Module 9: Supporting Students With Special Needs

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Module Overview: Welcome to Module 9: Supporting Students With Special Needs.  Children with special needs include those with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, developmental disabilities, autism, hearing or visual impairment, speech or language impairment, and developmental delay. Schools are required to provide special services mandated by a Federal law called the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to students with these conditions and others.

Children with special needs require additional support and care in the learning environment that other children may not need. Recognizing the challenge of raising and educating children with special needs, Federal, state and local governments have instituted legislation and programs to support such children and their families.

This module is intended to provide School Liaisons with a basic understanding of the laws supporting students with special needs in the U.S. public education system, their anticipated needs as children of a military-connected parent or guardian, and ways School Liaisons can assist families to advocate on behalf of their children.

Learning Objectives: Through this module, School Liaisons will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of and rights afforded families through the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its role in dealing with challenges relating to military families.
  • Identify the evaluation process and procedural safeguards afforded parents under IDEA.
  • Explain the purpose of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its role in addressing challenges relating to military families.
  • Identify the appropriate channels within the military to obtain resources available for academic support and services for families of children with special needs.
  • Explain how to assist families to advocate on behalf of their children with special needs.

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