Early Intervention & Special Education
Special Needs and Medically Fragile Education is a complex topic. We rely on the NICHCY (National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities) site for complete information on special needs education. This is the best source we have found for getting information on current laws and education practices both nationally and in individual states. Use this link to their State database for comprehensive links to what is available in your state for education, as well as links to the state's leading resources for specific disabilities/diagnoses and parent organizations. We will be updating this page with parent stories and tips for the various stages of the special education process, so please check back!
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
This Act of Congress insures that children with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education, including early intervention services. The details of this Act are important to understand, and NICHCY has a parent-friendly explanation. Link to NICHCY - IDEA
Special Education - NICHCY has 10 Steps To Special Education, which is an overview of the entire process involved in the education of school-age children with disabilities. Link to 10 Steps To Special Education
Early Intervention - for infants and young children 0-3 years old. The IDEA provides for children who are identified early (0-3) to receive educational and possible therapeutic supports for their disability.
Link to NICHY - Early Intervention
Evaluation Process - to determine if your child is eligible for services, your child will be evaluated. This evaluation is called a 'Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Assessment.' It is 'multidisciplinary' because people from several 'disciplines,' such as a speech therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, hearing and vision professionals, etc., are part of the evaluation process.
Find this topic explained on the NICHCY Early Intervention page.
IFSP - Individual Family Service Plan
After your child goes through the evaluation process and is found to be eligible in your State, the Individual Family Service Plan is written to define the services that your family and your child will receive.
Link to IFSP Information
IEP - Individual Education Plan
School-age children have an Individual Education Plan that is developed for their special educational needs.
Link to IEP Information
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