Students raising their hands in a classroom

Step 2: Referral

Who makes the referral to special education?

A referral to special education may be made by:

  • A parent, guardian or surrogate parent
  • Referral sources: primary care physicians, pediatricians, social workers to whom parental permission to make a referral has been given
  • School personnel

How is a referral made in Connecticut?

Standard referral form ED621 documents referrals to special education.  This form is available at the special education department in each of the local schools.  It can also be found online at WEBSITE.  Concerned parents, school personnel or referral sources may complete the form and submit it to the school administrator to initiate the Planning and Placement Team process.  Parents can also write a letter indicating concerns.  The letter should include pre-referral interventions and their results as well as specific reasons for the referral to special education.

What if my child hasn’t started school yet, but I suspect a disability may exist?

If a child is less than three years old and it is suspected that he or she may have a disability or significant delays, the child may be referred to the Connecticut Birth to Three System for a free evaluation.  If the child is over the  age of three, the child may be referred by submitting the referral form or sending a letter to the special education director in the local school district.

When is a referral to special education considered?

Referrals to special education are considered when alternative procedures, programs and interventions in general education have been explored for a struggling student with minimum success in the classroom and the child continues to have difficulties.  In addition, a prompt referral is required for any child who has been suspended repeatedly or whose behavior, attendance or progress in school is considered unsatisfactory or at a marginal level of acceptance.

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