Special Education – What do YOU need to know

There is often confusion about what options are available for students who are not making progress in school and/or who have barriers to learning. Whether the issue surrounds academic difficulties, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, social and/or behavioral disorders, or mental disorders, help is available in many different ways.

Response to Intervention
When a child is identified as needing more assistance, schools provide Response to Intervention, also known as RTI. Response to Intervention uses high quality, research-based instruction in general and special education to provide services and interventions to students who struggle to learn and may be at risk or suspected of having learning disabilities. More information about RTI can be found here:
Response to Intervention-A Primer for Parents.
Section 504 Plan
A Section 504 Plan is a document that provides accommodations for students who have a disability. While it does not provide specialized instruction, it can “even the playing field” for students who have disabilities. A student must be evaluated for a Section 504 Plan, but the law does not require comprehensive testing. You can learn more about a Section 504 Plan here: Section 504 Plan.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individualized Education Plan, also known an IEP, provides specialized instruction to a student and can also provide modifications and accommodations, if necessary. In order to have an IEP, a student must be evaluated. If a parent has a concerns about their child, he or she can request an evaluation. A sample letter for requesting a full and comprehensive evaluation can be found here: Sample Letter to Request an Evaluation. In Missouri, there are 13 different educational categories that can be considered after an evaluation including, but not limited to, Autism, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Other Health Impaired, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Orthopedic Impairment, Visual Impairment, and Speech/Language Impairment. There are timelines that schools must adhere to and certain steps that must be taken. You can learn more about the process here: The 10 Steps of the Special Education Process.
If you have questions about the special education process, please contact us at 800.764.7364. You can also send us a website submission here.
You can learn about our statewide workshops here
Remember, MPACT is here to provide information and assistance to empower YOU to be your child’s advocate. If you have questions about your child’s education or the special education process, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Free Special Education Workshops
Does your child have a disability; struggle with learning, behavior, or social issues at school; or currently receive special education services? If so, Missouri Parents Act (MPACT) may be able to help. MPACT is a federally-funded, statewide parent training and information center. MPACT offers families free training, resources, and support throughout the special education process.
We offer workshops throughout the state. All workshop descriptions, dates, and registration information are located here:MPACT Workshops
Please Contact Us if you would like to schedule a training for your area or organization.

For more information about MPACT or to request information and resources about the special education process, please visit: www.missouriparentsact.org or call 1.800.743.7634.

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