Every child requires attention to his/her individual characteristics and needs, and early childhood programs work to account for this. Some children have needs that are exceptional, such as a disability. The family of a child with disabilities has both the right and the responsibility to play a primary role in determining the nature and extent of services provided for them and their child. They should always be involved in decisions and give their consent to any special services their child receives. The early childhood teacher can help be the bridge between families and other professionals working to ensure that communication is clear among home, early childhood setting and professional.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)is the nation’s federal special education law that ensures public schools serve the educational needs of students with disabilities. IDEA requires that schools provide special education services to eligible students as outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). IDEA also provides very specific requirements to guarantee a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE). FAPE and LRE are the protected rights of every eligible child, in all fifty states and U.S. Territories.