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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires states and territories to provide early intervention or special education services to children and young adults. Early intervention is available for children from birth to 3 years old, and special education services are available to children from 3 to 21 years old. Each installation provides specific resources for these programs and services in local schools or health departments. Before moving, identify programs in your area, be prepared and understand while not all services offered are the same – they are required to be comparable.
The IDEA requires that all states and territories provide special education and related services to eligible children between the ages of 3 through 21. Each local school district has a special education director, and each school should have an individualized education program, or IEP, team or school-based committee that supports students with special education needs.
The IDEA requires that if a child transfers to a different district in the same state, the new school must provide a free, appropriate public education, including comparable services, until the previously held IEP is adopted or a new one is developed and implemented. If a child transfers to another state, the receiving district must provide comparable services until the receiving district completes an evaluation and creates a new IEP, if appropriate.
If you are moving and your child receives special education and related services, you should hand-carry all pertinent school and medical documents, including the IEP and current evaluation reports. Hand-carrying these documents ensures that they are not lost and allows the new school district to begin the process as soon as you move.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires all states and territories to provide early intervention services to children from birth through 3 years of age who have, or are at risk for having, developmental delays.
Local school districts or health departments often provide these early intervention services. The program is called different names in different areas, but it is often referred to as Part C because it is the section of the law that pertains to early intervention. The national Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center provides a list of State Part C coordinators and funded programs on their website.
When moving, you should hand-carry copies of your child's individual family service plan, or IFSP, and the most current evaluation reports to your new home to ensure they are not lost.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education, offers the Parent Center Hub – also known as the Center for Parent Information and Resources – which has collections of links to serve families and adults with special needs from birth through age 26. They assist families in getting appropriate education and services for their children, work to improve education services for all children, train and inform parents and professionals, resolve problems between families and schools or other agencies and connect those with disabilities to community resources. Find your local parenting center and more by visiting their website.
You can also try these resources from Military OneSource:
Special education services support instructional programs for students with disabilities in the division. It is the goal of special education to ensure that each student with a disability has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with his/her potential to achieve.
The term "disability" includes autism, intellectual disability, hearing impairment and deafness, developmental delay, speech and language impairment, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, deaf and blindness, multiple disabilities, severe and profound disability, specific learning disability, visual impairment and traumatic brain injury. Children identified as having any of these disabilities may be eligible to receive special education and related services tailored to their needs through and Individualized Education Program (IEP).