When a family member has special needs, making sure they’re getting the very best education and care possible often takes a lot of involvement and communication with child care providers and school administrators and teachers. Make sure special education or child care is working for you and your child.
Here are some essentials:
Learn about child care options.
You want the best care options for your child with special needs. You want a good fit for your child, but you wonder if you will be able to find the right kind of care. Good news – the military offers quality, affordable child care options, both on the installation and off. Not all child care providers are familiar with caring for a child with special needs, but some of these options could be the perfect fit for you and your family. Find out more.
Download the Special Needs Parent Toolkit.
This toolkit from the Department of Defense will help you navigate the special education services and opportunities available for your child. With specific information for children, from birth to age 18, you can learn about early intervention services, help during relocation, educational rights granted by the Americans with Disabilities Act and much more.
- An Overview of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
- Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
- The Special Needs Parent Toolkit, Education Directory for Children with Special Needs
- Parent Center Hub from the U.S. Department of Education
- Department of Defense Education Activity
Get an Individual Education Program.
The first step in any special education plan is developing an Individual Education Program, or IEP. After an evaluation, an IEP becomes a roadmap you can take with you, laying out the instruction and services needed to help your child succeed. The sooner you get started, the better.
Help ease the transition to a new school.
Take the stress out of moving for your family member with special needs. Ensure they receive continuing services at their new school by having an IEP in place before you pack up. Your child’s new school must provide comparable services that honor the previous school's IEP.