What is Special Education Due Process?

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child has the best opportunities possible. If your child has special needs, making sure that he or she receives the same opportunities as everyone else and is receiving fair treatment is surely one of your biggest concerns.

Fortunately, the government has made this a much easier task for the parents of special needs children, as Federal and state laws have set forth the process of following specific steps in order to ensure that special needs children are receiving the same educational opportunities as their typically developing peers.

Known as Special Education Due Process, ensuring that the educational rights and requirements of special needs children are met includes evaluating special needs, providing the services that they require and evaluating their progress.

If you have a special needs child, being familiar with this due process will help you ensure that your child is receiving the educational requirements that he or she requires.


If it is thought that a child might have special needs and requires specialized help in the school setting, the referral process should be initiated.

This is the first step in special education due process and it can be initiated by the parents, staff of the school or anyone who is in close relation to the child. The referral can be requested orally or in writing. Essentially, it is a request to have the child in question evaluated for special needs.


An evaluation of the child will be made in all areas that the child is suspected to have disabilities in. This evaluation will be completed by a trained and certified special educator and the results will be used to determine whether or not the child is eligible to receive special education or supplemental services.

Based on the results of the evaluation, a suitable educational program will be determined for the child. As the parent, if you don’t agree with the findings, you do have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for a more detailed assessment of your child’s needs.

Eligibility is Determined

Once an evaluation and recommendations have been made, you and a group of educators will determine whether or not special assistance is necessary and if so, in what form.

Eligibility is Founded

If it is determined that your child is eligible for special services, group of educators will meet to determine an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child. Known as an IEP Team, this group of individuals will assess your child’s specific needs and come up with a customized education plan that will meet those specific needs.

Services will be Provided

Once an IEP has been created, the school will implement the specialized educational requirements that it details. You child’s teachers, service providers (aides, specialized teachers, etc) and anyone else who works with your child will be made aware of the provisions of the IEP in order to ensure that your child is receiving the accommodations and modifications that are necessary in order to support his or her specific needs.

Assessments are Made

Your child will be assessed throughout the school year in order to ensure that he or she is making academic advances.

IEP is Reviewed

Your child’s IEP will be reviewed by the IEP team. This review will be made once a year, or more, if you deem it to be necessary. If it is found that the IEP needs to be revised, changes will be made in order to better meet the needs of your child.


Your child will be reevaluated at least once every three years in order to determine whether or not your child still requires special assistance. This reevaluation ensures that your child is on track and is receiving the specific accommodations and modifications he or she needs.

Thanks to Special Education Due Process, every child, no matter what his or her needs are, can receive the same educational opportunities and experiences.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply