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A Primer for Parents on Individual Education Plans

One of the major concerns that parents face when they have a child with special needs or neurodevelopmental concerns is working with the school system in order to ensure that the child receives the best accommodations and interventions to help him or her perform to the ultimate potential.  There is legislation created that provides parents and children support and services in the school system.  The main piece of legislation that guarantees certain provisions for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities is the Individual Disability Education Act (IDEA), which had its most recent revision in 2004.  This act creates special education services as known today.

The Individual Disability Education Act has a few main components that provide children and families safeguards in the school system:

  • Concept of Zero Reject:  this states that every child, regardless of disability must be educated.
  • Nondiscriminatory Evaluation:  this requires an unbiased assessment of the child be conducted in order to help determine what special education services are most appropriate.
  • Free and Public Education:  this concept ensures the appropriateness of academic placement as well as the provision of services at no additional charges to the parent or guardian.
  • Least Restrictive Environment:  the child should be placed within the mainstream classroom as much as possible with accommodations and support. Read more