Think Twice Before Exiting Special Ed

It’s not unusual for a student with LD to reach high school and want to leave behind the resource room and Special Education services. But it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Once your child withdraws from the program, she’s no longer eligible for Special Ed services. If it doesn’t work out, she can’t simply change her mind. To be readmitted to the program she would have to go through a full evaluation, just as she did originally, which could take months.

If her desire to exit the program coincides with freshman year in high school, counsel her to postpone the decision until she’s had experience with more demanding curriculum.

Rather than exit the program, the more sensible option may be to take a measured approach:

  • First, try cutting back the services she’s receiving. After a reasonable amount of time, evaluate how she’s doing.
  • If she’s handling learning independently, she can then request to go on observation. This allows her to access services should she need them without having to reapply to the program.
  • If she does well on observation, she can move to Section 504 status, which provides for accommodations, but not for Special Ed services.

Following these steps affords you and your child time to carefully evaluate her readiness to exit Special Ed without the negative repercussions that might occur with a more rash decision.