• ED and Manifestation

    Posted by Susan on 23 January 2022 at 3 h 53 min

    Hi Zack,

    I’m not a new psych and I am familiar with Manifestation Determinations. However, my leaders appear be less certain. I’ve got a manifestation determination meeting for a 7th grade student with an ED criteria, next week. After looking at your ED document, I think he still fits the ED criteria. He has a pattern of threatening other students and being verbally disrespectful to authority figures. He threatened a student with a knife right after he left campus the other day. He likely has at least 8 out of 10 yes answers to the ACE questionnaire.

    My understanding is that planning ahead is not considered a disqualification under ED for manifestation, although it might be under OHI. Yes the IEP has been followed including FBA, BIP, and counseling services. Definitely recommending him for Interim Alternative Education setting.

    Two questions: Does it require a majority vote of the team members to agree to a decision that it is a manifestation of his disability? If the answer is not a manifestation then can the district admin can move to expulsion?

    I appreciate your taking the time to read this!


    Sue Cradduck

    zack replied 1 year, 6 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • zack

    15 March 2022 at 22 h 12 min

    Hi Sue, sorry for not responding earlier- our “ask a high school psych” questions got moved an I didn’t get notified! I realize this response may be too late for you student, but, I think this topic is often misunderstood by administration and, at times, school psychologists.

    There definitely isn’t much science or technicality behind MDs, in my opinion, they’re best left avoided at all cost. IF your team determines that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability(ies) and the IEP was upheld appropriately, then, yes, the LEA administrator (site or district personnel) can move forward with disciplinary proceedings. However, this doesn’t necessarily dismiss our obligations under child find, no child left behind, every student succeeds, and other legal mandates. So your intuition to hold an IEP and discuss further placement options seems appropriate. It is also important to clarify for your team that there is no process of voting during any IEP procedures, although I realize this is common practice in some districts. To guide the MD there should be a report based on what information can be expedited during the 10 school days following the incident (there are

    There are some NASP communique articles that review the legal history of MDs and what should be taken into consideration in practice:

    – Zirkel, 2020: The Substantive “Yes” and “No” Manifestation Determinations Under the IDEA: An Updated Case Law Analysis

    – Zirkel, 2010: Manifestation Determinations Under the New Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, An Update

    There’s also some helpful forms to guide the IEP team discussion:


    I have done some district trainings on MDs if you would like more info, I am more than happy to share my notes and slides.

    I hope your school year is going well!


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