Students determined eligible for special education services must meet all three of the following criteria:
- The student must have a disability or disabilities.
- The student's disability/disabilities adversely affect educational performance.
- The student’s unique needs cannot be addressed through education in general
education classes alone – with or without individual accommodations and requires
specially designed instruction (SDI).
Eligibility is based on a comprehensive initial evaluation. A comprehensive initial evaluation includes all of the existing data gathered about the student through the referral process and any additional assessments needed to determine whether a student is eligible for special education. The initial evaluation report is used to determine what special education and related services the student needs.
+ What is SDI?
Specially designed instruction is a set of organized and planned instructional activities which adapt, as appropriate, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from a student’s disability.
+ Do I need to get a medical diagnosis for my student’s disability before the district can find my student eligible for special education?
You are not required to obtain and provide the school district with a medical diagnosis for your student in order for a district to evaluate your student for special education. A medical diagnosis is also not required in order to be found eligible for special education services. The school district, however, may request that you provide any medical information you may have as part of the
referral process and may, if necessary, seek your consent to obtain a medical statement or assessment indicating whether there are any other factors that may be affecting your student's educational performance as part of any district evaluation.