An Introduction to Special Education



For families who suspect that a disability issue is impacting their child’s education, school districts have a legal obligation to evaluate and identify such problems.  Some children’s disabilities are not readily apparent, so evaluation is imperative.  


A partial list of potential areas of assessment are:


  • Speech and Language acquisition
  • Intellectual development
  • Motor development
  • Psychological/emotional development
  • Motor-skills development
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention difficulties

We can assist in prompting your child’s school district to meet this obligation. 



Once an assessment is completed, if a child is identified as having a disability, the child’s school district has a short time period to hold the first Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting.


The IEP meeting includes the parents/guardians of the student along with the various education team members, the purpose of which is to develop a written plan individual to the student.  It is designed to be a collaborative effort by the entire team, and parents/guardians are, by law, an integral part of this team.  

The resulting IEP is a legal document.  As such, it determines the services to be provided and the goals to be pursued for each individual child.  It is essential that it be developed carefully.


Stuart C. Gilliam can help you prepare for this, and understand your child’s and your rights as to the initial meeting and future meetings.  If you desire, he can also attend the IEP meeting with you.

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