your child’s teachers or child care providers to hear their thoughts about your child’s development. Additionally, families can use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Milestone Tracker app to keep an eye on their child’s development from 2 months to 5 years old.

As parents watch their child grow, they may have concerns about their child’s development. Families should know that even if the child’s teacher or child care provider doesn’t immediately recommend testing, they have the right to ask for an evaluation from the school or child care center.

If you wish to request an evaluation for your child, you must send a written request to the child’s principal or local special education administrator. This written request documents your request and starts the referral timeline.

Letter Template

If you need assistance writing a request for evaluation for your child, Maryland Learning Links has drafted a template for your reference. You can find the link on the right.

Download this template as a Word document.