Houston - Special Education
All school districts in and around Houston have both education programs and related services for children with special physical or learning difficulties. These programs are often run alongside the mainstream programs on campus and are individually designed, taking the individual needs of the student into account.
There is a huge range of programs: from adapted physical education, behavior adjustment or intervention programs to classes for visually challenged children or for those who have hearing impairments.
Under exceptional circumstances, it can also be possible for children to be put forward to a private school by the public school assessment board, should they feel the individual would perform better at an alternative school.
Should you have a child with special needs, here is the way to proceed:
Prior to any action being taken, you need to decide which school district area you are planning to live in because any assessments will take place by the school district. By contacting the school district (contact numbers for Independent school districts are under the main school section), you will start the ball rolling for assessments and schooling.
They will advise you of the Special Education Director or Consultant for the school area concerned for you to contact.
The Special Education Director or Consultant puts the case to the ARD Committee Members (Admissions, Review and Dismissal Committee) with a recommendation for your child. This is the normal process to assess expected academic growth of students with disabilities in the Texas Assessment Program.
This group will then develop an IEP (Individual Education Program) for your child with parental input.
All this takes place at the Texas independent school district level, but aligned with Federal regulations and in compliance with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
Should a child be assessed as having any special needs, you will find that either the Special Education Director, or School Counselor will guide you through the jargon and the bureaucracy.
If, before you get to the above stages, you have any queries, you should telephone the agency below, which is in charge of the Houston area, and ask to speak to a consultant.
- Texas Education Agency/Division of Special Education
1791 North Congress Ave
Tel: + 1 (512) 463 9414
Fax: + 1 (512) 463 9560
The Texas Education Agency has a complete section detailing every function regarding special needs education website: www.tea.state.tx.us/special.ed