I've given you the link to Indiana's special education law, Article 7, but there are also sites with info on the overarching federal law that can help you learn more. Remember that our state law can only be STRONGER than the national law, so when you read IDEA, keep in mind that it is the minimum you can expect for your child. In the most recent update to Indiana's law, they stayed VERY CLOSE to the national law, only superceding it in rare instances (ie transition starts at 14 in Indiana), so reading IDEA should be helpful.
If your learning style involves books more than the web, you might want to check your local library for The Complete IEP Guide and/or From Emotions to Advocacy. (there are more book suggestions at our Shelfari bookshelf at the bottom of the blog) If you prefer online learning, there is an excellent program through Partners in Policymaking that focuses on education. The info is below:
Welcome to Partners in Education, a self-study course designed to help parents of children with developmental disabilities navigate the special education system and help their children make the most of their potential.
Schools are places where children learn new information and skills. But they also are places where children are exposed to a multitude of life lessons...lessons like respecting each other as individuals, personal responsibility and the importance of contributing to the community.
This course has been developed to give you the practical skills you need to create an inclusive, quality education for your child. After completing this course, you will:
Understand the history of education of children with developmental disabilities;
Know and understand the key laws governing special education and how they protect your child's rights;
Understand your role in your child's educational experience;
Recognize the elements of an individualized education program and the role parents play in its creation and implementation;
Know how to advocate for your child to ensure a positive, quality educational experience;
Understand your rights to due process if you feel your child's educational rights have been violated.
Ready to begin? TAKE THE COURSE and you're on your way to meaningful education for your children.