Parent Resources

Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards booklet http://tennessee.gov/education/topic/special-education-legal-services

 

TN Department of Special Education
http://tn.gov/education/topic/special-education

 

National PTA:  http://pta.org
Excellent parent resources; be sure to check out the Parents' Guides to Student Success, http://pta.org/parents/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2583&navItemNumber=3363


Definition of Frequently-Used Terms

IEP -- Individualized Educational Plan.  The "heart" of your child's special education services.  The IEP is a fluid document that outlines your child's present levels of performance in academic and/or functional skills, his/her goals and objectives to be worked on during the school year, and any accommodations or modifications your child needs to have access to the general curriculum.  The IEP also documents the specific services your child needs as well as where and how often they will take place.  The IEP is revised once a year, at a minimum, and more often if the members of your child's IEP Team feel it is necessary. 

IEP Team -- This is a group of individuals knowledgeable about your child and your child's needs as far as his/her education is concerned.  The IEP Team decides the services and supports your child needs in order for him/her to progress in the general curriculum.  By law, this team must include you, the parent; a representative of the school who has the authority to make decisions; a regular education teacher; and a special education teacher.  Other persons with an educational interest in your child can be involved on an as-needed basis. 

LEA -- Local Educational Agency.  The agency that is responsible for providing special education and related services to eligible children.  In this case, Trousdale County Schools.

FAPE -- Free Appropriate Public Education.  This is what your child is entitled to by law.  FAPE is an individualized educational program that is designed to meet your childs' unique needs and from which your child receives educational benefit, and prepares him/her for further education, employment, and/or independent living.

LRE -- Least Restrictive Environment. LRE means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.


Agencies/Groups/Advocacy Organizations:

 

The Arc of Tennessee:  http://thearctn.org

  • Information and services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families.

 

TN Disability Pathfinder:  http://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/vkc/pathfinder/

  • Service-based website with TN resources for all types of disabilities; can search by county or by service.

 

Middle Tennessee Autism Society http://autismtn.org

  • Autism Tennessee exists to enrich the lives and experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their surrounding community through support, advocacy, and education.

 

Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP)http://www.tnstep.org

  • Support for families navigating the special education process; promotes collaboration with schools and communities.