Determining Eligibility

Does My Child Need Special Education?

Determining Eligibility:

As a parent, you are uniquely qualified to know your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. School professionals will utilize your knowledge in designing a special education program for your child’s benefit.

Your child may be eligible for special education if your child:

1) Has an intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, a hearing impairment, deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities and

2) Needs special education as determined by an evaluation team.

Your child must meet both qualifications in order to be eligible for special education. In Pennsylvania, all children eligible for special education have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

NOTE: Children who have disabilities that substantially limit their participation in or access to school programs, but who do not need special education, may qualify for reasonable accommodations in the general classroom under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other Pennsylvania education regulations. The rules – called Chapter 15 – that apply are different from those for students needing special education who qualify by meeting the two-part criteria listed above.