Special Education Information for Parents

girl on swingWelcome

The E-READY parents' section gives you easy access to information about parenting a child with special needs. A set of Federal laws called IDEA guarantees access to appropriate educational programs for students who have a disability that interferes with their learning. If you think your child may have a disability, this section will guide you to resources which can help find out whether this is true.

If you know your child has a disability, there are lots of resources here that can help you make sure that your child gets the most out of school and life

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There are two types of disabilities.

Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities occur when part of your child's body - for example, an eye, ear, or hand - does not work normally. This can make it difficult for your child to learn in the same way that other children do, even though he or she may be just as intelligent as other children.

Learning Disabilities

Intellectual or learning disabilities occur when your child's brain is unable to process information in the same way or as fully as most children do at the same age. These disabilities be mild - for example, an inability to quickly identify letter shapes. They may also be more severe, involving moderate to severe mental retardation. Some learning disabilities will become less severe as a child grows older. Other disabilities will not change and will remain with a child permanently.

Testing for Disabilities

A child may have only physical disabilities, only intellectual disabilities, or both types of disabilities at the same time. Trained professionals can use tests to learn more about your child and what disabilities, if any he or she might have. This testing is very important, because there are laws that guarantee an appropriate education to any child with a disability that interferes with his or her ability to learn normally.

The rest of the information in this section is in three parts:

Discovering Disabilities - Visit this section if you think your child may have a disability or other learning problem. You should also visit this section if your child's teachers have told you that your child might have a disability or learning problem. It has information on how you can find out whether your child has a disability. This section will also tell you how you can be sure that your disabled child gets the services that he or she needs.

Disabilities Defined - If your child does have a disability, this section can help you find out more about this disability and what it means for your child's education. This section can also give you information about how you and your child's teachers can help your child get the most appropriate education.

References and Resources - Here you will find organizations that can provide additional information, services, or assistance for parents of children with disabilities. There are additional resource listings in the sections of this site which deal with specific disabilities.

We have also provided a glossary, which gives definitions of many special education terms.

Development of these resources was funded
by a grant from the NEC Foundation of America

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