Feinstein Education Law Group
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Special education in Connecticut: What you should know

If your child has special needs, you know that you need to do everything you can to protect him or her and to make sure he or she gets a good education. Special education is provided to children in Connecticut who need that assistance.

Special education laws in Connecticut are designed to protect students who have disabilities. The laws are there to make sure your child gets the help he or she needs to make meaningful progress while working through his or her education program.

What are special education-related services?

Special education programs sometimes have related services you may wish to access. For example, a child may need speech and language services to better benefit from special education courses. A child could need special types of transportation or medical services for diagnostic purposes.

How do you know if your child qualifies for special education and additional resources and services?

Children between the ages of 3 and 21 who have a disability qualify for special education. The disability must be recognized by federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Some of the most common disabilities on this list include deafness, deaf-blindness, autism, hearing impairment, physical impairments, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, intellectual disabilities and orthopedic impairments.

To qualify for services, your child's disability must affect your child's educational performance. For example, if your child is hearing impaired but has no trouble learning in a traditional classroom as long as he or she sits at the front of the classroom, then he or she may not need special education assistance. On the other hand, if your child cannot participate in large classes because the impairment makes it hard to hear and interact, a special education classroom may be a better fit.

Do children in private schools have access to special education?

It depends on the school. Typically, children who go to private schools don't have the right to the same special educational services that they would have in a public school system. A private school may opt to provide those services based on local requirements, so it's important to speak with the school specifically about what it offers to children with special needs.

If you have questions about the services your child is entitled to by law or feel the district is not meeting its obligations, your attorney can help look into your case. Your child deserves to learn and be supported.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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