A PARENT’S INTRODUCTION TO EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT EDUCATION IN FLORIDA

A PARENT’S INTRODUCTION TO EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT EDUCATION IN FLORIDA

Yes, this is a resource from Florida but the guide itself is well written and explains the individual educational plan process in parent friendly language. This is a free resource and is downloadable in English, http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/ESEParent.pdf; Spanish, http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/ESESpan.pdf; and Creole, http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/ESEParentCreole.pdf.

Giving parents stepping stones to this process is so important. As teachers we come to the meeting already knowing the routine. The new information for us in the student. The parent only knows her child.

INTRODUCTION

This book is for the parents of children in Florida who have special learning needs because of a disability. If you have major responsibility for a child—as a parent, grandparent, surrogate parent, or foster parent—and you think your child has a disability and needs specially designed instruction or support, this book should be very helpful to you.

In Florida, children in public schools who have special learning needs because of a disability are called exceptional students. The special help they are given at school is called exceptional student education, or ESE. The purpose of ESE is to help each student with a disability progress in school and prepare for life after school. ESE services may include special teaching methods and materials, technology devices, therapies, special transportation, or other supports. There is no cost to parents for these ESE services.

This book explains the ESE process and key ideas in the state and federal laws about ESE. It provides basic information only. It does not cover every situation for every child and it is not meant to provide legal advice. If your child receives ESE services this information will help you work with the school as an important member of the education team. You do not need to read the whole book at one time. The table of contents will to help you find the information you need.

The ESE world can be confusing and there might be words or concepts used in the book or during meetings at the school that you do not understand. If so, refer to Appendix B, which contains a glossary of words and terms commonly used in exceptional education. All words that are in bold and italics in the book are defined in the glossary.

As you read, you may have more questions. The staff at your child’s school or in your school district’s ESE office can answer your questions. You can also find more information and free publications at the website of the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) at http://www.fldoe.org/ese.

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