Free Workshop: Special Education Basics

This workshop provides parents and families with a broad base of information about special education. Supporting students with disabilities can happen with an IEP or a 504 Plan. This training includes an overview of the IEP (Individualized Education Program) and 504 Plans; how they are different; how to know which one is right for your child; and how to effectively participate in either process.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Mission Children’s Reuter Outpatient Center | Register Here

Helpful Websites List

We've been searching for some helpful links and websites for our families. There is so much out there and it can be overwhelming. Here is a quick list of websites that may be what you're looking for!

Autism Resources for Families  includes evidence based practices for parents/families. 

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents includes some helpful resources that families can use for explaining autism

Reduce the Noise: Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload Enjoy Shopping involves information on sensory overload

Creating a Home Where Your Child Can Thrive with a Disability-- this is a really helpful resource for parents with children with disabilities

CDC Autism Links and Resources-- a great list of possible resources for families

Estate Planning for Parents of Special Needs Kids  it does address important financial information for families that seem really helpful

Temple Grandin's Teaching Tips-- some quick helpful tidbits


Check them out! We'll try to keep updating our lists of excellent resources for our families.

EC Definitions

In the special education world, we use a lot of words/phrases that can be easily confused. Thanks to a school district in Texas, we've found a good list of definitions. 


Annual review- A review of the student's Individual Educational Program (IEP) is required at least annually.

Reevaluation-A reevaluation of eligibility is required at least every three years and consists of a thorough review of existing data by the IEP team. lf additional assessment is needed to determine continuing eligibility it can be requested by the IEP team.

Manifestation Determination-If the student's behavior has caused him/her to be removed from the classroom for disciplinary reasons for more than ten days in a school year, the IEP team must determine whether the behavior is a manifestation of the student's disability and plan appropriately. A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) must also be completed and a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) developed.

Related Services Evaluation -A report by the Related Service provider that evaluates need for related services and makes recommendations.

Determination of Eligibility-Based upon evaluation information, the committee certifies that the student meets the criteria for one or more of the following disability category(s) as defined in relevant regulations. Specific eligibility criteria for each category are identified in an Eligibility Report located in the student's Special Education file.


LD Learning Disability

ID Intellectual Disability

OH Orthopedic Impairment

SI Speech Impairment

TBI Traumatic Brain Injury

ED Emotionally Disturbed

DB Deaf Blind

VI Visual Impairment

AU Autism

AI Auditory Impairment

OI Other Health Impaired

NCEC Non Categorical Early Childhood

Multiple Disabilities-A student who has two or more disabilities that are expected to continue indefinitely and that severely impair performance in at least two of the following areas: self-care skills, communication skills,social and emotional development, cognition.

Educational need-In order to be eligible for Special Education services there must be a legally defined disability that interferes with learning to the extent that the student cannot be adequately educated without provision of such services and therefore demonstrates an educational need that cannot be met by General Education, even with supplementary aids and services.

Development of the Individual Educational Program (IEP)-The committee should make decisions based upon the educational needs of the student. If the current IEP is reviewed and no changes are recommended, the decisions of the previous IEP team remain in effect.

Measurable Goals/Benchmarks-Required for all Special Education students. Based upon current competencies, measurable goals are identified in each area of identified need.

Visually Impaired (VI)-Required for all students with a visual impairment. A Consultant for the Visually Impaired should attend the ARD to provide supplementary information and make recommendations for development of an appropriate Individual Educational Program (IEP)

Auditory Impaired (AI) -Required for all students with an auditory impairment. A Consultant for the Auditory Impaired should attend the ARD to provide supplementary information and make recommendations for development of an appropriate Individual Educational Program (IEP).

Autism (AU)-Required for all students served under the disability category of Autism. It should address extended educational programming, daily schedule, in-home and community-based training, positive behavioral support strategies, parent/family training, futures planning, communication interventions, professional educator/staff supports, teaching strategies, social skills supports and strategies, and suitable staff to student ratio.

(Age 14) Transition Service Needs-Required for all students beginning at age 14. This is a statement of the transition service needs of the student with a focus on the student's courses of study (method of graduation, goals for post secondary education or employment, and services needed to assist transition).

(Age 16) Needed Transition Services-Required for all students beginning at age 16. This is a statement of needed transition services for the student that is based on the student's anticipated method of graduation and assures that the student's expectations and needs are written in the Individual Educational Program for the student. It must be developed with participation of the student and may include a statement of inter-agency responsibilities related to transition.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)-Required for all students whose behavior interferes with educational progress. It should be based upon a Functional Behavioral Assessment(FBA) and should contain positive strategies as well as appropriate interventions/consequences. 

Extended School Year (ESY)-Required for all students who are at risk for suffering severe regression/recoupment difficulties following breaks in the educational year. This supplement addresses the eligibility requirements for an extended school year and prescribes an appropriate program based upon current school year goals and objectives, if needed to prevent regression/recoupment difficulties.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)-Required for all students who are removed from the General Education classroom for any amount of time in order to receive Special Education services. It should address reasons the student cannot be served entirely in the General Education classroom, discuss opportunity to participate with non-disabled students in nonacademic and extracurricular activities, and potentially harmful effects of the removal.