A good education can help build a better future for your child, so it is important they receive the instruction they need. If your child struggles with their schoolwork or peer relationships, they may require special education supports and services.
Eligibility For Special Education
Special education includes the provision of appropriate supports and services provided to students with exceptional needs. In 2020, a total of 7.3 million students in the US required special education services. The local government funds these services, and every child has the right to receive them if they qualify under one or more of the eligibility criteria. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), these eligibility categories include:
- Visual Impairment (including Blindness)
- Hearing Impairment
- Emotional Disturbance
- Intellectual Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Multiple Disabilities
- Other Health Impairment
Qualified school professionals may need to evaluate your child to determine if their disability affects their educational performance and if they require special education services. If you disagree with the results of the evaluation because the assessment was not appropriately conducted, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), funded by the school district.
Once school professionals determine whether your child qualifies for special education, your child is entitled to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will provide your child a learning program that is unique to their needs, as well as access to services and accommodations so they can appropriately access their educational program.
Preparing Your Child For The Future
Your child is entitled to make meaningful educational progress. With a specialized educational program, your child should have a more effective, appropriate and enjoyable learning experience.