Request an Evaluation of Eligibility for Special Education Services

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When should you request an evaluation for special education services?

If your child has been consistently struggling in school, their problems may be due to a disability. If the school thinks your child may have a disability, they will contact you to request your written permission to evaluate your child. Under the IDEA (the nation’s special education law), you also have the right to ask the school to evaluate your child. The purpose of the evaluation is to see if he or she has a disability and needs special education services. This evaluation is free of charge.

If your child has been identified by your doctor or other professionals as having a disability, you will want to include this information in your letter to the school. You should also provide copies of any reports you have received that explain your child’s condition.

Your formatted letter will look something like this:

Your address


Name of Principal 
Name of School
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear {principal’s name},

I am writing to request that (child’s name) be evaluated for special education services. I am worried that (child’s name) is not doing well in school and believe he/she may need special services in order to learn. (Child’s name) is in the ( _ ) grade at (name of school). (Teacher’s name) is his/her teacher.

Specifically, I am worried, because (child’s name) does/does not (give a few direct examples of your child’s problems at school).

We have tried the following to help (child’s name): (If you or the school have done anything extra to help your child, briefly state it here).

I understand that I have to give written permission in order for (child’s name) to be evaluated. Before the evaluation begins, I have some questions about the process that I need to have answered (list any questions you may have). I would be happy to talk with you about (child’s name). You can send me information or call me during the day at (daytime telephone number). Thank you for your prompt attention to my request.


Your name

Letter information generously created and placed in the public domain by: Center for Parent Information and Resources (4/5/2018). Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services, Newark, NJ.