“I suspect my child has autism or some related disability. He is in the early elementary years. How do I get my child qualified for Special Education services in public school and what do they offer?”
-Confused and Concerned in Texas
Dear Confused and Concerned in Texas,
Thank you for asking this question that many others surely have as well. I will do my best to clarify the referral process from a parent’s perspective and possible services. However, you are always welcome to contact the campus Principal and/or the special education department of your current campus/district and present your question to them directly. Their response will give you an overview of the process which I will outline in this article through multiple resources and a flowchart.
Since you have mentioned that you suspect autism or some related disability, I have also included a resource that might help you to clarify your concerns in those terms if/when you do make the phone call to the local special education office.
The Education (K-12) Blogs and Special Ed Q & A are written and maintained weekly by Lisa Rogers with Educating Diverse Learners. Lisa received her M.A. in Special Education with an endorsement in the area of individuals with severe disabilities. Mrs. Rogers has also created products that have been used throughout the state of Texas for training purposes. Through the Association for Texas Professional Educators [ATPE], Ms. Rogers has produced an online course that targets the importance of visual strategies for student with autism spectrum disorders and just released her highly anticipated book titled: Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers.