As the new school year approaches, parents of children with special needs may be a little more nervous than most parents about sending their child to school. Navigating the special education system can be a confusing and frustrating process for parents. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has a parents’ guide, Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois, available as a downloadable PDF and online in both English and Spanish.

The guide provides chapters on:

There is also a PDF Student Records Keeper for parents to keep track of key information concerning their child’s services.

Another helpful resource is the 25 Common IEP and Special Education Acronyms Parents Should Know, published on the A Day in Our Shoes blog. Educators use acronyms a lot, and parents may not catch what they truly mean in conversations about their student. Be sure to read the comments as well for other acronyms and shortened terms that others have added to the list.