ASK Resource Center - Information Sheets - Printable PDFs

Below you will find our Information Sheets on our most requested topic areas. Each document can be printed from our high-quality PDFs for your reference. 


Please Note:
If you need an Information Sheet in another language, use our search button to find the information, click the Google Translate button on the bottom right of this site to choose your preferred language, and print directly from the website in the language that you need!

Medical and Educational Models - Why and how they are different - Printable PDF

It is helpful to understand that sometimes the difference between medical and educational recommendations for the same student is due to different standards and obligations, not because of wrong data or bad intent. The medical recommendations that are made by doctors and therapists are always going to aim for the maximum growth, but could be limited by insurance approval. The school IEP team is not obligated to provide services that will maximize a student's potential but instead must provide students with disabilities with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

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Prior Written Notice - Printable PDF

A Prior Written Notice (PWN) is a written explanation of a change the school district or AEA wants to make or refuses to make in a child's Individualized Educational Program (IEP). It is important that parents understand what the school plans to do (or not do) for their child. A PWN must give parents the information they need to actively participate in making decisions about their child's educational program and services.

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Sample Letter Requesting Prior Written Notice - Printable PDF

This is an example letter for parents requesting written notice. The most important parts of the letter will be the blanks filled in with details from the parents! Parents are welcome to use part or all of the sample letter.

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Least Restrictive Environment - Printable PDF

One of the components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the expectation that students with IEP's should be educated alongside their non-disabled peers (in the General Education classroom) as much as it is appropriate, which is referred to as the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for that student.

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Reevaluation - Printable PDF

When a child has an IEP, the federal law requires IEP teams to consider reevaluating the student at least every 3 years. Parents can also request that their child be reevaluated up to once per year. This is most often helpful when there are new issues coming up at school related to the disability or the child has received a new diagnosis that may impact him or her at school.

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Independent Educational Evaluations - Printable PDF

In Iowa, evaluations for special education eligibility are usually done by Area Education Agency personnel, together with the educators at your child's school. However, parents have the right to other options if they believe the information described in the Educational Evaluation Report (EER) is incorrect or incomplete.

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Conflict Resolution Options in Special Education - Printable PDF

Learn the ways to formally address and resolve disputes related to Special Education services and supports.

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Six Principles of IDEA - Printable PDF

There are six basic principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that help to outline the expectations of the law. Here is a brief overview and introductory information for families who are new to the Special Education process.

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Manifestation Determination - Printable PDF

Special considerations may be necessary for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan in order for the student to have access to making academic progress when behavior has been a concern at school.

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Legal Resources in Iowa - Printable PDF

ASK Resource Center maintains a list of private attorneys and statewide programs that may be able to assist or represent individuals with disabilities in issues related to disability law and Special Education Mediation, as well as establishing competency, guardianship, and special needs trusts.

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Care Notebooks - Important Information from Families - Printable PDF

A Care Notebook is an organization tool for families who have children with disabilities or special health care needs. The notebook is used to keep track of important information about a child's healthcare. Some programs provide families with notebooks, some families purchase Care Notebook software, and some create their own. For these reasons ASK decided to focus on the parts of a Care Notebook rather than one specific product.

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Sample Letter Requesting an Evaluation for Special Education Eligibility - Printable PDF

In Iowa, the initial evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education services begins with the suspicion of a disability and/or per parent request. If a disability is suspected, a team of educators will seek informed parent consent and begin planning the full and individual Initial Evaluation. During this comprehensive evaluation, the team gathers and documents data about a student's progress and needs. The team also looks at how the student's levels of performance and progress compare to those of classmates or same aged peers. At the end of the initial evaluation, the evaluation team will meet with the parent(s)to review the information gathered during evaluation and determine if a student is eligible for special education.

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Sample Letter Requesting a Re-Evaluation - Printable PDF

In order to ensure students continue to be eligible to receive special education services and that their unique educational needs are being appropriately met, IDEA requires that re-evaluations of at a least every three years. The reevaluation process includes the review of existing information and if necessary, or requested, the collection of additional information.

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A Parent's Guide to Educational Advocacy - Printable PDF

Advocacy comes in many forms, ranging from friendly, gentle persuasion to aggressive, in your face confrontation. The form or style that is most effective often depends on the type of advocacy you are pursuing. When it comes to parent advocacy in education, there are extremely important considerations: the long-term working relationship between you, as a parent, and the educators who have a continuing role in your child's educational development, and how that relationship may affect your child's educational environment.

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Sample Letter - Requesting a 504 - Printable PDF

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act an individual with a disability is defined as a person who: 1)has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; 2)has a record of such an impairment or 3)is regarded as having such an impairment. In schools, Section 504 takes shape in the form of a plan for how a school will support a student with a disability and remove barriers to learning. The goal of a 504 plan is to give the student equal access at school and school activities.

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School Lunch and Special Dietary Needs - Printable PDF

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, which includes breakfasts and after school snacks in some cases, are required by law to make accommodations for children who are unable to eat the standard prepared meals because of a disability or health issue.

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Life After High School - Printable PDF

We have all thought about what we want to do when we "grow up." For most teenagers, high school is a time when they have to move from thinking and dreaming to planning and working toward real goals. All students face the big transition from high school to the "real world," and students with disabilities may face that transition with even more factors to consider. Preparing how to meet those special needs is the purpose of transition planning for students with IEPs

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Iowa's Anti Bullying Law - Printable PDF

Bullying and harassment is not only harmful to the social and emotional development of children, it gets in the way of learning. Ensuring the physical safety and emotional security of children in school is a critical concern shared by parents and educators. Recognizing that concern, in 2007 the Iowa Legislature passed a state law to help prevent and address bullying in schools.

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The ABC's of Challenging Behavior - Printable PDF

Behavior problems involve any challenging behavior that lasts over time and is working for the child, meaning bringing the results he or she wants. This takes the form of a child not doing what is wanted, or doing something that isn't wanted by adults. Before we can address a challenging behavior, we need to be able to identify and define the problem clearly.

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Special Education Dispute Resolution Options - Printable PDF

After a parent receives a Prior Written Notice (PWN) about a proposed change or refused action and continue to disagree with the school, they have choices for how to resolve those differences. The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) outlines three resolution options, they are: State Mediation, Due Process and State Complaint. The table linked below explains the basics of each Special Education resolution type, as well as where each is explained in the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parental Rights in Special Education.

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Stay Put Provision - Printable PDF

Parents of a child receiving special education services have important procedural safeguards and legal rights. One of these rights is the "stay put" provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). After receiving the Prior Written Notice (PWN), if a parent disagrees with and formally disputes a proposed change (or refusal) to their child's placement, the "stay put" provision allows the student to do just that-"stay put" in the current IEP placement.

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Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - Printable PDF

All school-age children with disabilities who are eligible for a 504 or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE requires students with disabilities receive the services they need to benefit from their education.

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Progress Monitoring for IEP Goals - Printable PDF

Progress Monitoring is used to assess a student's performance and the effectiveness of the instruction being given. The data collected by progress monitoring helps guide IEP team decisions about instruction and services. Each goal page of Iowa's IEP form contains a section called Progress Monitoring Procedures, which should explain how data will be collected and used to make instructional decisions

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Communication Matters - Printable PDF

What do we do when communication isn't working the way we want it to? Or when disagreement or conflict makes it particularly difficult? Here are some simple strategies that we can all learn to use to improve communication.

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How to Report Bullying at School - Printable PDF

Parents should notify the school each time their child reports that they have been bullied at school. While talking with the school regarding the bullying incident is effective, it is more important to put it in writing.

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Seclusion and Restraint in Schools - Printable PDF

The State of Iowa updated its rules on corporal punishment, physical restraint (restraint), and physical confinement and detention (seclusion) in educational settings, effective January 2021. These rules are published in Chapter 103 of the Iowa Department of Education's administrative rules and are referred to as "Chapter 103."

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Treatment Choices and Evidence-Based Practices - Printable PDF

Families are encouraged to ask their child's doctor or provider questions about the treatment being recommended and should come prepared with a notebook to record the answers to their questions. Families should also share their values and preferences with providers.

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Transition Terms - Printable PDF

Special Education uses many acronyms or abbreviations, many of which families become familiar while their student is in school. As teens and their families prepare to exit school and begin life as an adult, they are faced with many new terms and acronyms. Listed below are definitions of some words and acronyms often used during this important time.

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The Ten Day Rule: What Parents Should Know About the 11th Day of Suspension - Printable PDF

You may have heard about something called the "ten-day" rule and been told that it limits the number of days that a child with disabilities can be suspended from school. While there is some truth to that, the whole truth is far more complicated. Here are nine things that are important to know about the so-called "ten-day" rule and the laws governing the suspension of students who are eligible for IEP services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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Removal of Students with Disabilities From School

It is important for parents to understand their child's rights when the school requests parents to pick up their child due to behavior. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act protects students with disabilities, including those with IEPs, from discrimination. They are entitled to the same education as other children and have a right to a free and appropriate education (FAPE).

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A Chapter 103 Checklist for Parents During and After an Incident of Seclusion or Restraint - Printable PDF

This checklist, based on the Chapter 103 rules, will guide parents to understand the necessary documentation of an incident of seclusion or restraint involving their child. If parents have concerns they should document them in writing and ask the school to explain. A team meeting may be helpful to everyone to get on the same page.

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Challenging Behavior in School - Printable PDF

Having a consistent response is so important for kids, especially when it comes to behavior. A behavior plan is the best way for all of the school staff, parents and the student to be one the same page about how behaviors will be handled at school so that no matter who is involved the response to a problem behavior is the same, and the strategies used will be most effective in deescalating the situation.

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): Special Considerations for High-Risk Children

The increased cases and hospitalizations of children with RSV infections this summer has prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to strongly recommend that clinicians consider using palivizumab (humanized monoclonal antibody) for high-risk infants in areas experiencing high rates of RSV circulation consistent with a typical fall-winter season

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Safe Classroom Learning Environments - Classroom Clears and Therapeutic Classrooms: Senate File 2360

A new law (Senate File 2360: Safe Classroom Learning Environments) was put into place with the intent to create a safe learning space for students and teachers. Immediate action by school districts was required in the area response and reporting of school behavioral challenges. The restrictions on use of classroom clears applies to all classrooms, general and special educa-tion, ages 3-21, when a child is served in a setting that is using public funds for educational purposes.

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ASK Resource Center Handout - English

This is a printable handout about what ASK Resources has to offer our community.

Print the ASK Handout (English Version) Here

ASK Resource Center Handout - Spanish

Este es un folleto imprimible sobre lo que ASK Resources tiene para ofrecer a nuestra comunidad.

Print the ASK Handout (Spanish Version) Here

ASK Resource Summer Camp List

Summer is all about having fun, and at ASK Resource Center we want to make it easier for children and young adults with disabilities across Iowa to access all the summer fun their hearts desire! Regardless of your child's age or ability, planning is an essential component for smooth-sailing.

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Introduction to ACHIEVE - Iowa's New IFSP and IEP Online System

The Iowa Department of Education will launch a new IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan)/IEP (Individualized Education Program) online system starting April 2022. Each school district has the option to choose when they will begin, however it must occur sometime between April and September 2022. At the next occurring IFSP/IEP meeting your child's plan will move to the ACHIEVE online system. This will happen no later than the end of the 2022-2023 school/calendar year.

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Competitive Integrated Employment For People with Disabilities: Setting High Expectations with Employment First (E1st)

The law requiring a minimum wage for employees has been in place since 1938. At the same time it was created, a special clause was put into place to allow a "sub-minimum wage" to be paid to people with disabilities in "sheltered workshops" which only employ people with disabilities. Since then, in many communities "sheltered workshops" have been the primary employer of people with disabilities. Now many states are changing to a new way.

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FAQ from Families about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

Learn about the top six questions from families about Individual Education Program.

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Requesting an Evaluation for Special Education Disability Suspected and the Initial Evaluation

When parents believe that a disability might be the reason for their child's difficulties in school there are specific steps that can be taken to request an evaluation for Special Education. Parents/guardians can request an evaluation for special education at any time. Children can get interventions in the general education setting and there is often no need for additional support.

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Requesting an Evaluation for Special Education Disability Suspected and the Initial Evaluation

When parents believe that a disability might be the reason for their child's difficulties in school there are specific steps that can be taken to request an evaluation for Special Education. Parents/guardians can request an evaluation for special education at any time. Children can get interventions in the general education setting and there is often no need for additional support.

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What is Special Education and Who is Eligible?

The term "Special Education" is defined by federal law to mean "specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability." It can include instruction in general education, special education, in the child's home, in a hospital or institution, or in some other setting. Instruction must also include physical education.

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Sample Letter Requesting an IEP Meeting

This letter is designed to be used when a family would like to request an IEP meeting to discuss an issue related to their child's IEP. Be sure to change and add the details of a student's situation to the sample letter before sending to a Special Education Teacher, General Education Teacher, Principal, Special Education Director or Superintendent. Remember to keep a copy for yourself, including the date it was sent.

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A Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation Areas to consider for Special Education evaluations

A comprehensive evaluation covers all areas that may be impacted by a disability. It should identify all of a student's special education and related service needs. In order for an evaluation to be comprehensive a student should be evaluated in all areas related to the disability or area of concern, referred to as performance domains.

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Transition Planning Checklist Beginning in Elementary

This checklist includes important steps along the path to adulthood. This list may be helpful for students, parents, teachers and service providers as they plan for transition. The student's skills, interests and needs will help determine which items on the checklist should be considered.

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Transition Planning Checklist Beginning in 8th Grade

This checklist includes important steps along the path to adulthood that youth and parents, teachers and community providers may find useful during transition planning. The student's skills, interests and needs will help determine which items on the checklist should be considered.

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Transition Planning Checklist Beginning High School

This checklist includes important steps along the path to adulthood. This list may be helpful for students, parents, teachers and service providers as they plan for transition. The student's skills, interests and needs will help determine which items on the checklist should be considered.

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Giới thiệu ACHIEVE Hệ thống trực tuyến IFSP và IEP mới của Iowa

Sở Giáo Dục Iowa sẽ ra mắt IFSP (Kế Hoạch Dịch Vụ Gia Đình Cá Nhân Hóa)/IEP (Chương Trình Giáo Dục Cá Nhân Hóa) mới bắt đầu từ tháng 4 năm 2022. Mỗi học khu có quyền lựa chọn thời điểm bắt đầu sử dụng, tuy nhiên quyết định phải được đưa ra vào khoảng từ giữa tháng 4 đến tháng 9 năm 2022.

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Introducción a ACHIEVE Nuevo sistema en línea del IFSP y el IEP de Iowa

El Departamento de Educación de Iowa pondrá en marcha un nuevo IFSP (Plan de Servicio Familiar Individualizado)/IEP (Programa de Educación Individualizada) en línea a partir de Abril del 2022. Cada distrito escolar tiene la opción de elegir cuándo comenzará, sin embargo debe ocurrir en algún momento entre Abril y Septiembre del 2022.

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A Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation Areas to consider for Special Education evaluations

An evaluation must be conducted by the school and/or Area Education Agency (AEA) in order to determine if a student is eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Parents can request an evaluation for Special Education services at any time or the school could initiate the process.

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A Meeting Checklist for IEP Teams Necessary discussions and decisions for different perspectives on the same team

Individualized Education Program (IEP) team members collaborate to create a plan and establish goals to address the unique needs of a student eligible for special education services. IEP teams also discuss and determine the most appropriate learning environments for a student. These checklists were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist teams planning for unique learning environments, however many of the questions will be useful for IEP teams in other situations. The first set of questions is written with the family perspective and the second list offers questions with the perspective of educators and related service professionals.

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Family and Medical Leave Act An Overview for Families

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a 1993 federal law. It requires covered employers to give eligible employees time off work, without penalty, for specified family and medical reasons. The stated purposes of the law: balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families; promote stability and economic security of families and promote national interests in preserving family integrity. Who is covered by FMLA? The FMLA only applies to employers and employees that meet certain criteria. If an employer meets the criteria they are called “covered” employers. Not all employers are covered and not all employees are eligible. The following chart shows the FMLA criteria for covered employers and eligible employees.

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FAQ from Families: Waiver Services in Iowa Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

When accessing a Medicaid HCBS waiver an individual will be assigned either a Managed Care Organization (MCO) or Fee for Service (FFS). Most individuals will be covered by a MCO. These are common questions from families about applying for and utilizing HCBS waiver services.

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FAQ from Families about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

You know your child best. Your participation in developing an appropriate IEP should be expected and welcomed. You can share strengths and preferences related to learning and daily living. You can share goals that you would like to see achieved and any concerns that you have regarding learning and social development.

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Sample Letter Requesting an IEP meeting during a school closure

This letter is designed to be used during a school closure but could be changed to meet other situations when a family would like an IEP meeting. The details of a student’s situation should be added to the sample letter before sending to a Special Education Teacher, Principal, Special Education Director or Superintendent. Remember to keep a copy for yourself, including the date it was sent.

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Sample Letter Requesting an IEP Meeting And other letter writing tips

As stated in the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents, as a parent of a child with a disability, parents/ guardians have the right to request an IEP meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. This letter is designed to be used when a family would like to request an IEP meeting to discuss an issue related to their child’s IEP. Be sure to change and add the details of a student’s situation to the sample letter before sending to a Special Education Teacher, General Education Teacher, Principal, Special Education Director or Superintendent. Remember to keep a copy for yourself, including the date it was sent.

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Sample Letter - Reporting Bullying

This letter is to immediately request that my [son/daughter], [student name], be afforded all of the protections under state and federal law to protect [him/her] from physical harassment, discrimination, and verbal abuse. It is my understanding that [he/she] has a right to learn in a safe and harm-free educational environment (Iowa Code Chapter 216).

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Sample Letter Requesting a Re-evaluation And other letter writing tips

In order to ensure students continue to be eligible to receive special education services and that their unique educational needs are being appropriately met, IDEA requires that re-evaluations of at a least every three years. The reevaluation process includes the review of existing information and if necessary, or requested, the collection of additional information.

Read the ASK Resource PDF

Sample Letter Requesting an Evaluation Considering a student for special education eligibility and letter writing tips

In Iowa, the initial evaluation process to determine eligibility for special education services begins with the suspicion of a disability and/or per parent request. If a disability is suspected, a team of educators will seek informed parent consent and begin planning the full and individual Initial Evaluation.

Read the ASK Resource PDF