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.
TOP TEN THINGS TO 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: https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/special-education
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.