While all children develop differently, there are a number of developmental milestones to look out for when determining whether your child may need additional services. The following links may be of assistance:
In addition, you should discuss any concerns you may have with your child's pediatrician or another professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, occupational therapist or physical therapist. You might also want to discuss your concerns with your child's teachers or school psychologist. He or she may suggest that you refer your child for evaluations to determine if your child requires some additional support either inside or outside of school.
If your child has repeated a grade or is performing significantly below grade level, he or she may have some special needs that have not been addressed. Under the "Child Find" provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Department of Education (DOE) is responsible for locating and identifying students with special needs and ensuring that they are provided appropriate services. If you feel that your child has a disability that has not been addressed, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss your rights. If you are unable to afford a private attorney, and you live in New York City, you may wish to call the helpline at Advocates for Children at 1-866-427-6033. Helpline staff can provide you guidance on the educational rights of your child.
In New York State, there is a two year statute of limitations for asserting your child's IDEA rights against the DOE. If you live outside of New York State, you should consult an attorney to find out the statute of limitations in your state.