Special education services are available to children in New York who have a disability that affects their ability to learn. This disability must be severe enough to impede their educational performance. It can be mental, physical, or emotional in nature, such as autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, or another condition. However, if the student's educational performance is primarily affected by an emotional disorder, they are not eligible for special education services. If you believe your child may qualify for special education services, you should write a letter of recommendation and submit it to the school, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), or the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
The IEP team, which includes you as a parent, will then assess if your child meets the criteria for special education services and if they need an Individualized Education Program (IEP).In addition to mental, physical, or emotional disabilities, students may also be eligible for special education services if they have deterioration of vision that affects their educational performance; concurrent hearing and visual disabilities; a hearing impairment so severe that they have difficulty processing linguistic information; more than one condition that creates educational needs; or a significantly lower than average general intellectual functioning. To be identified as a child with a disability and eligible for special education services, their academic performance must be negatively impacted by one of the 13 educational disability classifications and they must need specially designed instruction or special services or programs to meet their unique needs. This resource is provided by Starbridge in part through grants funded by the United States Department of Education and the New York State Department of Education. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for one or more of these disability classifications may be considered for IDEA special education services.