English Language Learners Support
Michigan law requires public schools to provide educational services to those who qualify in accordance with the Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
Special Education Referral Process
Persons who suspect a child may have a disability that interferes with learning may make a referral for evaluation. Parents, teachers, licensed physicians, foster parents and other community agencies are examples of individuals who may initiate the process by:
- Contacting the child's teacher
- Contacting the building principal
- Contacting the school counselor
- Contacting the Special Education Office
A REED (Review of Existing Evaluation Data) document will be drafted the Individual Educational Planning Team members, which include the parent/legal guardian(s) and qualified professionals. Existing information/evaluations as well as school-based information and observations will be reviewed. Based on the review, the team will identify what additional information, if any, is needed to determine whether your child has a particular category of disability, or in the case of a reevaluation, if they continue to have such a disability.
If the IEP Team determines, upon completion of the REED, that additional information is needed, the parent/legal guardian(s) will be asked to sign a consent form. Once written consent is received, the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) will conduct the evaluation within 30 school days.
Once the MET evaluations are completed, a written MET report with eligibility recommendations is presented at an IEP team meeting. Using the MET information, the IEP team determines whether or not your child is eligible for Special Education and how his/her educational needs will be met in light of any qualifying disability area.
The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education specify the criteria for special education and define eligibility for services under twelve different categories of impairment. Please note, a medical diagnosis will be considered by the MET team as part of a comprehensive evaluation. However, the criteria for a medical diagnosis is different than criteria for school-based special education eligibility. You may visit the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education website for additional information.
- Cognitively Impaired (CI)
- Emotionally Impaired (EI)
- Hearing Impaired (HI)
- Visually Impaired (VI)
- Physically Impaired (PI)
- Other Health Impairment (OHI)
- Speech and Language Impaired (SLI)
- Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD)
- Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
- Severely Multiply Impaired (SXI)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Deaf Blindness