Are you in the midst of navigating the special education system? Knowing some terminology can help you to better understand the system and know how to ask for what you need. If you’re new to the special education system, there here are a few terms to memorize.
IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Act
This law, passed in 2004, facilitates services for individuals with disabilities from ages birth to 21. Part B of the law applies specifically to individuals between the ages of 3 to 21, or school age. Learn more about the specifics of the law here.
Special Education is a program that is designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. This program incorporates a wide range of different types of individualized instruction, including specialized services, materials, equipment, teaching strategies, accommodations, and/or modifications.
Categories of Disability
Within Special Education are over a dozen categories of disability that are outlined by IDEA. In order for your child to become eligible for a Special Education program, they must fall into at least one of the categories of disability. You must also be able to prove that your child’s disability is adversely affecting their education. After meeting these two criteria, your child is eligible for an IEP.
IEP: Individualized Education Program
If a school-aged child (aged 3-21) meets the qualifications to be eligible for Special Education, then an IEP document is developed, reviewed, and revised at least once per year by a team that consists of teachers, administrators, and parents. Basically, and IEP is the legal document that outlines your child’s education program and learning priorities for the next year.
These are additional services that the school offers that can help your child benefit from their Special Education program. Related services can include occupational therapy and physical therapy. It is important to note that each state has its own Educational Code that dictates how a student can access these resources.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.