This video goes over the Nebraska state booklet regarding verification and eligibility guidelines. The booklet is available here and covers several of the finer details on eligibility. The booklet is updated and reprinted occasionally, but we will use the current version (2008-2011). In this section, we will go over a specific disability to teach you how the booklet covers all disabilities, and how to navigate the booklet effectively.
The table of contents lists all the disabilities recognized by the state of Nebraska. For the purposes of this section, we will use Autism as an example. Each disability in the booklet has its own section, with a cover page titled “Disability Category,” followed by the name of the disability. The page following the cover will list the eligibility requirements for that disability (for Autism, this involves meeting state criteria, documentation that your child’s Autism is in fact affecting their ability to learn, and the determination that special education is needed).
The next section lists the state definition of the disability. For Autism, the state definition adheres closely to the federal one (notable symptoms that both the state and federal government define as Autism include having a disability that affects verbal and nonverbal communication to the detriment of their education, as well as having unusual responses to sensory experiences). Though the booklet lists “Determination that a need for special education is evident,” it should follow that if your child displays most of the symptoms of Autism, there shouldn’t need to be much of a determination.
Section 3 lists who needs to be on the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to make the evaluation of a child with the disability in question (for Autism, this includes the parents/guardians, a school psychologist, teacher, a speech-language pathologist, and a school administrator).
Section 4 lists the verification guidelines the MDT should look for when evaluating a child. The section on Autism, for example, lists “Atypical development of social competence” as one of its guidelines, and this means that your child is having trouble socializing or is not performing as well as they should on certain tasks relative to their age group.
Section 5 gives some procedures for the MDT to identify what an adverse effect for the given disability is. An adverse effect in general is a symptom of the disease that affects the child’s learning to such a degree that intervention is necessary. For example, the section on Autism has the following guideline:
Does the child show awareness of the essential components of social interactions, i.e., nonverbal and verbal communication, empathy, reciprocity, social negotiation and repair.
These guidelines help the MDT know what to look for when making the decision of whether or not a child qualifies for special education services.
The final three sections for each disability list a few extra materials for the MDT to look at during their evaluation. Section 6 provides a few definitions of other disabilities that could be referenced during an evaluation; Section 7 lists a few frequently asked questions in case they come up during a discussion of an evaluation; Section 8 simply lists a few references and resources the MDT can use if they have any questions or concerns regarding the disability.
Each disability will have a few differences in content, but they are all laid out the manner. This section should help you better navigate the booklet and become more familiar the the state and federal rules regarding your child’s disability.