Make Sure Your Child Is Getting Special Education Services

If your child has a developmental delay, or another kind of disability, they should qualify for support services from the school system.

These may be called Exceptional Student Services (ESS) or Special Education.


 Image of an exclamation markDon'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. 


There are many kinds of services your child could get. It depends on their needs and your concerns.

Here are some examples:

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  • One-on-one or group sessions with learning specialists

  • A special education teacher working with your child and others in the classroom

  • Therapies like Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT) or Physical Therapy (PT)

  • A plan to help with behavior issues

  • Counseling for coping with social or emotional issues

  • Help with special devices or equipment a child may need

Two images of educational classroom toys and a third image of a teacher helping a student.


 Here's what you can do:

  • Talk to your child's teacher, or the principal at their school.

  • Tell them you are concerned about your child and want to talk about special education services.

  • Ask for a pupil appraisal. This is a series of tests the school can do to see if your child has any kind of delay or learning disability. The school is required by law to give any child a free evaluation (as long as they are 3 or older).


See our other Guide to learn about the whole process: Getting Special Education Services from the School System. (Go to Topics & Guides at the top of your screen.)

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



Sources: LA DOE, Center for Parent Information and Resources