At every annual IEP meeting, the team — which includes you, the parent — must discuss a student’s needs related to “special factors,” which are:
- Assistive technology
- English learners
- Special communication needs
- Blindness/visual impairments
If you disagree with the rest of the team about whether your student has needs in any of these areas, ask for their decision in the form of Prior Written Notice (see page 26 of our IEP packet, found here in English and here in Spanish). Prior written notice is an important part of your rights and procedural safeguards.
If the team agrees that your student has needs in any of the special factor areas, something must be added to the IEP to address those needs. This may be a behavior plan, specific assistive technology, communication devices or software, or goals to build English proficiency.
For more information on the various special factors, see our IEP packet and our new Behavior packet. For an in-depth overview or information on specific special factors, check out additional resources from:
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
- The Family Center on Technology and Disability (assistive technology)
- Positive Environments, Network of Trainers (behavior supports)
- California English Language Development Test
Excerpted from our September Express E-Newsletter