As the parent of a child with special education needs, you know how difficult it can be to watch your child struggle in school. It is not easy to see your child face challenges that other students may not be facing. These students often need special support and assistance in school. Through the help of special education services, your child can receive the support and help he or she needs to succeed in school.
The specific types of support and help your student will receive will depend on his or her specific needs, learning abilities, physical capabilities and other factors unique to the individual situation. Some special education students are eligible for related services, which can provide assistance to students in order to help them succeed in general education, as well as participate in regular school activities and afterschool activities.
Special education services versus related services
Students with certain types of learning needs may be eligible for special education services. An evaluation will determine if a student will benefit from additional assistance at school, such as additional test time, classroom accommodations and more. An Individualized Education Program will outline the special education services for which a student may be eligible. Related services may be available in addition to special ed services, with the intention of increasing a student’s chance of educational success.
Related services can include different types of support that may help a student more fully participate in school. These types of services may include psychological support, translating services, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical services, social work support, counseling for parents and more. If you believe that your child could benefit from related services, you may advocate for that support. You can seek to ensure that your child has the full amount of help necessary to go to school alongside his or her peers and achieve a full education.
Your child’s future
Even if your child is clearly eligible for special education support and related services in California, it is not always easy to secure what he or she needs. You may benefit from seeking legal support as you navigate the education system and protect your child’s rights. If you are unsure of what these rights include or what you can do to support your child, it is helpful to seek an assessment of your case and explanation of your options.