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Special Education

The term ‘going to school’ is fundamentally different from ‘receiving a meaningful education.’ Being educated means that a person can take what they have learned and apply it in the marketplace to support their ambitions, pursue their interests, live amongst others, and generally abide by the rules of the society in which they live.

Education instills common understanding, awareness and respect among citizens living within the same environment. So important it is that every person deserves an equal opportunity to learn and thrive within the educational setting. Rules of society depend upon it. To accomplish this lofty goal, however, requires additional supports and services for some.

The concept behind special education is to have available service and supports that allow all individuals the opportunity to reach a meaningful education that furthers their ability to reach their highest potential.

About special education

A child’s education is the springboard for many things: the aptitude to perceive and function at home and in public, the capability to pursue employment or college, and the confidence to socialize.

There used to be a time when segregated special education was the norm. Today, children with disabilities are entitled to a more conventional, inclusionary education – one that can mainstream them into the classroom today and society tomorrow.

If the terms “Individualized Education Plan,” “mainstreaming,” and “special education team” aren’t familiar today, they will be when your child is enrolled in early intervention. The process by which a child with disabilities is schooled is complex, but it’s one in which parents play a vital role.

Parents are urged to ensure that their child has access to every service and support possible during this pivotal time in their child’s life.

  • a student distracted from teacher reading a book

    What is Special Education?

    Special education is the general term used to describe the variety of educational programs and services available to help students to learn and, ultimately, prepare for adulthood. Special education programs and services assist children with disability in obtaining an education in the least restrictive educational environment possible.
    What is Special Education »

  • a student distracted from teacher reading a book

    The Value of Education

    In order to be fully included in the educational process and to reduce barriers to learning, parents of a child with cerebral palsy work closely with the educators in the special education program to optimize their child’s potential for lifelong learning. Understanding the value of education and the purpose of special education provides the basis for collaboration.
    The Value of Education »

  • a boy in a decked out wheelchair on his way to school

    Special Education Options

    Every child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, including children with cerebral palsy. Children with disabilities may require aids and services to reach their highest learning potential. Today, parents are urged to research and meet with educators in the public and private sectors to decide the appropriate education path to meet their child’s needs.
    Special Education Options »

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    Eligibility for Special Education

    The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act identifies who exactly is eligible for special education programs. The IDEA breaks special education into two sections. Infants and toddlers through age 2 are covered in Part C while children from age 3 through 21 are covered under Part B. In addition, children age 3 to 9 with developmental delay may also qualify for special education related supports.
    Eligibility for Special Education »

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    Special Education Assessments

    Education assessments are performed on children with disabilities to qualify him or her for the special education program. Assessments are used when planning a child’s special education learning plans. Assessments ascertain a child’s ability levels in such areas as academic performance, communication, emotional status, mobility, social skills, vision and hearing.
    Special Education Assessments »

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    Special Education Planning Team

    A Special Education Planning Team guides a child’s schooling and associated therapy and treatment. The special educational planning team members may conduct a child’s initial evaluation and assessment, be involved in creating their Individualized Education Plan, and may play roles at various times in a child’s educational career.
    Special Education Planning Team »

  • teacher working one-on-one with a few students for additional assistance

    Special Education Services

    Many special education services are made available to ensure that a child with a disability receives the best education possible appropriate to their impairment. Most services should be available to children within the public school system. Students in private school systems, as well as early intervention and Head Start programs, may have access to the same services.
    Special Education Services »

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    Types of Special Education Plans

    Programs are in place to prepare children with special needs for school and to receive the proper supports for learning. For children with cerebral palsy, early intervention plans begin soon after a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and sometimes before diagnosis when developmental delay is identified. Learn more about the six major school transitions.
    Types of Special Education Plans »

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    School Transitions

    Most children make it through the awkward transitions from elementary to middle to high school without emotional scarring. It’s simply a part of growing up. But, for children with disabilities, making those same transitions is not as easy as being dropped off at a different bus stop. Learn more about the various major school transitions.
    School Transitions »

  • a couple sitting at a table discussing important items with school officials

    Dispute Resolution

    One of the most important aspects of a child’s ability to transcend his or her disability is access to a meaningful education. But often, what special education professionals believe is the best way to educate a child is completely different from a parent’s expectations. The process of dispute resolution is designed to help everyone involved reach a consensus.
    Dispute Resolution »

  • boy eating lunch in school cafeteria

    School Nutrition Program

    Specially-prepared meals may be available at school for children with cerebral palsy who may have difficulty swallowing or digesting certain foods. It’s one of the guidelines for the school nutrition programs that also offer free and reduced-priced meals to children who qualify.
    School Nutrition Program »

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    School is one place where all students, no matter what their level of ability is, are entitled to a full complement of services. Under the law, every student is entitled to a meaningful education, and for students with cerebral palsy, paraprofessionals can be the link that makes that goal a reality.
    Paraprofessional »

  • two wheelchair bound students riding the fitness track

    Adapted Sports in the Public School System

    A 2010 study compiled by the US Government Accountability Office found that although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, mandates full participation, 12 percent of students with disabilities in grades seven to 12 did not take traditional physical education classes. The push for inclusion in school sports couldn’t come at a better time. The American Association of Adapted Sports Program, or AAASP, is changing the tide, one school system at a time.
    Adapted Sports in the Public School System »

  • teens intently working on a group project

    Special Education Legislation

    There was a time when a child with disabilities was not entitled to a free and appropriate education. Thankfully, the approval of laws designed to level the playing field for children with special needs are helping young children learn, achieve and meet their goals inside, and outside, of the classroom.
    Special Education Legislation »


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MyChild™ Online Inquiry

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