Suggested Reading: 5 Essential Articles on Special Education

Whether you’re the parent of a child with special needs or you’re a teacher working in a special education classroom, the subject can be confusing. There’s certainly no shortage of information out there for you to reference, but unfortunately most people don’t have time to wade through the thousands and thousands of articles on special education to find the handful of ones that can really teach you something valuable.

That’s why we’ve compiled five of the best articles on special education, each of which succinctly and competently cover the essential cornerstones of the special education process. Whether you’re just learning the basics when it comes to special education or you’re a seasoned professional, these articles are a valuable resource.

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1. An Overview of Special Education: “Special Education Law and the IEP”, on

Written to help parents understand their child’s educational rights under the IDEA Act, Special Education Law and the IEP was first published NOLO website.

The IDEA act is of particular importance to parents of children with special needs because it guarantees all parents the right to have their children assessed to determine educational eligibility, inspect schools and voice concerns and disputes with the school district.

Special Education Law and the IEP is a must-read for parents trying to understand IDEA Act

2. On Categorizing Disabilities: “Categories of Disabilities Under IDEA”, on

This article, published on National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities website, is designed to help parents of children with special needs understand categories of disability under the IDEA Act. Understanding these basic categorizations is important for parents whose child was recently diagnosed with a disability.

Understanding how disabilities are categorized according to the IDEA Act can also help parents prevent discrimination in their child’s education that could negatively affect them.

3. On Evaluations: “What You Should Know About Evaluations”, on

First published on the Wrightslaw website and written by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq., What You Should Know About Evaluations is a guide that parents and teachers can use to understand how special education evaluations are really conducted.

For parents, What You Should Know About Evaluations is important because the information presented can keep children from being evaluated and re-evaluated without parental consent, which could hamper their educational standing at their school.

The article also provides information on how to choose an independent evaluator and how to work with an evaluator once chosen.

4. On Being An Advocate: “Advocating For Your Child”, on

Advocating For Your Child is an article that was originally published in the book “Wrightslaw:  From Emotions to Advocacy – The Special Education Survival Guide” by Pamela Wright and Peter Wright, the owners of, which is a huge resource database  for many special education law articles.

The article is especially important for parents of children with special disabilities, as it talks about how to fight for your child’s rights in all facets of life – from school to your child’s emotional development. Click through Wrightslaw’s “Advocacy” topic page for similar articles.

5. On IEPs: “How to Prepare for Your Next IEP Meeting”, on

How to Prepare for Your Next IEP Meeting is published on the Special Education Advisor website, designed to help prepare parents for Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. It provides a dated checklist of preparations to undertake during the 90 day period between the scheduling of an IEP appointment and the appointment itself.

Understanding how to prepare for IEP testing is important because IEP testing allows you to seek additional help for your child or strive to increase their classroom involvement and skill level.

Having a child with special needs can be confusing at first, but as a parent, it’s your job to make sure you fight for your child and learn everything you possibly can so you can stand in their corner. These five articles are a good first step, but as a parent of a child with special needs, your work is never done.

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