Lesley Alderman, writing in the New York Times, offers a roadmap for parents who suspect their child might have a learning disability. While schools are legally obligated to assess children for learning disabilities, Alderman says, “what the law promises and what the schools can realistically provide are sometimes at odds.”
“The law was created with the idea that parents and schools would collaborate on their child’s education,” says Neal Rosenberg, an education lawyer in Manhattan who worked for the New York City Board of Education when the law was first drafted. “But the relationship can sometimes turn adversarial.”
Alderman suggests that parents press for an assessment as early as possible, document their requests, be knowledgeable about their legal rights, and consider talking with a lawyer.
Bypassing the school assessment process can be effective but expensive, Alderman says, as private assessments can cost up to $5,000.