Connecticut Diagnostic Placements and Special Education

by Jeffrey L. Forte, Esq. | Connecticut Special Education Attorney

Parents often call Forte Law Group to ask what is a diagnostic placement. This article provides a brief overview.

Interestingly, neither the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) nor the implementing federal regulations define a diagnostic placement. In application, a diagnostic placement is a structured program setting that more fully assesses the special education and related services needs for a student.

A planning and placement team (PPT) may use a trial placement for diagnostic purposes (diagnostic placement) as part of an initial evaluation or a revaluation of a student. In other words, a student may be diagnostically placed to determine if an individualized education program (IEP) is needed or if the current evaluations or program are inconclusive or insufficient.

It’s Only Temporary

Practically speaking, a diagnostic placement is a temporary placement. It is used to further learn and evaluate a student’s unique needs. In Connecticut, a diagnostic placement is governed by Connecticut Agency Regulations Section 10-76d-14. Diagnostic placements do not provide stay-put protection and must only be forty school days or less by statute.

Evaluation or Placement

A diagnostic placement technically is not a placement at all. It is a method of evaluation to gather information to help the PPT team determine an appropriate program and placement.

Goals and Objectives

The PPT team must specify, in writing, the student’s diagnostic goals and objectives, including the types and amounts of services needed to conduct the program to determine the student’s needs. The PPT team members need to meet at least every ten days to discuss the student’s progress within the diagnostic placement.

For more information on diagnostic placements schedule a call with Forte Law Group here or review the Connecticut State Department of Education’s diagnostic placement and IEP special educations powerpoint here.

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