Special Education Services

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) is the federal special education law. One of the main purposes of IDEA is to ensure that children with disabilities are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs.

    Special education provides specially designed instruction to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability.

    Eligibility

    The TEA's Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process states:

    There is a two-part test for determining whether your child is eligible for special education and related services: (1) your child must have a disability; and (2) as a result of the disability, your child must need special education and related services to benefit from education.

    To meet the first part of the two-part test for eligibility, a child between the ages of 3 through 21, except as noted, must meet the criteria for one or more of the disability categories listed below:

    • auditory impairment (from birth)
    • autism
    • deaf-blindness (from birth)
    • emotional disturbance
    • intellectual disability
    • multiple disabilities
    • noncategorical early childhood (ages three through five)
    • orthopedic impairment
    • other health impairment
    • specific learning disability
    • speech or language impairment
    • traumatic brain injury
    • visual impairment (including blindness from birth)

    The ARD committee must make the eligibility determination within 30 calendar days from the date of completion of the initial evaluation report.

    Individualized Education Planning

    In order to help our students achieve their highest potential, an individualized education plan is developed for every student receiving services through the Special Education Department. This plan is developed after a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team, including parents, has reviewed all the needs of the child. The plan sets short-term goals, long-term goals, and determines instructional and related services, which will best facilitate the child’s progress in the least restrictive environment.

    ARD Terms and Definitions

Questions

  • If you need information about special education in Texas, you may call the Special Education Information Center at 1-855-SPEDTEX (1-855-773-3839).