Q: Is there someone else who can help me understand the "Special Education Maze"?
Yes. There are people who can assist parents who are either new to the Special Education process and/or have unresolved issues with their child's IEP. Matrix Parent Network & Resource Center can provide informational training workshops, support groups, general advice and links to outside resources. Their contact information is www.matrixparents.org.
Q: Are there special education infant and preschool programs available?
Yes. Infants and toddlers aged birth through 36 months with diagnosed disabilities, or at risk for disability, are served. Preschool children ages 3-5 are also eligible for services. You can obtain further information about infant and preschool programs by calling.
Q: If I think my child has a learning problem, what should I do?
First discuss your concerns with your child’s classroom teacher. If your child has a demonstrated problem, which prevents him from functioning in a regular school program without special help, then your child may be eligible for special education services. As a first step you may request that your child’s teacher make a referral to the Student Study Team, or you may send a request for an assessment to the Special Education Department.
Q: What is a Student Study Team (SST)?
The SST is a regular education function. It is comprised of teachers and other school personnel based at your local school site. This team reviews a student’s problem(s) and plans alternative strategies to be used in the regular program. Necessary interventions are implemented and follow up should occur.
Q: If my child is eligible for special education, who decides what services my child will receive and what program he/she will be in?
The appropriate services and programs will be based upon your child’s individual special education needs, which are based on an assessment of all areas of the suspected disability. The planning of your child’s program and services is done by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. The parent is an important member of this team.
Q: What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
The IEP is a written document developed for each student eligible for special education and revised at least yearly, which is based on the educational needs of the student as specified by the IEP team (professionals and parents).
Q: What are related services?
Related services, also called Designated Instruction and Services (DIS), are provided in addition to class placement, when needed. They include speech, physical and occupational therapy; vision, hearing and audiological services; adapted physical education; assistive technology; extended school year; and transportation.
Q: What is due process?
Q: When are transportation services provided?
Q: Will my child be able to participate in an extended year program?
Yes, if the IEP team has determined a need for an extended year program. Generally extended year is available to those students with intensive needs who require a continuation of services to prevent a regression of skills during the summer which would be difficult to recoup at the beginning of the new school year.
Q: What should I do if I don’t agree with everything in the IEP?
You may give consent to those parts of the IEP with which you agree and they will be implemented, thus not causing a delay in services. You will be asked to write a dissenting statement that will then be attached to the IEP. The parts with which you don’t agree may become the basis for a fair hearing or mediation.
Q: If I have a problem with my child’s IEP or services, what should I do?
First, discuss the problem with your child’s special education case manager and any other school personnel who are familiar with your child’s special needs and who may be able to help resolve the problem for you. You may request that the IEP team meet to review and/or develop a new IEP or you can contact the Independent Child Advocate available through the Solano County SELPA at (707) 399-4460.
Q: May I observe my child's special education program in the district?
Q: May I see my child’s school records?
Q: May I obtain an independent assessment of my child, and must that assessment be considered by the school district in educational planning?
Yes. Parents may have an independent assessment done, at their own expense, at any time, and the results must be considered by the school to support the need for appropriate educational services. Under certain conditions, the school district may pay for an independent assessment.
Q: For how long will my child receive special education services?
Q: How will my child’s IEP be affected if we move out of this school district?
Your child’s IEP will still be valid and he/she will be placed in a comparable program for a period of 30 days if you should move. During that time an IEP review should take place in your new school district.
Q: May I volunteer at my child’s school?
Parent involvement is strongly encouraged. Speak to your child’s teacher about volunteering at school. There are many ways in which you can become involved.