Ask the school system about support services

If your child has a diagnosis of ASD, it is likely that they will qualify for support services from the school system.

These services are usually called Special Education but are sometimes called Exceptional Student Services (ESS).

The term special education should not scare you off! It only means the school provides specialized services to help support your child's learning. Most of the time they provide this within the regular classroom.

If your child has an autism diagnosis, they should qualify for special education services at school.The school may conduct its own evaluation to determine the services it will provide.

Here's what you can do:

  • Call your school district's special education department. Tell them about your child and ask how to start the process of qualifying. The first step is to get a pupil appraisal.

    • NOTE: If your child goes to a private school, they will NOT be in charge of special education services. They can still help, but for official services from your town you must go through the public school department.

  • Gather your child's medical records and evaluation results if you have any.

What happens next:

  • Your child will get a pupil appraisal from the school district to see if they qualify. This must confirm that they have a disability which affects their learning. Even though you may know this is true, the school needs to document it.

  • Usually the school district will pay for this evaluation. If you don't agree with the results, you can choose to get a different one (called an IEE). You might have to pay for this yourself!

  • If your child qualifies for Exceptional Student Services (or special education), you and the school will work together to create a plan that outlines the services your child will get. This plan is called an IEP.

Image of an exclamation mark
Every child has a right to a free public education that meets their unique needs. it's the law.



Source: LA DOE


<< Back to Taking Care of Yourself section                          Next >>

<< Back to EarlySteps section                                      

<< Back to Preschool and Kindergarten Section