Special education refers to a wide range of services individualized to meet the needs of a child with a disability at no cost to the parent so that students from birth to 21 years of age have equal access to education. Such services can be provided in a variety of ways and settings, and can include academic instruction in areas like reading, writing, math, spelling, science, social studies, or study skills. They can also refer to speech/language, physical or occupational therapy. Special education is part of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) set out by the federal government to serve students who qualify in any of the 13 identified categories of disability. The 13 categories are Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness/Hearing Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other-Health Impaired, Learning Disability, Speech Language (Language Impairment, Sound System Disorder, Speech-Fluency, Speech-Voice) Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment, and Young Child with a Developmental Delay. In order to properly evaluate and identify a student with a disability, a list of Standards and Indicators has been developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. While a medical diagnosis can aid the evaluation process (though it is not necessary), a student must demonstrate an educational impact as a result of a clinical diagnosis in order to qualify for special education. For more information regarding the Standards and Indicators, click on the category above or follow this link: DESE Standards and Indicators. Concordia R-2 School Districts serves students with disabilities under Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Compliance Plan. For more information regarding our Compliance Plan, click here.
Students under the age of 3 with delayed development or a medical diagnosis will receive early intervention services through First Steps. At the age of 3, the local educational agency will begin the implementation of services. For more information, contact First Steps at 1-866-583-2392 or click on this link: First Steps.