Toolkit Basics: Where to Begin When a Student Needs More Help

When a student has unmet needs and may need new or different school-based services, what to do next can feel confusing or overwhelming. PAVE provides this toolkit to support families in taking initial, critical steps. These guidelines apply regardless of where school happens. Is Disability a Factor? Before acting, the family can consider disability and Read More

Key Information and Creative Questions for Families to Consider During COVID-19 Closures

A Brief Overview Districts are responsible to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students within their boundaries with known or suspected disabilities that significantly impact access to learning. Read on to learn more about FAPE and student rights. Federal and state requirements to ensure that children with qualifying disabilities can access early learning Read More

Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

When a student is struggling in school and there is reason to suspect the challenges are disability related, anyone can refer the student for an educational evaluation. The final section of this article includes a sample letter for requesting a no-cost evaluation from the school district. PAVE provides an article with more detail: Evaluations Part Read More

Sample Letter to Request an IEP Meeting

When a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the school is required to review the program every year. The annual review date is listed on the cover page of the IEP document. Family members/caregivers can request additional meetings, and this article includes a sample letter that families can use to formally request an IEP Read More

IDEA: The Foundation of Special Education

A Brief Overview The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that entitles children to special education services if disability significantly impacts access to education and a specially designed program is needed. Key concepts are from the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, passed in 1975. The United States celebrated 45 years Read More

Child Find: Schools Have a Legal Duty to Evaluate Children Impacted by Disability

A Brief Overview School districts have an affirmative duty to locate, evaluate and potentially serve any infant, toddler or school-aged student impacted by disability under the Child Find Mandate — part of special education law. The duty to evaluate is based on a known or suspected disability that may significantly impact access to learning. Data from evaluation then determines eligibility. Read More

Holiday Survival Tips For Families with Special Healthcare Needs

Holidays provide a mix of social situations and emotions, and the COVID-19 pandemic adds elements that look a little different for every family. This article provides ideas for celebrating and finding points of joy, with specific tips for those impacted by special healthcare needs. Here are the quick takeaway topics: Break the routine: Although travel Read More

Respite Offers a Break for Caregivers and Those They Support

A Brief Overview Respite offers a short-term break for caregivers and those they support. This article provides information and resources to get started seeking respite services. Lifespan Respite Washington, a program of PAVE, provides vouchers with up to $1,000 per qualifying household, to fund respite care. Pathways to Respite, an online booklet published by several Read More

Home for the Holidays: The Gift of Positive Behavior Support

A Brief Overview This article provides examples and simple guidance about how to be more strategic in parenting a child who struggles with behavior—during the weird winter of 2020 and beyond. PAVE consulted with University of Washington positive behavior support expert Kelcey Schmitz for this article. Anticipating trouble and making a best guess about the Read More