Mental Health in Schools – FAQsWhat are the warning signs that my child might be having difficulty in school due to mental health related issues?
As a parent, you usually know your child better than anyone else. There are a variety of signs that might suggest your child is having difficulties at school. Some possible things to look for include: Is your child suddenly avoiding school or complaini …[read more]
I have some concerns, what do I do next?
When you have concerns about your child’s behavior in school or are worried that their mental health problems may be interfering with their academic performance, the best thing to do first is to talk to your child’s teacher. Your child spends most of t …[read more]
What are “school-based mental health services” and who is providing them for the child?
School-based mental health services include a broad range of activities and services, including: formal assessment, prevention strategies, or interventions such as counseling, consultation, and referrals for services and supports in the community. Thes …[read more]
How can I get help for my child from my community?
You can get help from your child’s pediatrician or from community mental health providers. To find a qualified mental health professional, you can talk with your private insurance company who can give you a list of preferred providers in your area. If …[read more]
How can a parent or caregiver formally request help for their child through the school?
It is important to find out why a child may be having trouble at school. In some cases, a child may have a mental health issue or a disability. By law, schools must give special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special e …[read more]
What are the steps to receive special education and related services for a child with a mental health issue or disability?
Meeting the educational needs of a child in school is important to their success. It is important for parents and caregivers to understand the process which can be confusing. There are federal and local laws that protect the rights of children with dis …[read more]
What has to happen before a child is referred for special education and related services?
Before a child is considered for a referral to special education services, other procedures and programs must have been attempted with that child and where appropriate, put into place in the classroom. School districts have teams in individual schools …[read more]
How can a parent or caregiver request a referral to special education services?
There are two ways that a child may be identified as possibly needing special education and related services: the system known as Child Find (which operates in each state), and by referral of a parent or caregiver or school staff. Child Find: In Connec …[read more]
What are the eligibility requirements for special education and related services?
To be eligible for special education and related services a child must be between 3 and 21 years old and have one or more of the following disabilities, determined by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Autism Deaf-blindness …[read more]
What is a Planning and Placement Team (PPT)
A PPT is a made up of certified and / or licensed professionals who represent: The child’s regular education teacher At least one special education teacher An individual who can interpret evaluation results (e.g., school psychologist) Administrative an …[read more]
What can a parent or caregiver expect at the first PPT meeting?
The first PPT meeting will document the referral to special education and will discuss the evaluation process. The team will look at information that is already available about how the child is doing in school, including areas of strength, and will dec …[read more]
What is an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)
If a child is found eligible to receive Special Education services, the IEP is a written plan that describes in detail your child’s special education program. All students receiving special education and related services must have an IEP. It must be re …[read more]
How is progress measured in the IEP?
The IEP must include a statement of how the child’s progress will be measured. An explanation of how parents will be given information of that progress should be included in the IEP. These progress reports must be given to parents at least as often as …[read more]
How is an IEP different from a 504 plan?
A 504 plan, which falls under civil-rights law, is a plan to allow students with disabilities to participate freely and safely in school to get the same opportunities as everyone else. An IEP, which falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Educati …[read more]
What happens if the child is not eligible for special education?
If the PPT team decides that the child is not eligible for special education, the school district must tell the parents and caregivers of this decision in writing and explain why the child has been found “not eligible.” Under the Individuals with Disab …[read more]
What if a child is not in school and the parent or caregiver thinks the child may have a mental health issue or disability?
If a child is less than three years old and it is suspected that he or she may have a disability or significant delays, the child may be referred to the state’s appropriate early intervention services. In Connecticut, the Birth to Three System offers a …[read more]
Where will a child receive his/her special education and related services?
A child who is eligible for special education and related services, if possible, must be educated with his/her non-disabled peers in the general education class in the school that the child would attend if he/she did not have a disability. This is call …[read more]
What are some of the laws that protect a child with a mental issue or disability?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that offers special education and related …[read more]
What can a parent or caregiver expect after they request a referral to special education or related services?
If an evaluation is needed, a team which includes the parents (In Connecticut this is called a Planning and Placement Team, PPT) will meet to share information about the child’s development and school performance. This evaluation is free to families. P …[read more]