Resources
Special Education Services

Parents of Students with Disabilities


All parents can positively impact their children’s learning and healthy development, and when families, schools and communities partner together, schools thrive and students benefit.  Unfortunately, it is not always easy to navigate the educational system and know how to best work with district and school personnel. Often times, parents of students with disabilities face additional challenges.  The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has developed some web pages and resources specifically for parents of students with disabilities.



A good starting place for parents of students with disabilities is:


A Parent's Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.
This document is available in English and Spanish.  The appendices also include quick references, a glossary of terms, and sample letters.

Parents Guide
English Version
Parents Guide
Spanish Version

Indicator 8 Parent Survey

Another tool
available to parents is:

The Illinois Student Records Keeper:
For Parents of Students Who Receive Special Education Services
PDF Format.

This booklet is for parents to use to keep important information about their child and his/her special education and related services.
It is a companion to A Parent’s Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.



 Need Additional Information or Support?


 Local Contact

Often times, districts can assist parents with navigating the system and connect families to additional community supports.  Occasionally, parents may have issues or concerns regarding their child’s educational program and progress.  Parents are encouraged to try and resolve these issues at the local level first.  This may mean contacting the Special Education Administrator of your district or Special Education Cooperative.  

 Free Services


 Advocates

If you have a child with a disability, you may decide to hire a paraprofessional or a "lay advocate” to assist you in ensuring that your child's educational needs are met. These advocates, who are not attorneys, may be able to assist with consultation, letter writing, or meetings with schools.


 Attorneys

For certain circumstances, a parent may prefer to hire an attorney for assistance.


 Resources

List of Special Education Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities Parents may also wish to browse other special education topics by using the A-Z index or special education What’s New/ Hot Topics.