Oftentimes parents are confused as to why their child, who has a medical diagnosis of Autism, is not eligible for special education in the public school system. How can this be possible? If a child has a medical diagnosis of autism, wouldn’t if follow that they would also be considered a special needs student. Most of the time this is true, but there are occasions where this is not necessarily the situation.
A medical diagnosis of autism, or ADHD, or any other disability does not necessarily equate with a finding of special needs for educational purposes. While a doctor will use the DSM IV to identify a diagnosis, the school system does not necessarily use the same criteria. A child might exhibit enough symptoms, behaviorally or otherwise, for a finding of a medical condition. Once a child has a medical diagnosis, services and treatment might be necessary interventions.
Yet, that same child might not exhibit an inability to successfully access their educational curriculum. For example, an autistic child might not have academic deficits that are attributable to their autism. In this case, the child is able to participate in the general education classroom independently and therefore sans the need for services. Another example is a child with ADHD who does not exhibit any behavioral, social or emotional issues that require services from the school. Even if a child has a disability, if they are able to participate in their curriculum with an average level of success, and do not need any services to do so, they will not be eligible for an Individualized Education Program.
In the event that you are concerned whether your child is eligible for special education law services, please contact The Southern California Law Office.
Call: (858) 215-4231