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 EducatenewTitle  Educate Yourself

You have to understand the special education terminology if you're going to be able to help your child in the public school system. There are some key phrases and concepts you need to learn prior to any school meeting. The centerpiece of getting help for your special needs child is Federal Law.  Washington, D.C., dictates to the states how kids with any kind of disorder or disability have to be treated.  The main laws and principles you should familiarize yourself with are:

• IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004
• NCLB – No Child Left Behind

Click through on the links above for a succinct definition of these laws. If you want to read about these laws in greater detail, a site with such information is www.wrightslaw.com. The statutes and laws essentially say that a child with any kind of disability or disorder is guaranteed the same education owed any other child.


Additionally, there are other basic special education terms you should know.  Note that there are literally thousands of phrases and terms related to special education services, and as you go along you will learn more and more.  Rather than jumping around different websites and getting overwhelmed as we did, I would start with these terms.  read more

normal_warning_page1verysmall  WARNING!  Understanding the IEP and the IEP Process.


The Individualized Education Plan is the foundational document for receiving special eduacation services from your school, district, or county.  You'll need to have a basic understanding of everything associated with IEP's.  read more


Finally, as you begin the education process, here are some suggested websites. www.wrightslaw.com is probably the pre-eminent website dealing with special education.  Some of it is quite advanced and geared to the legal community, but there's a ton of information for parents as well. I recommend signing up for their newsletter.  www.education.com has some good information on special education as does the website www.about.com.  I also went to www.amazon.com and looked for special education books and information related to my son’s disability.  www.iser.com and http://www.seriweb.com are also sites to explore; you be the judge of their usefulness.  Not everything on every site will be relevant to your specific situation; you will obviously have to pick and choose what you need.  Here are a few more: Learning Disabilities Online www.ldonline.org , National Center for Learning Disabilities www.ncld.org.


The special education journey will probably never end; you'll need to continue to get updated on the latest diagnoses and changes in special education law.


Click on the images below to visit the various stops on the map.



  1. Something's Not Right



   2. Get Your Child Diagnosed


   3. Educate Youself



     4. Get the Help You Need


  5. Prepare for Conflict


    6. Create a Master Plan



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