What is Special Education?

If your child has a disability and needs help to learn and prepare for their future, they can get support services at school.

Every school district offers Special Education services for kids age 3-22. These are designed to help your child meet their unique goals for their education and adult life. Some parishes call these Exceptional Student Services or ESS.


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. 

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.


What kind of services can my child get in high school?

It depends on their needs, of course. But these are some examples:

  • Therapy to help with communication, physical or behavioral challenges, or social or emotional needs.

  • Specially designed instruction to help if they have a learning disability.

  • Programs to help them prepare for finding a job or going on to a college program.

  • Instruction in life skills and engaging with community


Image of an exclamation markKids with a disability have a right to be in school, with the services they need, until they are 22 or get a high school diploma - whichever comes first. Image of a schoolhouse


See our Special Education Guide to learn more!  (Click on Topics & Guides at the top of the screen)

Sources: LDOE, IDEA