Special Learning Logo Light
Knowing Your Child’s Rights

Knowing Your Child’s Rights

The law requires every state to provide free public schooling for every child’s unique needs, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. In 2004, IDEA or the Individuals With Disabilities Act was revised. IDEA specifies that all children with disabilities are legally entitled to early intervention or special education services, provided that they meet the state’s criteria for disability. Autism is specially mentioned as a disability covered, which means children diagnosed with conditions in the autism spectrum are eligible for IDEA benefits.

Parents are encouraged to participate actively in their child’s educational process. In this context, they are expected to know and fully understand the IDEA process.


Free And Appropriate Public Education or FAPE, is about your child’s entitlement to a tailor-fit educational program. The problem with this is that there are no set rules as to what “appropriate” is, as there is no single program that may answer all the needs of every child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Determining which interventions are appropriate for a child’s needs will involve a lot of collaborative negotiations.


The Least Restrictive Environment or LRE is about your child’s right to go into a mainstream school, together with other normal children. It gives your child the best possible chance to interact with children his age without disabilities. It can be accomplished by putting your child in a special accommodation or providing a “shadow teacher” or assistant that has experience with children with disabilities.


Early Intervention Services is the first educational placement for young children with the disorder. It is meant to ease you and your family of the impact of having a diagnosed child. IDEA provides states with federal grants that provide these services. Children three years old and below, with developmental delay or physical and mental disabilities that can result in developmental delays, are eligible to receive Early Intervention Services at no cost.

You, your family, or your child can be the recipients of EIS. For your child, services that can be offered are ABA therapy, Occupational, Physical, Speech therapies, and psychological evaluation. For you and the rest of the family members, services include training in reinforcing newly developed skills and behavior of your child and counseling. It will help your family adapt to the shock of your child’s diagnosis.

Special Education Services

Special Education Services are provided by your local school district. So if your child is participating in Early Intervention Services from the state, you must switch to Special Education Services to continue. These two services differ in that EIS is focused on the whole family while SES focuses on giving your child an adequate quality education for his needs despite his condition.

It is highly advisable for you to know more information about what your child is entitled to, especially in terms of free interventions and education. These will be a tremendous help to you and your family in terms of supporting your child with special needs.

Copyright © by Special Learning Inc. All right reserved.

No part of this article may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, contact Special Learning Inc., at: contact@special-learning.com


Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

Got a question you want a BCBA or other ABA expert to answer?
Fill in this form and one of our professionals will handle your question quickly and confidently. You can expect a response in 24-hours or less.