What is common core?
Many children are shy and quiet at school. They eventually find a friend or two, begin to open up in class, and may even initiate conversations with a teacher or unfamiliar student. This is not your child. At school, your child freezes when asked a question, speaks in a whisper, or is completely silent. Yet at home, in the comfort of close family and friends, he or she has no problem rambling on about his or her day. This severe discrepancy in behavior may be caused by Selective Mutism (SM).
One of the most critical steps to understanding your child's specific educational needs is obtaining appropriate assessments. Once your child has been appropriately assessed within all areas of need, both yourself and the IEP team will have a much better understanding of how to best maximize your child's learning potential. Therefore, it is important that all parents understand the legal requirement for school districts to comprehensively assess students in all suspected areas of need.
Your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by their medical doctor, and you want the school district to do an assessment to determine the need for additional services. The school district does the assessment, and the results come back showing that your child has average cognitive ability, average academic performance and has moderate grades. Your child is diagnosed with ADHD, and is reported as having some off task behaviors in class, but their classroom teacher says they can be redirected and are doing fine academically. Does your child qualify for special education services?
The law requires that school district's provide appropriate special education services that meet the unique needs of the individual child.
School districts are required to provide all students with a Free and Appropriate Public Education, often times referred to as "FAPE". What constitutes "appropriate" is a point of much contention between parents, school districts and attorneys alike. Therefore, it has been left up to the courts to shed more light on what actually constitutes an appropriate public education. Located below is a brief glimpse into how different courts have weighed in on this discussion. In determining whether the Local Education Agency has offered Student a FAPE, the proper focus is on the adequacy of the offer of placement. If a student fails to make progress within a reasonable period of time, the LEA must convene an IEP meeting to address the student's lack of progress. A LEA's continuation of inadequate services will almost certainly be regarded as a denial of FAPE. 
In some instances, parents want to place their children somewhere other than a comprehensive public school campus. This may include consideration of a child's special needs, past performance or just a personal preference by the parents or the child. Whatever the considerations may be, many times parents understand that a private school is the same thing as a nonpublic school, which is not necessarily accurate, especially if you're asking for the school district to foot the bill.
Every year, thousands of special needs children are provided an opportunity to play flag football through Pop Warner's Challenger Division. The mission of this national program is to bring the Pop Warner football experience to all children, including those with special needs. The program aims to inspire these amazing kids regardless of their disabilities, to learn about physical fitness, good sportsmanship and friendship.
Every parent who attends an IEP meeting is simply looking to obtain an educational placement that is appropriate for their child, and will allow their child to make substantive progress throughout the school year. However, the IEP process can also be very stressful and confusing. What all parents should be aware of in preparing for an IEP meeting, is that the burden is on the school district to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE") for all children. Not only must the educational placement be appropriate, but it also must be qualify as a clear written offer of placement. (Union Sch. Dist, v Smith, (9th Cir. 1994), 15 F.3d 1519.)
Many parents face a similar dilemma with disciplinary action against their special needs child: We went to an IEP labeled a "manifestation determination," and the team said the child's behavior was not manifestation and my child is now being subjected to disciplinary action. Most have a million questions, but most prevalent is "why was the behavior not a manifestation?"