New and Improved Directory for Parents of Special Needs Kids

school bus

All military families rely on resources available through their civilian communities. This need is even more acute for parents of special needs children, who often require specialized educational support and services. Finding these resources can be difficult, however, especially for military families who must frequently move from state to state. To help families identify and connect with educational resources in their states, the Department of Defense has released an updated Education Directory for Children with Special Needs.

While the Directory has been available to families since 2010, the new update includes noteworthy improvements.  Most significantly, the Directory now includes information on resources available in all 50 states, whereas previously the guide focused only on 15 states with the largest military populations. In addition, the Directory offers parents information on education resources available to support children with a wide range of special needs. While the Directory does not compare or rate school districts, it does allow parents to determine what special needs services are available for students in their location. It also provides contact information for state programs and service providers.

Parents will also find guidance on making a smooth transition with their special needs child, including checklists and tips for communicating with school personnel and Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) support staff.

The directory is comprised of two components: one on early intervention for children up to age 2, and another for school-aged children and young adults up to age 22. Both sections are available through Military OneSource.

Parents, have you checked out the new Education Directory? Will it help you find resources to support your special needs child? Share your thoughts with us!


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