Understanding your legal rights can better assist you in obtaining the help your son needs in the public schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) affords you the right to request testing, and the public school should start the testing within 60 days of that request. Parents can also file a complaint for a due process hearing with the State if they believe their child’s school has failed to provide their child with a free appropriate public education under the law. (Section 1415(f)). Once a due process claim has been filed, the child must remain in their current educational placement, unless the parents and school agree to an alternate placement (Section 1415 (j)). We at Education.com are not equipped to provide legal advice. To obtain a referral for a special education attorney in your area look up the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) on the internet at www.copaa.org
Myself I would have him tested by an independent center like huntington learning center. And I am sorry that he is having difficulty reading. However as a parent myself I have to ask, He is 15 years old and you are just now questioning this disability?
I have strong beliefs that a PARENT is responsible for making sure school work is completed.
So JAN11 I would like to suggest waht you could do. JAN11 TAKE CHARGE, and DEMAND the school tests him or your report them to your Governor for "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT"
Trying to get help for your child and seeing your requests falling on unresponsive ears can be terribly frustrating, especially when you see your child advancing in school without the skills necessarily to sustain him.
I'm assuming that you've spoken with various teachers and the principal. Have you tried contacting someone higher up, someone at the school board or perhaps a superintendent?
Another way to get yourself heard is to contact someone in the government. You'd be suprised how much a word from a political representative can help. I live in Canada and I know that the U.S. is different, but I've heard from various parents struggling with similar issues that a letter to their MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) has helped. Perhaps explore if you have some sort of representative who could help you.
Yet another route to try is your family doctor. Speak to him/her about your concerns and see what suggestions or options come up. It may be helpful to bring report cards, samples of your son's work or any other material you feel will help prove your point. You'll probably want to speak to your doctor without your son present the first time. It won't help your son to hear all of your worries and concerns. There's no doubt that he's well aware that there is a problem; he's likely extremely frustrated and lacking a great deal of confidence by this point. Hearing you discuss all of your fears will only enhance your son's own anxiety.
However, it's possible that the doctor may request your son to read something to him. In this case, make sure you bring something that is grade level appropriate and not rely on waiting room material. I've heard of instances where children had seen the same material throughout the years and therefore already knew the material well. You'll want the doctor to witness what your son can do without prior knowledge of the material.
If all else fails, you may have to go the private route and get your son tested on your own. Of course, this is the more expensive path, but it will get the issue addressed quicker. Typically, even if children do get recommended to be tested, there is still a waiting period and given your son's age, time is of the essence.
It's good that you're making the efforts to get some help for you son. Good luck with everything!