Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Special Education > Special Education Laws > School Is Not Helping Child Who Needs Special Ed.

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

School Is Not Helping Child Who Needs Special Ed.

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D.

Q: A neighbor just moved here (Kentucky) from Florida. Her son is in special education, but the school does not seem to be doing anything to help him out and he is failing everything. She hasn't had an IEP meeting yet and has repeatedly requested one with his teachers to discuss his special needs. She's been repeatedly put off about the meeting and can't get anyone to help her.

I'm helping her to put her request for a meeting in writing. I know that there are laws or guidelines for how long the school has to schedule a meeting when the parents request one, and I would like to cite that in the letter. But I can't find the information that explains what the legal time frame is for them to respond. Can you help?

A: What a good neighbor you are! Putting the request in writing is a good idea, but you should first have this mom give the building principal a call, and let him or her know about her frustration. Give the principal a chance to get this moving. If you don't get a response in a day or two, sit down and write that letter! It should be sent to the administrator who oversees special education in the school, with a copy to the building principal. This administrator might be called the Director of Special Education or Pupil Personnel Services. A call to the Superintendent's office should get you the right title and address.

You should also have a copy of a parents' rights brochure, which you can get (in several languages) in Kentucky by calling the special education office of the child's school. Incidentally, if this child is on an IEP, the school was required to provide this booklet at the IEP meeting.

If the school is not responsive to your letter, you can contact the Local District Services Branch Manager at the state level by emailing her directly from the Kentucky Department of Education website. If this approach does not resolve the problem, which I think it should, then you may want to consider contacting a special education advocate or an attorney to help you.

More on: Expert Advice

Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks