OAR releases “Navigating the Special Education System” guidebook

October 5th, 2012

Every parent knows that getting any child through school is a challenge.  But for parents of children on the autism spectrum, the vast majority of whom require special services in order to successfully access the curriculum, this task can be burdensome or downright overwhelming even before a child reaches school age.  Now, with the school year well underway, OAR is excited to announce the release of Navigating the Special Education System, the seventh guidebook in its Life Journey through Autism series.  Packed with information from cover to cover, this comprehensive resource is designed to help parents meet the unique needs of their child with autism.

Here’s a glimpse of what you will learn about:

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which governs how special education is administered in schools
  • Each critical component of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the document that outlines a student’s target objectives and required services
  • The timeline of services from early intervention through transition
  • Becoming an effective advocate for your child
  • Preparing for a move to a new school, district, or state
  • Common special education terminology, including related services (e.g. speech language pathology) and accommodations (e.g. extended time)
  • Crafting effective IEP goals
  • Recommended reading and state-specific resources

Navigating the Special Education System is the second of three resources developed as part of OAR’s “Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative.  The first, Kit for Kids, is a colorful, interactive program that teaches typically developing elementary and middle school children about their peers with autism.  The final piece, Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary Teachers, is a one-hour DVD designed to help teachers support students with autism in general education settings.  The project is currently in production and set for completion in December.     

Click here to access a web-friendly version of the new guide, which is available for free download (.pdf format) at the OAR Web site, www.researchautism.org

You can view the full press release here.  For more information or to order a hard copy, please contact Ben Kaufman, Director, Programs and Community Outreach, at (703)243-9762 or bkaufman@researchautism.org.