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(15.3) How do I get a behavioral assessment and what services are available to address my child’s behavioral needs?

(15.3) How do I get a behavioral assessment and what services are available to address my child’s behavioral needs?

If your child has serious behaviors (such as elopement, fights, disrupting class or hurting herself) that interfere with her learning or another child’s ability to learn or have caused her placement in a regular classroom or less restrictive educational setting to be at risk, you should make a written request for a behavioral assessment and IEP meeting to determine which assessments, supports, and services your child needs to address her behavior in a positive way. Services that the IEP team should consider should include a BSP, a detailed FBA, and if appropriate, a PBIP, a one-to-one behavioral aide, parent and/or teacher training and consultation with a behavior specialist, counseling, social skills, anger management, and/or other services and strategies that you believe your child needs.

Before the IEP meeting, you may want to make a written request for an FBA, especially if the school has developed a BSP or used other behavioral strategies that have not worked to improve your child’s challenging behavior. This assessment should be designed to obtain detailed information about your child’s behavior (such as a detailed description of the behavior, how often it happens, how long it lasts, where it happens, what interrupts the behavior, and what happens just before and after your child engages in the challenging behavior), and information on your child’s learning environments to help the IEP team determine why your child is engaging in the challenging behavior and what can be done about it.

The school has 60 days from when you sign an assessment plan that includes an FBA to perform the assessment, hold an IEP meeting to discuss the results of the assessment and determine what services, supports, and other positive behavior strategies your child needs. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56344(a)]

If the school district conducts an FBA of your child but you do not think the assessment is helpful in determining what kinds of behavioral supports or services your child needs, or you disagree with the school district’s assessment for other reasons, you may request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.502; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56329(b).] See Chapter 2, Information on Evaluations/Assessments.

You should make this request in writing to the school district. Explain the specific parts of the assessment or the methods used to conduct the assessment with which you disagree. If you make a request for an IEE, the school district is required by law to either agree to pay for this assessment or file for a due process hearing to show that the district’s assessment is “appropriate”. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.502; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56329(b).]