Top Ten Things to Know About Special Education

COVID-19 Resources and Updates, Parent & Family Engagement | 04/21/2020

Darcelina Soloria
Spokane Organizer

As the family member, parent, or caregiver of a student with a disability, there is a learning curve of vocabulary, processes, and laws that can be daunting to face. That’s why we’ve created a specific workshop for families called Special Education Basics & Rights that covers the top ten things that families of students in special education should know. 

This list and the workshop was developed in partnership with our Stand Special Education Fellow, Devony Audet, and Mollie Weber, a parent liaison at Spokane Public Schools. Here are the basics we recommend every special education family should know.


  • The IEP is a Legal Document

  • You are an equal part of your student’s IEP team

  • Parent Consent is Necessary and Always Voluntary

  • Your child is entitled to education in their least restrictive environment

  • Parents must always receive prior written notice whenever the school district proposes a change or refuses a request for change of an IEP

  • The IEP should contain goals and objectives, with clearly defined criteria.

  • Your student on an IEP may be entitled to additional protections and services following ongoing discipline

  • Your student is entitled to positive behavior supports as needed

  • You can request an IEP meeting at any time

  • You have a right to disagree

We strongly encourage you to consult the state superintendent’s office (OSPI) for more specific Washington State needs:

If you’d like to view the whole slide deck from our workshop, you can download the PDF here

Or, if you’d like to watch the workshop in its entirety, you can watch it on-demand whenever is convenient for you. 


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