Who Qualifies for Special Education?

Students determined eligible for special education services must meet all three of the following criteria:

  • The student must have a disability or disabilities.
  • The student’s disability/disabilities adversely affect educational performance.
  • The student’s unique needs cannot be addressed through education in general education classes alone – with or without individual accommodations. The student requires specially designed instruction (SDI).

A diagnosis from a doctor or mental health professional alone is not enough to qualify for special education services. Information from a doctor or mental health professional is helpful, however, and should be provided to the school district when a referral is made.

Eligibility is based on a comprehensive initial evaluation. A comprehensive initial evaluation includes all of the existing data gathered about the student through the referral process and any additional assessments needed to determine whether a student is eligible for special education. The initial evaluation report is used to determine what special education and related services the student needs.

Resources for Support

The Oregon Family Support Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, providing support groups and education to families with a strong advocacy component. Their purpose is to connect, empower and educate families and their communities to assure improved outcomes for children and youth experiencing significant behavioral health challenges and to fulfill a significant role in facilitating family/youth voice in local and state policy making.

The OFSN hosts monthly meetings for family support and parent education for families of children with social, behavioral, or emotional issues, autism and/or developmental disabilities.

  • Meet other parents in a confidential, supportive setting
  • Share experiences, successes and frustrations
  • Learn parenting skills and exchange ideas