By NCLD Editorial Team
It’s true that the earlier a child’s LD is identified and addressed, the greater his chances of success. However, there are many reasons why some children aren’t identified until middle school or high school. Depending on the type and severity of the specific LD and a child’s ability to compensate for it, some students don’t appear to struggle until their teen years. So don’t despair; make the most of special education services that are available while you can.
Special education services are available in public schools through Grade 12, so if your child is eligible it’s possible to get an IEP until he graduates from high school or turns 22* (whichever comes first). (Note: 22 is the maximum age for special education services in most states.) In fact, having an IEP in high school is a great idea because, in addition to receiving academic support and interventions, teenagers with IEPs are entitled to transition planning, a process that is crucial to a student’s success after high school. Transition services must be included in the first IEP that will be in effect when a student turns 16, but you can (and should) start preparing for it when the student is 14 or 15.