When a teacher sees that a student is continually struggling to learn the material in class, the teacher will try various interventions to help the student learn in a different manner. If those interventions do not seem to be working, the teacher can bring the concerns to a team of teachers to help brainstorm and implement other interventions. When the data is showing that these interventions still do not help the student master the material, then the Teachers Assisting Teachers team (TAT) will refer the student to the special education team.
Upon receiving a referral to assess a student for special education services, the Student Support Team (SST) first determines if a minimum of two pre-intervention strategies have been conducted to alleviate the concern in the general education setting. If these have been completed and have not been successful, the team then invites the child's parents to provide input into assessment plan. Once the parents and team determines the assessment plan and permission is given by the parents for assessment, the team has thirty (30) school days to complete the assessment. At the end of that time, the parents, teachers and any other personnel who had helped with the assessment will meet.
If the evaluation indicates that the student meets Minnesota criteria for services in a disability area, and agrees that the student needs special education services, an individual education plan (IEP) is written based upon the identified needs of the student.
More information about the special education rules and procedures can be found at the Minnesota State Department of Education website or the PACER website. There is also more information on Autism.