Education Resources

Confused about special education? You’re not alone!

We understand how confusing it can be to navigate the special education process. We want to offer parents the tools they need to become informed and educated on their child’s rights. is a fantastic resource for parents and, with their permission, we’ll use the following tabs to link to relevant pages on their site. You can take a few minutes and browse around their site on other topics that interest you.

The content on their site is offered free of charge, but if you’d like all of that information in one place in a hardback book, the site owner sells a copy on Amazon for $15.

Click this link to purchase:

Understanding Special Education Parent IEP Guide

Another invaluable resource is the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities works with parents to help them obtain the assistance they need. If you need one-to-one assistance, you can call (800) 374-2806 ext. 20 or email Martha Lause at

If you’re seeking legal advice, please contact Disability Rights Ohio.

The Make It Fit Foundation does not offer legal counsel, and none of the content on this page, or any page on our site, is meant to be construed as such. If you feel that your child’s rights are being violated, please seek appropriate legal counsel.

Understanding the 13 Categories of Special Education

Special education is a broad term used to by the law to describe specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child who has a disability. These services are provided by the public school system and are free of charge. Services can include instruction in the classroom, at home, in hospitals and institutions. Learning disabilities cover a wide spectrum of disorders ranging from mild to severe. They can include mental, physical, behavioral and emotional disabilities.

Click the button below to learn more about the 13 categories of Special Education.

What is Special Ed?

Understanding IEP Law and Special Education

Special education and IEP law were generally developed first at thefederal level and then at the state level. If there is ever a conflict between state and federal law, federal law must be followed.

The basis for most IEP law is found in three federal statutes, The Individual with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act.   IDEA is a federal law binding in all states. State law can mandate more protection than IDEA but not less. Each state uses different criteria to determine programs and guidelines for qualifying students for special education.

Click the button below to learn more about your child’s rights under special education law.

Special Education Law

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Special education law, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lists 13 categories of special education, each with its own detailed requirements.  Special education pertains to student’s aged 3-22 who attend a PUBLIC INSTITUTION.

To qualify, a child must have one of the identified disabilities AND it must adversely affect their educational performance. Every school district has the legal responsibility to identify, locate and evaluate children who are in need of special education services. The law calls this child find.

Click the button below to learn more about IDEA.

What is IDEA?

IDEA: Section 504

Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that a child with a disability has equal ACCESS to an education and that it is comparable to an education provided to those who do not have a disability.

Click the button below to learn more about 504 Plans.

Understanding Section 504

504 Parent Handbook 

With so many children being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and other conditions like childhood anxiety, and depression, it’s so important that parents understand the differences between a 504 plan and an IEP.

Click the button below to purchase a hardcopy of the 504 Parent Handbook.

504 Handbook

Understanding the IEP Process

An IEP is defined as a written plan defining the program that is designed to meet the unique needs of one child. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public school districts to develop an individualized plan for every child who qualifies as having one of the identified thirteen disabilities identified by IDEA as aqualifying condition for special education.

Click the button below to learn more about the IEP Process.

Understanding the IEP Process

Types of Learning Disorders

Children with a specific disability may have trouble performing specific types of skills or tasks. What special education attempts to do is to provide support and interventions needed to help these children succeed in school so they can go on to be successful in their adult life.

Click the button below for more information on learning disabilities.


Understanding the Definition of Autism

The definition of autism is a complex process. Most experts agree that autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interactions, limited communication and repetitive behaviors. Signs usually appear before age 3. The cause isn’t clear, but recent scientific studies believe there is a strong genetic base. New research comes out almost every day on possible causes. Some groups advocate for environmental causes such as induced labor, heavy metals, pesticides and childhood vaccinations.

Click the button below for more information on the definition of autism.

Understanding Autism

Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education

Over the past few years, I’ve received over a thousand emails from parents asking specific questions about special education.  Since so many  have similar questions, I decided to put together a Special Education FAQ page so that you can find the answers to common questions all on one page.  If your question is not addressed here, please feel free to contact me and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Click the button below to see frequently asked questions about special education.

Special Ed FAQ

A comprehensive list of terms frequently used in special education.

The following list contains special education terms, definitions and acronyms that are commonly used by schools during the IEP process.

Click the button below to brush up on special education terminology.

Special Ed Terms

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Did you know that Ohio has a FREE Parent Mentor Program? There are currently 75 parent mentor programs in Ohio. This program is staffed by parents with children who have disabilities. Each parent mentor has special training to guide parents through the special education process. Created in 1990, these parents are employed by local education agencies to help guide families and school districts through training, support, and information services to find the best options for your child’s education. It is FREE of charge for you to use their services. Each school district usually has an assigned mentor. For more information, please call 614-466-2650 and request the name and number of your district’s mentor. These individuals can make the IEP process much easier to navigate!