One of the best things a parent or guardian can do for a child with special needs is be educated on special education. The topic is complex, long and often overwhelming, however, a child that qualifies for special education services needs an advocate. And the best advocate is one that knows the child and knows the ins and outs of special education.

Minnesota is lucky to be the home of two special education advocacy centers:

Both have the most current information regarding special education law, rights and regulations from a federal and state level. They also provide classes and advocacy consult.  Both organizations can help explain and navigate:

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Independent Education Evaluation (IEE)
  • Behavior Assessments and Supports
  • Least Restrictive Environment
  • Progress Reporting
  • Present Level of Academic Achievement
  • Long term goals and short-term objectives
  • Evaluations
  • Referral
  • Related services
  • Extended School Year
  • Transition
  • Third Party Billing
  • State and District-Wide Assessments
  • Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • 504 Plan
  • Accommodations and modifications
  • Grievances
  • Due Processing Hearing
  • Mediation
  • Facilitated IEP Meeting
  • Conciliation Meeting
  • Bullying

Additional information regarding Washington County Schools and other local resources coming soon.


When a student reaches 18 years old, legal rights are transferred to the student unless a guardian or conservator has been appointed. See Adulthood section.

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