Navigating Special Education in Private School

A Brief Overview When a family chooses to enroll their student with disabilities in a private school, they have different rights. Those rights are summarized in this article and further explained by U.S. Department of Education guidance issued in February 2022. School districts are responsible to seek out and evaluate all students suspected of having disabilities Read More

Summer Reading Tips for Families

A Brief Overview Learning Heroes provides help to figure out a child’s reading level, useful when asking for summer reading recommendations from a teacher or librarian. Any format that captures a child’s imagination and makes them enjoy reading is valuable. Consider graphic novels, audio books, read aloud online videos, or e-readers in addition to traditional Read More

School to Adulthood: Transition Planning Toolkit for High School, Life, and Work

You can print this toolkit as a PDF! Click to download Looking to the future can feel exciting, hopeful, confusing, overwhelming—or all emotions at once. For families supporting a young person with a disability, it’s never too soon to begin planning to ensure a smooth process from the teen years toward whatever happens next. This Read More

Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

A Brief Overview Washington State requires special education referrals to be in writing (WAC 392-172A-03005). Anyone with knowledge of a student can write a referral. The state provides a form for making a special education referral, downloadable from a website page titled, Making a Referral for Special Education. The form is not required—any written request Read More

Sample Letter to Request a Functional Behavioral Assessment

When a student’s behavior gets in the way of their learning and/or the learning of others, the school is responsible to figure out how to support behavioral expectations. One way to do that is to assess why the student might be acting out and use that information to consider how positive behavioral interventions might teach Read More

Procedural Safeguards: How to File a Special Education Complaint

This training has information about parent rights and describes a process for filing a community complaint. When parents believe their child’s school has done something inappropriate related to the Individualized Education Program—their IEP—filing a complaint is one option available. This training will help you know where to get a community complaint form and walks you Read More

Evaluations Part 1: Where to Start When a Student Needs Special Help at School

A Brief Overview Special Education is provided through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with a qualifying disability. The first step is to determine eligibility through evaluation. This article describes that process. Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) is the “special” in special education. The evaluation determines whether SDI is needed to help a student Read More

Legal Resources for Highly Mobile Military Families

Military families have unique circumstances that can call for out-of-state or specialized assistance.  For example, when they move to a new duty station, they may need to find a lawyer in the state to which they are moving to help them establish a new guardianship for an adult child with disabilities. Fortunately there is an Read More

Temporary Caregivers of Military Children: Guide to Essential Information

If you are a grandparent, other relative, or family friend taking care of children while their parent or parents are deployed or on other duty, this guide to essential information is intended to offer you help and resources.  It contains useful information about military benefits that provide help with schools, medical care and supports and Read More