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Expert Q&A

Can a student who was homeschooled and is now in college get an initial evaluation at the public school district’s expense?

As a certified LD teacher, I recognized signs of SLD in our 18-year-old from a young age, but since we were homeschooling the public school would not test her. I just taught her coping strategies and adapted as needed.

She is now in college, has completed 33 college semester hours, and has a 3.5 GPA. However, she is currently taking her first college math course. She got a D on her first test and is certain that it is because she ran out of time. She needs to be able to ascertain she’s not reversed any digits and she works more slowly than most people for that reason. The college can’t make accommodations without documentation but our insurance doesn’t cover that type of testing.

Dear Kathi,

If your daughter was homeschooled, never enrolled in public school and now is in college, neither the public school nor college has a current duty to conduct an evaluation to determine if there is a learning disability. Public schools do have an obligation under Child Find to identify and evaluate children between the ages of three and 21 that are suspected of having disabilities, if they reside in the district and attend public school or attend a non-public or home school within the district, but that obligation generally expires when the student graduates or is no longer eligible for special education.

If your insurance won’t provide coverage, your best options would be to try to find a university or public hospital with a diagnostic center that would test for free or at low cost. In addition, the Masons offer LD clinics in various parts of the country that are available at reduced or no cost. You might be able to find a clinic sponsored by them or a similar group that would test without charge.

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