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Special Education Law

Special Education Law Basics

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | IEP |

No child in California or elsewhere makes it through 12 years of school without any challenges. However, some students can thrive more than others. If you have school-aged children in your household, each of them has the right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). You might have a child with special education needs, in which case, under special education law, you may request an individualized education program (IEP) which provides needed supports and services to your child. If you believe that your child is eligible for an IEP, you should meet with school district officials, as well as your child’s teachers and others who are involved in the IEP process.

Your child may qualify for an IEP under special education law

The following list is not exhaustive, meaning that there may be additional disabilities and educational struggles that create eligibility for an IEP in the California public school system; however, these are some of the most common issues that students with special educationa needs experience:

  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing problems
  • Speech/Language impairment
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Cognitive delay
  • Developmental or processing delays
  • Physical disability
  • Dyslexia or other learning struggles

If your child is struggling in school, you may request the school district conduct assessments to determine if an IEP is appropriate. If your child’s assessment leads to special education eligibility, you will work alongside school officials to create an approprioate IEP tailored to meet the unique needs of your child.

What does an IEP look like in action?

The goal of an IEP is to provide your child with needed special education supports, services and accommodations so they are able to access a full and appropriate education and making meaningful progress year to year. For a student with vision impairment, for example, this might include providing reading materials with large print. Other servcies might include mental health, speech/language, occupational therapy or an individual adult assistant who provides academic, communication or behavioral support.

An IEP is crucial because it is highly customizable to fit a specific student’s unique needs. If you have questions regarding the legal aspects associated with an IEP or other special education law concerns, you can seek guidance from someone with experience in this field of law.