About Special Education

Learn about Special Education

If your child needs help in order to learn and prepare for their future, they can get support services at school. These will help them succeed in school and help with the transition to adult life.

Here's what you should know: 

  • Every school district offers Special Education Services for kids age 3-22 who qualify. These services are designed to help your child meet their unique goals for their education and adult life.

  • If your child does not have these services, you can start the process to see if they qualify — even if they're already in high school.

  • There are many ways a school can support students who have challenges. Special education is not the only answer. The important thing is to examine your child's needs carefully, and work with the school to find the right kind of support.

  • Students with disabilities have a right to be in school, with the services they need, until they are 22 or graduate from high school - whichever comes first.

  • Students with autism may do very well in school but have other challenges that will qualify them to get some very useful support services.

The goal is to work in partnership with your child's school district to create a plan that will support their needs as they transition to adulthood.

Who do I contact? Your school system is required to help students with disabilities succeed in school. Contact the Special Education Department.

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.


Sources: MA DESE, IDEA