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Navigating the special education process

Parents of students in special education often experience confusion and frustration with the special education process. See below for information about ways to help parents understand the process and their parental rights and responsibilities.

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Working with Families

Understanding the Special Education Process

This overview from the PACER Center walks parents through each step of the special education process, describing what happens from the time a child is referred for evaluation through the development of an individualized education program (IEP).

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Legislation & Policy


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that secures special education services for children with disabilities from the time they are born until they graduate from high school.

Related books

A Special Education: One Family's Journey Through the Maze of Learning Disabilities
The Complete Guide to Special Education: Expert Advice on Evaluations, IEPs, and Helping Kids Succeed
Meeting the Challenge: Special Education Tools That Work for All Kids
Negotiating the Special Education Maze

Negotiating the Special Education Maze

Winifred Anderson, Stephen Chitwood, Deidre Hayden, Cherie Takemoto
Special Education Law

Special Education Law

Patricia H. Latham, Peter Latham, Myrna Mandlawitz

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