Special education is to be provided in the least restrictive environment. This means that your child should be educated in the general education classroom to the furthest extent possible. The range of special education placements includes full inclusion in the regular classroom; resource specialist program, where your child may go to a specialized classroom for a particular subject or receive this service in a collaborative setting; and special day class, where the child is educated for the most part with other disabled students or only with disabled students.
In addition to placement, there is also a variety of related services (in California called Designated Instructional Services or DIS) available under IDEA 2004. Your child will be provided only the related services deemed necessary for a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE). Some of the available services include:
• Assistive technology
• Speech therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Educational therapy
• Medical services
• Parent counseling and training
• Physical therapy
• Psychological services
In a few very severe cases where a child cannot receive a FAPE, he may qualify for a nonpublic school. These schools provide specialized services for children with specific disabilities. In the most extreme cases where a child is not safe in the home due to her disability and therefore cannot receive a FAPE while remaining at home, residential placement may be available.