What is Team Based Early Intervention in Arizona?
What is Team-Based Early Intervention Services that Arizona can give to children with disabilities? These types of services are outlined in the Department of Economic Services, the DES office here in Arizona. Even though this is a state agency and state services, it’s required by federal law.
Arizona Early Intervention Program
So, the Individuals with Disability Education Act, section C states that states must provide provisions for early intervention for children ages birth through age two who have a disability. What does it look like here in the state of Arizona? So, Arizona created what we call the Arizona Early Intervention program.
Team-Based Early Intervention Services
What does this look like for you and for your child? If you feel like your child has a disability or may qualify for a disability, and unlike services under the IEP, what happens is you would have the child evaluated and then they would decide on if they qualified for services. An evaluation can be done by an additional party, but sometimes your healthcare provider may have already made a diagnosis or just observations from you as a parent. Mainly at this age, birth through age two, they’re looking at developmental milestones; are they meeting those? And then it kind of just goes on from there, but if it’s found that your child does have a disability and there’s no specific category of disability, but just anything that impairs them, what would happen then is you would go forward with this Team-Based Early Intervention Services.
Parental Participation Rights
And so again, we would talk about an evaluation. The child would be assessed and then services would be provided to that child through the state. Also, parents need to know that through this process, they have a right to speak up and be involved in all aspects of it. So, first, you as a parent, have to be provided with what services, evaluations, and any records you have to have access to. These records also must be confidential, so they cannot be shared with other parties without your consent.
Dispute Resolution Process | Parents May File a Complaint
The services, if you disagree with any of those, there is a dispute resolution process. So, if maybe the state isn’t complying in a timely manner, or you’re disagreeing with the evaluations, and they’re not getting another evaluator, or you’re disagreeing with what services the state will provide, you can file a complaint. And then after that, if it’s not settled, then it would go to mediation. And then you’re even actually granted a due process hearing with an administrative law judge. So, you do have a lot of say in this matter, and you can really hold the DES office accountable.
Team-Based Early Intervention in Arizona
Again, this Team-based Early Intervention Services are for children ages birth through two years old, who have a qualifying disability. The services range, they’re really tailored to meet the needs of your family. Maybe someone is coming into the home, or you may be going and taking your child somewhere for services, but these things will be monitored. There will be records. And if you feel like they’re not meeting the needs or a new need of your child has surfaced, you can speak up. These teams work together to provide the best outcome for the child.
Is AZ IEP Free?
You might have a perception that education is expensive. However, the good news is that IEP is a free program in Arizona. The federal and state government have put in place adequate measures to ensure that all children with disabilities can access this form of education at no cost. However, this does not mean that the program is entirely free. Families must pay for some costs associated with IEP, such as travel expenses, books, and other materials.
How Do I Get an IEP For My Child in Arizona?
As a parent or guardian, you can request an IEP evaluation for your child if you think they might need special education services. You can make this request to the school district in which your child attends school. The school district must evaluate whether your child is eligible for special education services.
If the school district determines that your child is eligible for special education services, they will develop an IEP for your child. The IEP is a document that outlines the special education services that your child will receive.
What Are the Components of An IEP In Arizona?
The components of an IEP vary from state to state. However, in general, an IEP must include:
- A statement of the child’s present level of educational performance
- A description of the child’s special education and related services
- Annual goals for the child’s educational progress
- A description of how the child’s progress will be measured
- The date by which the IEP will be reviewed and revised, if necessary
It’s essential to understand that an IEP is a living document that can be revised. As your child’s needs change, the IEP can be revised to address those changes.
What Is the Difference Between A 504 Plan and IEP In Arizona?
You might wonder whether your child needs an IEP or a 504 plan. IEPs and 504 plans help children with disabilities succeed in school. However, there are some critical differences between the two. IEPs are individualized education programs created for students who need special education services. IEPs must be reviewed and updated at least once per year.
504 plans are designed for students who do not need special education services but still need accommodations to help them succeed in school. For example, a student with a 504 plan might need extra time to take tests or have a quiet place to work. 504 plans do not need to be reviewed as often as IEPs.
What Is the Arizona IEP Timeline?
As a parent with a child in the Arizona IEP process, it’s essential to understand the timeline for each process step. This timeline can vary depending on your child’s individual needs and the school district in which you live. However, in general, the Arizona IEP timeline looks like this:
- The parent requests an IEP evaluation from the school district
- The School district evaluates the child to determine if they are eligible for special education services
- If the child is eligible for special education services, the school district develops an IEP
- The IEP is reviewed and revised as necessary at least once per year
When Must an IEP Meeting be Convened?
You must understand that an IEP meeting must be convened within 30 days of the child’s eligibility determination. The IEP team will meet to discuss the child’s needs and create an individualized education program. If the time frame for the IEP meeting is not met, you, as the parent, have the right to request a due process hearing.
What Should You Not Say at An Arizona IEP Meeting?
It’s natural for parents to want to advocate for their child at an IEP meeting. However, there are some things that you should avoid saying during an IEP meeting. These things can jeopardize your child’s chances of getting the necessary services.
Some of the things you should avoid saying at an IEP meeting include:
- Making demands
- Threatening legal action
- Saying that you don’t trust the IEP team
- Speaking in a negative tone
It’s also important to remember that an IEP meeting is not a place for you to vent your frustrations. Instead, it’s a place for you to collaborate with the IEP team to create a plan to help your child succeed.
Arizona IEP Progress Monitoring Basics
The IEP progress monitoring process is designed to help ensure that your child is progressing toward their goals. Progress monitoring can take many forms, but it typically includes regular check-ins with the IEP team. Progress monitoring might also include collecting data on your child’s progress and reviewing that data with the IEP team.
Arizona IEP Evaluation Concerns
You must know the evaluation concerns to have a successful Arizona IEP. This will help you ensure that your child gets the services they need to succeed in school. You must ensure that the evaluation team has the necessary information about your child to determine their needs accurately.
You also need to be sure that the evaluation team uses a valid and reliable assessment tool. This assessment tool should be able to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Finally, you need to be sure that the evaluation team is making recommendations for services that are based on your child’s individual needs.
How Long Does a School Have to Respond to an Evaluation Request in Arizona?
Traditionally, schools have up to 45 days to respond to an evaluation request. However, due to the pandemic, this timeline has been extended to 60 days. You must keep track of the timeline by counting days, including weekends and holidays. The clock starts ticking the day after you submit your evaluation request to the school. If the school does not respond to your evaluation request within the 60-day timeline, you have the right to file a due process complaint.
Do You Need an Arizona IEP Attorney?
Understanding the Arizona IEP process can be complicated. If you’re concerned about your child’s education, you may want to consider hiring an IEP attorney. An IEP attorney can help you navigate the IEP process and ensure that your child’s rights are protected.
At Chelle Law, we understand parents’ challenges when trying to advocate for their child’s education. We can help you understand your rights and options under the law. We will work with you to create an individualized education plan that meets your child’s unique needs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Arizona Student Questions?
IEPs, School Discipline, Hearings and more!