Not so long ago, most school children would have identified "special education" as a room. In that room, many of their peers would be taught by specific teachers who did not work with children outside of that room. In many schools, such a room still exists. And it is often necessary to both have and respect the importance of a special education room that serves children whose needs are not best addressed in a mainstream classroom. However, special education is so much more than "a room" and must be understood and treated as such.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with any number of medical conditions, you may be wondering whether or not he or she qualifies for special educational opportunities and protections under the law. In order to qualify for these opportunities and protections under federal and state law, your child must meet certain eligibility criteria.
Parents of children with special needs often learn to advocate for their children's best interests in a variety of contexts. However, each parent must learn advocacy skills over time. No parent learns of his or her child's special needs and immediately understands how to successfully advocate on that child's behalf under all circumstances.