CT Parents: Your Child’s Disability Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

Published on April 17, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

So, it’s IEP Season, time for your child’s Annual Review meeting. As part of that meeting, you should be discussing whether or not your child requires summer services. If you are like many, you don’t even get to the subject of ESY (Extended School Year) programming until the very end of the meeting, usually when staff are halfway out the door and there is another family waiting outside to start their PPT/IEP meeting.

Here is what you need to know, in a nutshell. Your child may be entitled to summer special education services, regardless of whether or not s/he is likely to regress over the summer. For a description of considerations in CT as to whether or not an individual child is entitled to receive ESY services, thoroughly review the following policy statement from the CT State Department of Education:  Familiarize yourself with this letter; your child’s disability does not take a summer vacation.

Also remember that federal law prohibits your school district from limiting ESY special education services to specific types of disability (e.g. “only children with autism are eligible to attend our summer program”), or from circumscribing the type or duration of services available over the summer. In essence, just like the rest of the school year, your school district is required to INDIVIDUALIZE programming services in order for your child to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

2 Responses to CT Parents: Your Child’s Disability Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

  1. Stagmom
    April 19th, 2009 | 5:19 pm

    AMEN! Congrats on the blog, Jennifer. I’ll share it with friends. Kim Stagliano, Age of Autism.

  2. Diane Willcutts
    April 19th, 2009 | 8:16 pm

    Excellent info., Jen! Parents may also want to print out the state ESY sheet (that Jen linked above) and bring it to their PPTs to read aloud. Keeping in mind that many school staff sincerely don’t understand ESY.

    Either way, if staff start sharing incorrect information in the meeting, parents can read aloud from the state’s ESY info., saying something like, “Are you sure that’s the only situation where the District provides ESY? I thought the state said something else in their topic brief. Here it says. . . (reading aloud relevant information). Do you agree with that?”

    Reading aloud sometimes helps. It definitely won’t hurt.