Special Education & Related Services

Special education services are available to students ages 3 through 21 who have an identified disability that requires specially designed instruction. To be eligible for special education services, a team must determine the following:

  1. the student has an identified disability
  2. the disability adversely impacts educational performance
  3. the student requires a specially designed instructional program

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) identifies 13 disability categories to which students can be found eligible for special education: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Serious Emotional Disturbance, Multiple Disabilities, Specific Learning Disability, Deaf-Blindness, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Orthopedic Impairment, Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability, Other Health Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

What is an IEP?

IEP stands for "Individualized Education Program". An IEP is a personalized education plan that is developed by a team for a student who has qualified for special education services. When developing an IEP, the team considers the student's strengths and limitations and creates annual, measurable goals that connect to the student's needs. The team also develops accommodations that are in the best interest of the student. The IEP is reviewed at least once every year to measure the student's performance in the developed goal areas.

What are related services?

As defined by IDEA, related services are supports that assist students with disabilities in benefiting from their special education. Some examples of related services include, but are not limited to: occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech and language therapy, psychological services, vision therapy, audiological services, orientation and mobility services, social work services, and transportation.