My child has learning difficulties. Does the school have to help?
Question & AnswerMy child has learning difficulties. Does the school have to help?
4. Monitor your child’s progress
After the IPRC decision, talk to your child’s teacher and the principal to make sure they are following the decision. Many parents of children with exceptionalities say that talking regularly with teachers and school staff can be just as important as the IPRC decision itself. If you need help, there is a list of organizations in the Answer before Step 1.
If after 3 months you think that your child’s placement or program is not working, you can ask the principal for a review of the IPRC decision. If you do, the principal must give you an approximate date for the review meeting within 15 days.
The principal or the person who is in charge of your child’s special education program can also ask for a review.
The rules in Steps 2 and 3 about IPRC meetings also apply to review meetings.
All IPRC decisions must be reviewed at least once a year, even if you don’t ask for a review. If you want to give the IPRC new information for the review, tell your child’s principal.
Discrimination against students with exceptionalities
Most exceptionalities count as disabilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If a school does not properly accommodate your child’s exceptionality, you can submit a discrimination complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
An IPRC cannot force a school to follow its recommendations about specific services or programs. But if the school doesn’t follow the IPRC’s recommendations, that could be a sign that the school is not properly accommodating your child. This would make your human rights claim stronger.
Giftedness is not a disability
Giftedness is not a disability even though it is an exceptionality. A gifted student is someone who is able to function at an advanced level in some or all areas. Giftedness requires extra supports to engage the student in learning.
Schools must accommodate gifted students’ exceptionalities, usually by giving them a special program or advanced work. But you cannot bring a human rights claim alleging discrimination based on giftedness.
Suspending students with exceptionalities
Some students with exceptionalities are suspended more often than other students. The law says that a principal must suspend a student for certain behaviours.
But if your child’s behaviour is the result of an exceptionality, the principal must try to accommodate them first. If you think that your child has been suspended unfairly, you can appeal.