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United States Air Force
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Okinawa City Japan 96368-5134
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 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:
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.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), is a multi-service program designed to ensure families with special medical or educational needs are stationed near facilities, military or civilian, that can meet their special needs. Enrollment into the program is mandatory and failure to reveal potential problems could result in administrative actions.
This program is beneficial to your family and the Air Force. It prevents you from relocating with your family, only to relocate again due to inadequate medical or educational services in the area. It precludes the Air Force from incurring costly expenses unnecessarily. Enrollment in the program will not affect your career adversely nor will it prevent you from advancing professionally. To find out more information, please contact your local Mental Health Clinic or call Kadena's Mental Health Clinic at DSN: 315-634-1266.
This DoDDS program actively seeks to locate and identify children and youth, ages birth through 21 years of age, who may have developmental delays or educational disabilities and may need special education and related services.
For students who are already in school but are not experiencing academic success, identification of areas of difficulty can help you and your child's educators choose strategies and educational programs that will help your child succeed in school.
If you have a concern about your child, contact your local school or military clinic. They can provide you with information about Child Find and can schedule a screening if needed.
DoDDS Special Education
Special education is provided to dependents of active-duty military through Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS).
Special education is any specially designed instruction, support, or equipment a student may need in order to reach his or her fullest potential. These services are available to eligible students, ages 3 through 21 years of age within DoDDS.
There are a number of steps in the special education process. Each step builds on the previous one. The elements of the process are as follows:
Disability and Special Education
There are five disability categories in special education and are identified by the law that the Case Study Committee reviews during the evaluation process to determine if a student is eligible for special education services. They include:
Individual Education Program (IEP)
When a student has been found eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Program (IEP) is developed based on multidisciplinary assessment and designed to meet the needs of that particular student. The IEP is a written, legal document that describes the special education and related services to be provided to the student. It is developed in a team meeting that provides an opportunity for parents and educators to join together in deciding what is an appropriate educational experience for the child with a disability. Student participation is encouraged at these meetings. The main goal of the IEP meeting is to discuss the educational needs of the student and write a program that identifies goals and objectives and needed related services for a school year.
Each student's IEP is reviewed yearly reporting on current progress and determining future needs. The review considers staff and parental concerns about the student's progress, whether objectives have been reached according to the measures described in the IEP, and what changes need to be made to the IEP to meet the student's future needs. The IEP is the vehicle for school personnel, parents, and students to work toward the common goal of developing an effective educational program.
Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS)
A department of the U.S. Naval Hospital, EDIS offers help to children with special needs, through federally mandated Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs and non-IDEA services. The mission of EDIS is to maximize the potential of children who are identified or at risk for delays and intervene in their development. EDIS promotes family-based care, closely involving families in the development of treatment plans.
The staff of EDIS comes from a variety of fields to include: audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychology, social work, community health nursing, and early childhood special education.
For more information, you may call DSN 315-634-2740/2747.