Special Education Rights for Children and Families

Special Education Rights for Children and Families Pamphlet Cover A child can have trouble in school, or not want to go to school, for many different reasons. It can be because of behavioral or emotional issues, speech and language challenges, medical conditions, or learning differences or disabilities. If you are a parent, foster parent, or guardian, or if you take care of a child who is not doing well in school, you can learn about special educational services that may help your child.

Click on the topics below to learn more. You can also find this information in the pamphlet Special Education Rights for Children and Families (en español).

Special Education Needs and Services

Learn about the signs that your child may have special education needs. Find out about services that can help.

Assessments and Eligibility

Your child will need an assessment to determine whether your child qualifies for special education. Read this section to learn about assessments, who can ask for them, and what happens next.

IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)

An IEP is a learning plan created specifically for your child. The IEP describes your child's needs and strengths, the services that the school will provide, and educational goals for your child.

Rights of Parents

Read this section to find out what legal rights children and parents have. Learn about your right to ask for a hearing if you disagree with the school district about a special education issue or about access to a free appropriate public education.

Behavior and School Discipline

Students who qualify for special education may get special considerations when it comes to behavior and school discipline.  This section lets you know about these rights.

Find Help and More Information

There are a number of resources on the Internet with information for students with disabilities and their parents.