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COVID-19 Resources for Parents With Children With Special Needs

Current as of Sept 30, 2020

As a military parent with a child or children with special needs, you may now face additional challenges due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Your daily routines have changed. Your responsibilities have increased. This can be stressful and feel overwhelming.

If you are feeling isolated, stressed and anxious, even small things can help. Take advantage of resources for information, comfort and ideas on resiliency, self-care and more.


The Department of Defense is committed to supporting military parents of children with special needs. Here are a few resources, tools and articles for you and your child as you cope with COVID-19 changes.

One day this pandemic will be behind us. Until then, don’t forget that installation EFMP Family Support and EFMP Resources, Options and Consultations special needs consultants are ready to support you. Special needs consultations are available via phone or video session. Military families can make an appointment 24/7 with live chat or by calling 800-342-9647.

Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19. For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, view the following sites:

Department of Education Q&As on providing services to children with disabilities during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.

This Questions and Answers document outlines states’ responsibilities to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families, and to the staff serving these children. During an outbreak of COVID-19, local educational agencies (LEAs) and early intervention service (EIS) programs will need to collaborate with their state educational agency (SEA), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), or local public health department, as appropriate, to address questions about how, what, and when services should be provided to children with disabilities. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person. This Q & A document does not impose any additional requirements beyond those included in applicable law and regulations. The responses presented in this document generally constitute informal guidance representing the interpretation of the department of the applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in the context of the specific facts presented here and are not legally binding. The Q & As in this document are not intended to be a replacement for careful study of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), and their implementing regulations. The IDEA, its implementing regulations, and other important documents related to the IDEA can be found at For more information on the requirements of Section 504 and Title II, and their implementing regulations, consult

Section A: Implementing Part B of the IDEA and Section 504 during a COVID-19 outbreak

A.1: Is an LEA required to continue to provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities during a school closure caused by a COVID-19 outbreak? add

A.2: Must an LEA provide special education and related services to a child with a disability who is absent for an extended period of time because the child is infected with COVID-19, while the schools remain open?add

A.3: What services must an LEA provide if a public school for children with disabilities is selectively closed due to the possibility of severe complications from a COVID-19 outbreak?add

A.4: If a child with a disability at high risk of severe medical complications is excluded from school during an outbreak of COVID-19 and the child’s school remains open, is the exclusion considered a change in educational placement subject to the protections of 34 CFR §§ 300.115 and 300.116 and 34 CFR §§ 104.35 and 104.36. add

A.5: May an IEP Team consider a distance-learning plan in a child’s IEP as a contingency plan in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak that requires the school’s closure? add

A.6: What activities other than special education and related services may and may not be provided with IDEA Part B funds both prior to and during a COVID-19 outbreak?add

IDEA Part C and COVID-19

B.1: Must a state lead agency continue to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities during a COVID-19 outbreak if the offices are closed? add

B.2: What should a state lead agency or EIS program provider do to provide Part C services if its offices are open, but it cannot provide services in accordance with an infant’s or toddler’s IFSP during a COVID-19 outbreak? add

B.3. What activities other than service provision may and may not be provided with IDEA Part C funds both prior to and during a potential COVID-19 outbreak? add

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