Connecting with Special Education

This is a good time to connect with your school system's Special Education program.

Every school system has a Special Education Department. It's good to get in touch with them when your child is about 2 1/2 years old. Your EI program will formally contact them, but you can call them anytime.

Who do I contact?

Image of a schoolhouseTo get support services, you'll work with your local school system's Office of Special Education.

They are required to help students with disabilities succeed in school. 


Image of an exclamation point Don't be scared by the term Special Education! It only means that your child will get special services to help them learn in school. It does not mean they are any less smart than others, just that they need some support at this time.

What you can do: 

  • Meet the director. Tell them about your child, and that you may transition soon from EI.

  • Ask what kinds of special education services they offer (including preschool options).

  • Ask about other services or activities offered in the town.

  • See when they can assign you a liaison (their version of a service coordinator).

  • Visit some of the programs or activities to see how your child might fit.

  • Ask about parent advisory committees. You can talk to other parents with kids in the system.

  • Learn more!

    • See our other Guide about Special Education Services. (This will open in a new tab.)

    • Click the link at the bottom of the page to download a helpful guide.

You may hear these terms:

  • LEA (Local Education Authority): your school district.

  • SPED: Special Education program in your school district.

  • PAC, SEPAC or SPED PAC: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee

Image of three circles showing where you can find your school system. The text displayed is 'Look on your city or town's website. 'Call your city or town hall.' 'Ask your EI service coordinator'

Source: FCSN