What is Team-Based Early Intervention in Arizona?
What are Team-Based Early Intervention Services that Arizona can give to children with disabilities? The Department of Economic Services, the DES office here in Arizona, outlines these types of services. Even though this is a state agency and state service, federal law requires it.
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 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. They would decide if the child qualified for services. An additional party can do an evaluation, 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 just goes on from there. Still, suppose they find that your child does have a disability and there’s no specific category of disability, anything that impairs them. Then, you would go forward with this Team-Based Early Intervention Services.
Parental Participation Rights
And so again, we would talk about an evaluation. The school would assess the child and provide services 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. 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 one cannot share them with other parties without your consent.
Dispute Resolution Process | Parents May File a Complaint
If you disagree with any of those services, there is a dispute resolution process. So, if maybe the state isn’t complying promptly, or you disagree with the evaluations, and they’re not getting another evaluator, or you disagree with what services the state will provide, you can file a complaint. And after that, it would go to mediation if it’s not settled. Then you’re even actually granted a due process hearing with an administrative law judge. So, you have a lot of say in this matter, and you can hold the DES office accountable.
Team-Based Early Intervention in Arizona
Again, these Team-based Early Intervention Services are for children ages birth through two years old with a qualifying disability. The services range and they’re tailored to meet your family’s needs.
Maybe someone is coming into the home, or you may be going and taking your child somewhere for services. They will monitor these things. There will be records. And if you feel like they’re not meeting your child’s needs or a new need 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, the program is not entirely free. Families must still 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 the following:
- 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 school will measure the child’s progress
- 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 people can revise. As your child’s needs change, you can modify the IEP 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 the team must convene an IEP meeting 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 they don’t meet the time frame for the IEP, 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 are:
- 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. It 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 must also ensure 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, it would be best if you were sure that the evaluation team is making recommendations for services based on your child’s 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 advocating 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.
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