Welcome to the special education resource site of the VBA Commission on the Needs of Children. The commission is an affiliate group of The Virginia Bar Association. The website’s mission is threefold: To provide information to lawyers and health care professionals to help them understand how federal and state laws affect the delivery of special education services to Virginia’s children, To help them understand the technical language associated with special education, and To provide tools to advocate with educators in a meaningful way on behalf of children. The development of the site is the result of collaboration between lawyers and medical professionals. Its impetus arose from questions over the years from health care providers who were treating young patients with disabilities about communicating effectively with schools on behalf of their patients. This website hopes to share what has been learned with other health care providers to enable them to know and provide the information needed by educators in determining whether a child is eligible for special education or in creating appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to guide the delivery of educational services. Just as health care fields have their own “language,” which often seems foreign to outsiders, special education has its own language replete with legal meanings foreign to the uninitiated. Health care professionals (along with parents) struggle to understand this language and what it requires of them. The goal of this website is to make that task easier so that those who work with children who have disabilities can share their expertise in the common endeavor of promoting the educational success of children....Read More
Lawyers practicing in the areas of education law, family law, criminal law, juvenile justice and personal injury may encounter situations involving children with special needs who need services. Such cases include determinations regarding eligibility for special education services, the delivery of special medical services at school or the impact of an intellectual disability on a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court disposition. This website is designed to give lawyers direct and easy access to basic information and resources about special education and remedies for special needs children. See a glossary of essential terms and definitions for special...Read More
Pediatricians are often confronted with requests to help patients with disabilities that require special education services in schools. Parents ask for a doctor’s input for determination of special education eligibility, identification of services, management of health care or medication at school and other issues to help children function in a school environment. This website contains information to help physicians easily access information about the types of special education services, the elements of eligibility and tips to facilitate communication with educators. Translating the language of medicine into the educational criteria for special education is essential to effective medical-education collaboration. Suggested guidelines for letters from physician to school Eligibility criteria for special education services ...Read More
Mental health professionals see situations where children are struggling to manage emotional and psychological challenges in the school environment. Whether they are providing private evaluations for special education services eligibility or being asked to write a letter in a school discipline case, clinicians are asked to interact with educators to address school-based problems. A clear explanation of special education and the elements of eligibility, services and discipline procedures for special education students, is presented here to help mental health professionals to collaborate effectively with school staff. Worksheets for Mental Health...Read More
Lawyers practicing in the areas of education law, family law, criminal law, juvenile justice and personal injury may encounter situations involving children with special needs who need services.
Pediatricians are often confronted with requests to help patients with disabilities that require special education services in schools. Parents ask for a doctor’s input for determination of special education eligibility,