Negotiating the hurdles of education and the public school system for your child with special needs is not an easy journey. We have to learn a lot of new vocabulary, become accustomed to reading IEPs and 504s (and know the difference between them), learn about and advocate for appropriate services, modifications and accommodations, and still help our children with their homework, organization, and school life.
There are many resources available to help you handle the logistics of the journey. We hope to help you learn the ropes, negotiate the trail, and overcome the obstacles along the way.
Many of your questions may be answered on the FAQs page; please check there for some basic information.
One resource provided by the State of Maryland explains how children are evaluated when a disability is suspected, how a child’s eligibility for services is determined, how an individualized education program might be implemented, and what happens at different points in the child’s life based on age or grade level. Please click on the link to read “Understanding the Evaluation, Eligibility, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) in Maryland” for more information.
Click here to get a list of resources and school support pages for St. Mary’s County Public Schools, the Maryland State Department of Education, the U. S. Department of Education and related sites.
Or, click here to get real advice for how to navigate the waterways, including preparing for your first IEP meeting, planning what should be included in your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 , tracking your child’s progress against the IEP, advocating for your child’s needs when things are not working, and the challenges associated with transitioning from each level of education to the next.