At the end of each school year, I love reflecting on how things went. What areas were challenging for me? I don’t know about you, but manifestation determinations are one of those processes I sometimes find challenging. How confident are you with the process? Are there ways to be more efficient and compliant? Let’s dive deeper into manifestation determinations together! If you want to watch a replay of the live recording where I discuss this topic, please click here.
Increases in Manifestation Determinations
One trend often discussed is the increase in referrals and behavior concerns school psychs are still seeing compared to pre-Covid years. This, of course, impacts both general and special education and a likely increase in manifestation determinations. Be sure to talk with your case managers and administrators and ask to be kept in the loop if suspension rates increase.
Did You Know?
Did you know manifestation determinations can apply to students with 504 plans and students being assessed for special education? Some legal workshops even discuss manifestation determinations applying to students in the prereferral process! In California, where I practice, school psychologists are not legally required to be part of the manifestation determination process. Of course, it’s best we are involved since psychs understand the connection between behaviors and disabilities. Let’s face it, manifestation determinations are complicated and rarely straightforward!
Questions to Ask, High Emotions, and Substance Abuse
Determining whether or not it’s a manifestation of a student’s disability opens up a lot of questions. Was the student’s behavior planned? Was it impulsive? Did we follow the student’s IEP with fidelity?
Leading a manifestation determination meeting often falls on the school psych and can be nerve-racking. Will the parents be upset if the student ends up receiving disciplinary action? Will administrators feel frustrated if the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability and, therefore, cannot be suspended or expelled? Some advice I often share is to stay neutral in the meeting, provide evidence and documentation, and walk the team through the different pieces of the process.
What happens if substance abuse is involved? Can that affect the decision and outcome of a manifestation determination? We want to ensure that we’re asking all the right questions and gathering all necessary information so the team can make an informed decision in the best interest of the student.
We are keeping Summer Boot Camp registration open for a few more days if you are still on the fence. Did you know one of our sessions is all about manifestation determinations?
School psychologists are seeing an increase in behavior concerns more than ever before, and some students present with complex situations, including impulsive behaviors and even drug abuse. How do school psychologists handle situations like that?
Summer Boot Camp 2023 is offering an exclusive training on how to determine if a student’s behavior is a direct result of their disability when substance abuse is present. Learn how to dive into the details of complex situations, collect and analyze data, and use problem-solving skills to create the best outcome for the student.
Register before it’s too late!