Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability,who believes that your child needs educational services outside of the school day? Have you been told that your child does not qualify for summer school because there is no proof of regression? This article will discuss the 6 factors that IEP teams must consider when discussing Extended School Year (ESY).

Extended school year is educational and related services outside of the regular school year. The child must need ESY, in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). ESY can extend beyond summer school, if the child needs it.

In the court case Reusch vs. Fountain the court found six factors for IEP teams to consider in deciding if a child is eligible for ESY services.

Factor 1: Regression and Recoupment: Is the child likely to lose
critical academic or functional skills, or fail to recover these
skills within a reasonable time. Many special education personnel only use regression and recoupment to determine ESY eligibility. Courts and OSEP have ruled that this is not
the only consideration.

Factor 2: Degree of progress toward IEP goals and objectives. If your child did not make progress during the school year, you could use this to ask for ESY.

Factor 3: Emerging skills/and Breakthrough opportunities. Is your child just starting to learn to read, and will a long summer break prevent progress from continuing? You could use this as a reason to ask for ESY, for your child with a disability.

Factor 4: Interfering Behaviorbehavior that affects your child’s
ability to benefit from special education.

Factor 5: Nature and Severity of Disability. OSEP released a policy letter on February 4, 2003 that states A public agency may not limit ESY services to particular categories of disability, or unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of these services. Many school districts were only offering extended school year services to children with the most severe disabilities, this is not allowed.

Factor 6: Special circumstances that interfere with your child’s
ability to benefit from special education. Was your child ill, or
missed a lot of school because of illness. You could use this reason to ask for ESY services for your child.

By using these 6 factors you will be able to advocate for ESY for your child. Children with autism, and also learning disabilities often need extended school year services, in order to benefit from their education. You may have to fight for this important service, but it will be worth it. After all, isn’t your child worth the fight!

Author's Bio: 

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families of children with disabilities navigate the special education system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies
Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game."The book has a lot of resources and information, to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled "The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to: For more information on her book, testimonials, and a link to more free articles go to: