If IEPs were winding off-ramps on the road to education for special needs families, following them now in the time of Distance Learning requires an even better GPS and attention to new road signs.
Parents and IDEA: Power in the Law
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 1975) is the federal law that mandates special education services and rights for children with unique needs in the U.S. and their parents. IDEA calls for a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). In California, we also follow the guidelines set out by the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Education Code (CEC). The IEP is both a plan and a process to provide a child with resources to address their unique needs at school based on IDEA and the California Education Code.
What are your rights as parents of children with special needs?
Under IDEA and the California Education Code, parents have been provided a host of rights (i.e. Procedural Safeguards) including these:
Distance Learning (DL), IEPs & Compensatory Education Services
During the 2020-21 school year, schools may offer a variety of education options including on-campus learning, Distance Learning (DL) only, or a hybrid of both learning options.
Did you know that parent’s right and FAPE currently remain intact during times of Distance Learning? Here are more important factors to consider regarding DL …
Parent’s Documentation during Distance Learning (DL)
What should parents document?
How should parents document?
Parent Tips for Distance Learning
If your child is engaging in any level of distance learning: document, document, document! Also, remember to focus on maintaining and/or working toward grade level skills in reading and math. For many students, Distance Learning is not the time to attempt to move kids beyond grade level. Just focus on the basics. Resources to assist include:
Lastly parents, be cautious in refusing your school’s offer of instruction, no matter how poor. This may hinder your ability to consider and be found eligible for Comp Education services in the future. Feel free to contact us with any questions. We are here to help fellow special families!
Thank you to Betsy Hamblin of San Diego, CA who often serves as the writing consultant at Sanford Autism Consulting.
Crystal Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP is an Educational Consultant, IEP & Autism Advocate and Speech Pathologist. She is also the host of inspiring podcasts, Thriving Special Families and Thriving Autism Families! Her passion is advocating STRONG alongside fellow Autism and special needs parents, helping them to persistently pursue what their children deserve at school. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and two children in San Diego, CA.