Services in School for Children with Special Needs: What Parents Need to Know


Some children experience difficulties in school, ranging from problems with
concentration, learning, language, and perception to problems with behavior and/or
making and keeping friends. These difficulties may be due to one or more of the

• physical disorders,
• psychiatric disorders,
• emotional problems,
• behavioral problems,
• learning disorders (or disabilities).

Children with such special needs are usually entitled to receive additional services or
accommodations through the public schools. Federal law mandates that every child
receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. To
support their ability to learn in school, three Federal laws apply specifically to children with special needs:

• The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (1975)
• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
• The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990).

Different states have different criteria for eligibility, services available, and procedures for implementing these laws. It is important for parents to be aware of these laws and related regulations in their particular area.

The Laws
IDEA is a federal law (1975, amended by the Office of Special Education Programs in
1997) that governs all special education services for children in the United States. Under
IDEA, in order for a child to be eligible for special education, they must be in one of the following categories:
• serious emotional disturbance
• learning disabilities
• mental retardation

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About aoschmidt

Founder of My College and Career Coach (Part of My Balance LLC) as well as Next Step for Special Needs (501C org) and an Emotion Code Practitioner. I LOVE helping people to prosper! I am the mother of 6 (2 mine and 4 are his) and 2 of these children have special needs. My educational background includes a BS in Psychology and a MS in Counseling and Guidance. Over the past 20 years, I have been assisting families, with special needs children, from birth to graduation and beyond, for FREE! I have been helping these families while working full time in the field of education as a school counselor and learning how the educational system works from both sides (as an educator and a parent). I have been helping families to navigate the medical and educational systems as well as obtaining other services that are available to their children. See ABOUT page for full company profile. Follow the blog via email or join us on Facebook!

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