You may think that your child needs special education services, but don't exactly know how to get the ball rolling. The initial step is a request for an assessment from the school of attendance. As a parent, you may have already mentioned to your child's classroom teacher that you "wanted some extra help" for your child, or that you wanted to "get him tested." This is not sufficient.
You just had your child's IEP, and a bunch of information was thrown out there by multiple professionals over the course of a couple of hours. The school district administrator is now asking you to sign the place in the IEP document which indicates that you consent to the IEP. What do you do? Is it ok not to sign it?
As a parent, you may have concerns regarding your child's education program. In line with these concerns, you may have expressed displeasure at an IEP meeting and felt that your concerns were not addressed. You may feel like your dealings on behalf of your child with the school district are always confrontational or fruitless. Whatever the circumstances, maybe you felt as though your only recourse was to file a due process complaint against the school district to protect your child's rights.
You may have heard someone at an IEP meeting or another parent refer to something called mainstreaming, and wondered exactly what that is. "Mainstreaming" refers to placement of a child who receives special education services into the general education curriculum. For example, if a child is placed within a Special Day Class for most of the day, they might be "mainstreamed" into general education for an elective (like art or music) for a single period each day.
Many parents wonder what happens to the special education services for their children when they move. If you move within the same school district, just make sure to provide the school district with your new address, and also supply your child's IEP to the new school, if they are to attend a new home school.
You might be wondering when the school district becomes responsible for providing your child with a free and appropriate public education, or a FAPE. Both federal and state law provide that children who have been found eligible for special education services (or who are suspected to need such services), are entitled to receive them beginning at age 3. If your child has been receiving early intervention services prior to turning age 3 (through regional center or another organization), those services will be the responsibility of the school district beginning on your child's 3rd birthday.
Many Parents of children with disabilities question whether their child may be entitled to transportation provided by the school. The answer to this question is, as with all special education matters, that "it depends" on the unique needs of the child.
Many parents want their child to be transported to and from school. They advocate for such at their child's IEP meeting, and are told no by school districts. Why? Transportation is a related service under the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). As such, there are certain standards associated with getting transportation.