Does my child qualify for special education services?

States have their own processes for figuring out how to access special education. In Massachusetts and Louisiana, an evaluation and eligibility meeting will help decide if your child is eligible. Depending on what kind of support your child needs, the school will work with you to create either an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan. We’ve included examples from our Special Education Guides below. Visit our full Guide to learn more about IEP and Special Education services.

To qualify for an IEP in Massachusetts, all of the following criteria must be met:
  • The student must have one of the following disabilities:- Autism- Developmental delay- Intellectual delay- Sensory: deafness (hearing), blindness (vision), or both- Neurological - Emotional- Communication (speech)- Physical - Specific Learning- Health
  • The student is not making effective progress in school.
  • The lack of progress is a result of the student's disability
  • The student needs specially designed instruction in order to make effective progress in school. This student can get help from an IEP.

If the student just needs accommodations in order to follow the general curriculum, they do not qualify but can get help from a 504 plan. 

To qualify for an IEP in Louisiana, all of the following criteria must be met:
  • The student must have one of the following disabilities:- Autism- Deaf or hard of hearing- Deaf-blindess- Developmental delay- Emotional disturbance - Intellectual disabilities- Multiple disabiltiies- Orthopedic impairment- Specific learning disability- Speech or language impairment- Traumatic brain injury- Visual impairment
  • The student is not making effective progress in school, and the lack or progress is a result of the student's disability. 
  • The student needs specially designed instruction in order to make effective progress in school. 
  • The student needs certain services in order to follow the general curriculum. 

We will tell you more about these processes in the Special Education Guides!Learn more about Special Education in LouisianaLearn more about Special Education in Massachusetts