Special Education

When children are struggling in school or have identified disabilities, parents face additional challenges to ensure that their children receive the best possible education to meet their needs. Often this means trying to navigate the complicated world of special education. School psychologists have the necessary training and expertise to assist parents and teachers in their efforts to maximize student outcomes.

For Families and Educators

Individualized Education Programs: A Brief Overview
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, every student who receives special education services in schools is entitled to an Individualized Education Program, or IEP... 

IDEA Transition Services: A Brief Overview   
Assisting students with disabilities in the transition from high school to postsecondary activities is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The goal of transition services is... 

IDEA Reevaluation: A Brief Overview
The IDEA reforms under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) were signed into law on December 3, 2004, with changes taking effect on July 1, 2005. The revisions reflected... 

Manifestation Determination Reviews: A Brief Overview
When a student with a disability violates a school code of conduct or engages in behavior that would initiate a school to propose removing that student from their current placement or their school (e.g., suspension or expulsion), the school must engage in a hearing known as a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)...

NASP Position Papers

Identification of Students With Specific Learning Disabilities (PDF)  
School psychologists have long held a prominent role as members of school teams that identify students exhibiting academic difficulties caused by specific learning disabilities (SLDs).

Promoting Just Special Education Identification and School Discipline Practices  (PDF) 
NASP firmly believes that every student is entitled to an education that affirms and validates the diversity of their cultural and individual differences...

Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students and Their Families: Implications for Education and Service Delivery
This position statement and accompanying resource list affirm that school psychologists who serve deaf or hard of hearing students and their families require specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities...

Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (PDF)
...NASP recognizes the critical importance of supporting the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs of students with ADHD in school settings.

Supporting Students Living With, Affected by, or at Risk for HIV (PDF)
NASP is committed to ensuring that all schools are equipped to meet the unique needs of students living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to contribute to broader HIV prevention efforts...

The Provision of School Psychological Services to Bilingual Students (PDF)
Share this resource with key stakeholders to convey the breadth of your skills at all tiers and the importance of improving staffing ratios...

Practice and Policy Resources

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)
Given the increasing diversity of the nation's public schools, NASP recognizes the critical importance of establishing best practices in the provision of school psychology services when working with English language learners...

Advocating for LGBTQ Students With Disabilities (PDF)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students with disabilities face unique challenges as a result of their disability status and potential bias related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression...

Protecting Students' Rights in BTAM (PDF)
Behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM), when done properly, is a critical component in schools' overall ability to effectively identify and address the needs of students whose behavior raises concerns about risk of harm to others...

Legal Issues

The Pending Post-Pandemic Issue of “Compensatory Services” by Perry A. Zirkel

The State Complaint Procedure: A Decisional Alternative Under the IDEA by Perry A. Zirkel   

Transition Services Under the IDEA: A Legal Overview and Update by Perry A. Zirkel

  • SLD Eligibility - Policy and Practice Reccomendations

    This page highlights school-level practices and policy considerations for states and school districts to encourage selective use of data from cognitive assessments in the evaluation for special education due to a suspected specific learning disability. … more

Special Education Podcasts

Podcast IconSLD Eligibility Within an MTSS Framework Introduces a model used at a local educational agency (LEA) for determining specific learning disability (SLD) eligibility using an MTSS framework.

Podcast IconLegally Defensible Section 504 Practices Reviews the laws and regulations associated with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) with detailed discussion on determining eligibility and developing and reviewing a Section 504 plan.

Children With ASD

This book provides practical strategies for addressing the unique needs of children on the autism spectrum as well as those of their families.