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  • What is Special Education?
    Special education is specially designed instruction that addresses the unique needs of a student eligible to receive special education services. Special education is provided at no cost to parents and includes the related services a student needs to access her/his educational program. Early Stages (ages 0-2): Early intervention services are available to children who have disabilities and/or developmental delays. The Early Support for Infants and Toddlers(link is external)(ESIT) program provides services to eligible children and families in a variety of settings - in their homes, in child care, in preschool or school programs, and in their communities. School Age (ages 3-21): Students with disabilities who are determined eligible for special education and related services are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Services are provided to eligible students according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in preschools, elementary, and secondary schools, or other appropriate settings.
  • What is an IEP?
    IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. An IEP lays out the special education instruction, supports, and services a student needs to progress in school. IEPs are part of PreK–12 public education.
  • What laws govern special education?
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 is the federal law that guarantees FAPE is provided to eligible students with disabilities.
  • What rights do parents and students have under the law?
    What rights do parents and students have under the law? Parents and students have numerous rights under special education law. These rights are outlined in a document called Notice of Special Education Procedural Safeguards. School districts are required to give a copy of this document to the students and their families who are receiving special education services.
  • How do schools protect my child's educational records?
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, which protects student education records in both K-12 and higher education. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • What is autism?
    (c)(1)(i) Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in this section. (ii) A child who manifests the characteristics of ‘‘autism’’ after age 3 could be diagnosed as having ‘‘autism’’ if the criteria in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section are satisfied. Today, autism spectrum conditions affect approximately 1 to 2 % of the school-age population. Yet, compared to population estimates, identification rates have not kept pace in our schools. It is not unusual for school age children with milder forms of autism (e.g., Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, high-functioning autistic disorder) to go undiagnosed. Consequently, it is critical that school-based educational support personnel (e.g., special educators, school counselors, speech/language pathologists, social workers, and school psychologists) give greater priority to case finding and screening to ensure that children with milder forms of ASD are identified and have access to the appropriate intervention services (Wilkinson, 2010).
  • What are the 13 disability categories under IDEA?
    1. Specific learning disability (SLD) The “specific learning disability” (SLD) category covers a specific group of learning challenges. These conditions affect a child’s ability to read, write, listen, speak, reason, or do math. Here are some examples of what could fall into this category: -Dyslexia -Dyscalculia -Written expression disorder (you may also hear this referred to as dysgraphia) SLD is the most common category under IDEA. In the 2018–19 school year, around 33 percent of students who qualified did so under this category. 2. Other health impairment The “other health impairment” category covers conditions that limit a child’s strength, energy, or alertness. One example is ADHD , which impacts attention and executive function. 3. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)ASD is a developmental disability. It involves a wide range of symptoms, but it mainly affects a child’s social and communication skills. It can also impact behavior. 4. Emotional disturbanceVarious mental health issues can fall under the “emotional disturbance” category. They may include anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression . (Some of these may also be covered under “other health impairment.”). 5. Speech or language impairmentThis category covers difficulties with speech or language . A common example is stuttering. Other examples are trouble pronouncing words or making sounds with the voice. It also covers language problems that make it hard for kids to understand words or express themselves. 6. Visual impairment, including blindnessA child who has eyesight problems is considered to have a visual impairment. This category includes both partial sight and blindness. If eyewear can correct a vision problem, then it doesn’t qualify. 7. Deafness Kids with a diagnosis of deafness fall under this category. These are kids who can’t hear most or all sounds, even with a hearing aid. 8. Hearing impairment The term “hearing impairment” refers to a hearing loss not covered by the definition of deafness. This type of loss can change over time. Being hard of hearing is not the same thing as having trouble with auditory or language processing. 9. Deaf-blindness Kids with a diagnosis of deaf-blindness have both severe hearing and vision loss. Their communication and other needs are so unique that programs for just the deaf or blind can’t meet them. 10. Orthopedic impairment An orthopedic impairment is when kids lack function or ability in their bodies. An example is cerebral palsy. 11. Intellectual disability Kids with this type of disability have below-average intellectual ability. They may also have poor communication, self-care, and social skills. Down syndrome is one example of a condition that involves an intellectual disability. 12. Traumatic brain injury This is a brain injury caused by an accident or some kind of physical force. 13. Multiple disabilities A child with multiple disabilities has more than one condition covered by IDEA. Having multiple issues creates educational needs that can’t be met in a program designed for any one disability.


Behavioral Educational Training Associates
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