A manifestation determination is an extra step in the disciplinary process relating to students with disabilities. This determination addresses whether the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability.

A manifestation determination is made based on a thorough review of all relevant information in the student’s file, which includes but is not limited to, the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), teacher observations, progress data, and relevant information provided by the student’s parents. In addition, a school’s failure to implement the IEP is a factor considered in determining the cause of the conduct.