Special Education is a Service, Not a Place

A Brief Overview A student with a disability has the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). General education is the LRE. Services are generally portable, and special education is delivered to the student to enable access to FAPE within the LRE to the maximum extent appropriate. Federal Read More

Long COVID May Cause Disability and Eligibility for Services

Some people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus experience long-term symptoms—called Long COVID. If lasting symptoms significantly impact a person’s life, their ability to work, or their access to school, disability laws are in place to protect and support them. Among federal laws that support disability rights are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Read More

Recovery Services: What Families Need to Know as Schools Reopen

A Brief Overview Students who did not make adequate progress on IEP goals due to COVID-19 may need Recovery Services to get back on track. IEP teams are responsible to make student-centered decisions about this option for additional educational services. Not all students need Recovery Services, but the state has made clear that IEP teams Read More

Early Learning Toolkit: Overview of Services for Families of Young Children

New parents have a lot to manage. Concern about whether a child’s growth and development are on track can be confusing. This toolkit provides places to begin if caregivers suspect that a baby or young child may need services due to a developmental delay or disability. How do I know if my child is developmentally Read More

Early Intervention: How to Access Services for Children Birth to 3 in Washington

A Brief Overview Early intervention services help infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays to learn and catch up in their development. This article covers some basics about services for young children in Washington State. Families concerned about a child’s development can call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588, with support in multiple languages. Parents can Read More

Find Civilian Services for Your Child With a Disability When You Leave the Military

A guide to finding civilian supports and services when your service member separates or retires from the military if you have a child (including an adult dependent child) with disabilities. If you are PCSing to a “forever” home location, it includes resource finders available across the United States and Territories. As you read down the Read More

Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Encourages Inclusion

A Brief Overview LRE has been an aspect of special education law since 1975, when there was widespread public concern about children with disabilities historically being segregated and denied equitable education. Research shows that children of all abilities learn social skills from one another when they learn side-by-side. Some Washington schools struggle to support access Read More

Helper Dogs Provide Service, Therapy or Emotional Support

A Brief Overview Service dogs and therapy dogs have different jobs. Read on to learn more about the differences and how dogs can help people with diverse disabilities. A service dog is trained to support a specific person in unique circumstances. Therapy dogs are chosen by temperament and trained to use closeness and touch to Read More

Early Learning Transition: When Birth-3 Services End

The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) ends when a child turns 3. A transition to a preschool plan with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) requires a new evaluation and is a team-led process: Planning begins 6-9 months before the third birthday. The Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) schedules a transition conference to design a written Transition Read More