When any parent – including homeschool and private school parents – suspects their child may have a learning disability, they may request a free comprehensive evaluation through their local public school. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as state law, requires this Child Find service to be provided to all families.

Your request for free testing must be made in writing. Your request can be sent by paper or by email.

You may use the following language to request special education testing services for your child. Just replace the italicized words in brackets with information that relates to your child.

I am requesting that [name of school district] conduct a Child Find evaluation, as provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Act 2004, for my child, [child’s name], age __ and in grade __. Through the course of our homeschooling, I am concerned that [child’s name] is not making adequate progress in the area(s) of [reading/spelling/writing/math].

Your letter should also include a specific statement about your concerns. Using educational language that school administrators are used to hearing will help them understand the concerns you have for your child. For example, you may say:

  • Failure to read at grade level despite regular instruction with [name of phonics/reading program]
  • Failure to retain and apply math concepts despite regular instruction with [name of math program]
  • Inability to write legibly and coherently despite regular instruction with [name of writing program]
  • Problems with processing speed, which makes learning concepts take longer and presents obstacles to being able to recall material quickly and readily.
  • Problems with attention and organizational skills that prevent successful completion of assignments and tests
  • Inability to regulate sensory input in a manner that allows my child to properly attend to learning

Your written request should be sent to your designated “home” school. Your child’s “home” school is where your child would attend if they were enrolled in public school. The letter may be addressed to the school principal or school guidance counselor.

Once the school receives your written request, they are bound by the federal and state law to conduct the testing. Testing can be done over the summer months.

Should the school decline to conduct an evaluation, they must provide you with a written explanation. You have the option of filing a due-process complaint to appeal that decision.

Last modified on April 15, 2020