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 maximize their child’s potential for lifelong learning. Understanding the value of education and the purpose of special education provides the basis for collaboration.

  • Measuring the value of education
  • Brief history of education
  • Introduction to special education
  • What is special education
  • The value of special education
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.

  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act
  • Rehabilitation Act
  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act
  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Government Results and Performance Act
  • Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Special education options


Every child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Children with cerebral palsy may require aids and services to reach their highest potential. Parents are urged to research and meet with educators to decide the most appropriate path to meet their child’s needs.

  • Public Schooling
  • Private Tuition-Based Schooling
  • Homeschooling
  • Private Tutoring

Special Education Eligibility


A child with disability is defined by IDEA by how the child’s educational performance is adversely affected due to disability. To be eligible for special education and related services, the child must be deemed as qualified under the IDEA defined eligibility guides.

Eligibility for Youth Aged 3 to 21:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Developmental Delay
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairment
    • Asthma
    • Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADD/ADHD
    • Diabetes
    • Epilepsy
    • Heart Conditions
    • Hemophilia
    • Lead Poisoning
    • Leukemia
    • Nephritis
    • Rheumatic Fever
    • Sickle Cell Anemia
    • Tourette Syndrome
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment, including Blindness

Eligibility for Children Aged 3 to 9, as it applies to Developmental Delay for special education and related services:

  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Communication Development
  • Social or Emotional Development
  • Adaptive Development


Children will be evaluated for:

  • Academic Performance
  • Adaptive Delay or Impairment
  • Communication Level
  • Emotional Status
  • Health
  • Intelligence
  • Motor Abilities
  • Social Ability
  • Vision and Hearing

To decipher the need for:

  • Program Modifications
  • Related Services
  • Special Accommodations
  • Supplementary Services
  • Special Accommodations
  • Specially Designed Instruction
  • Supplementary Aids
    • Adapted Equipment
    • Adapted Materials
    • Assistive Technology
    • Augmentative Communication Devices
    • One-on-One Aides
    • Supplementary Aide Training
    • Tutors
  • Supports for School Staff
    • Assistance
    • Classroom Aide
    • Special Equipment
    • Teaching Materials
    • Training

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.

  • Parents
  • Assistive Technology Specialist
  • Counselor
  • General Education Teacher
  • Hearing Specialist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Paraprofessional
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physical Education Instructor
  • Psychologist/Social Worker
  • School Administrator
  • School Nurse
  • Special Consultant
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Speech and Lanuage Pathologist
  • Transportation Specialist
  • Vision Specialist
Special Education Services


Special education services may include:

  • Audiology
  • Assistive Technology Device
  • Assistive Technology Service
  • Behavioral Intervention Plan
  • Counseling Services
  • General Curriculum
  • Home-Based Instruction
  • Home Tutoring
  • Interpreting Services
  • Itinerant
  • Medical Services
  • Mobility Services
  • Non-Academic Services and Extracurricular Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Paraprofessional
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychological Services
  • Recreation and Therapeutic Recreation
  • Related Services
  • School Health Services
  • School Health Services
  • School Nurse Services
  • Social Work Services in School
  • Speech-Language Pathology Services
  • Student Support and Accommodations
  • Supplementary Aids and Service
  • Transition Services
  • Transportation
  • Travel Training
  • Vocational Education

The special education team and process will discern:

  • the timeframe for services to be provided
  • the frequency of services provided during that timeframe
  • the length of time services will be provided per session
  • the location of where services will be provided

Special education options


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. Early intervention, early childhood programs and special education plans are the result of a collaboration between educators and parents to form a plan to optimize a child’s ability to learn.

  • Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP
  • Independent Education Evaluation, or IEE
  • Individualized Education Program, or IEP
  • Individualized Health Plan, or IHP
  • Individualized Transition Plan, or ITP

School transitions


Transition Steps

  • Early Intervention – 0 to 2
    • Child Find
    • Individualized Family Service Plan – 0 to 5
    • Early Head Start
  • Early Childhood Programs – 3 to 5
    • Head Start
    • Kindegarten
  • Secondary Education – 6 to 18
  • Transitioning into Adulthood – 16 to 21
  • Post-Secondary Education – Upon High School Graduation
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.

Collaboration and Prevention

  • Parent, Child and Teacher Meet
  • Child and Teacher One-on-One

Early Dispute Assistance

  • Parent to Parent Intermediary
  • Telephone Intermediary

Conflict Resolution Options

  • Facilitation
  • Third-Party Opinion/Consultation
  • Mediation Under IDEA

Procedural Safeguards

  • Resolution Meeting
  • Written State Complaint Process
  • Due Process Complaint and Hearing
  • Resolution Process

Legal Review

  • Litigation
  • Expedited Due Process Hearings
  • Legislation
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 Breakfast Program
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Special Milk Program
  • After School Snack
  • Summer Food Service Program

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