This reference guide has been designed to support parents in becoming full partners in the education of their children. We hope its information will benefit those new to the special education process and serve as a touchstone for all parents and staff to better understand the overall mission of the laws and the school system.


Page Numbers link to Topic Pages


State Overview

CT Board of Ed Position Statement

CT’s Best Practices

Special Education Process

Recognizing the Need

The Pre-referral Process

The Referral Process

A Plan for Action

The Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Meeting

A Team Process

Seclusion and Restraint

Team Members

The Evaluation Process

Identifying the Student’s Strengths and Needs

Independent Educational Evaluations

Eligibility for Special Education Services

Content Areas of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)

A Plan for Action (Continued)

Annual Goals

Transition Planning

Related Services

Extended School Year

Modifications and Accommodations


Reviewing and Revising the IEP

Least Restrictive Environment

Evaluation Timelines

IEP Timelines

An Overview of the Process

Federal Overview

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Section 504, Rehabilitation Act

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Final Note

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Bringing Knowledge to the Table: How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child is for your personal use only. No part of this Guide or its content may be published, reproduced in any format (including but not limited to photocopies), broadcast, altered in color or design, rewritten or edited in any way, or posted, in whole or in part, on any websites or in a networked computer environment for any purpose, without the prior written authorization of SPED*NET. Use of the Guide constitutes acceptance of these conditions.

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How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child