Getting Started with Special Education

Where to start

Grant Wood AEA supports educators, parents, and the communities we serve as we work together toward one ultimate goal—to improve student learning.

Our special education experts can help parents through the potentially overwhelming processes and systems related to their student’s learning. Parents and educators who have concerns about a child's development should contact Grant Wood AEA. Our staff will be in touch to make connections for an evaluation or referral.

A Quick Overview of Special Education Programs Supported by Grant Wood AEA

Birth- age 3: Early ACCESS

Infants and toddlers under the age of 3 are eligible to receive Early ACCESS early intervention services. Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children (birth to age 3) and providers from the Iowa Departments of Education, Public Health and Human Services, Child Health Specialty Clinics and Iowa's AEAs. Families and Early ACCESS staff work together to identify, coordinate and provide needed services and resources that help families assist their infants and toddlers who have either a developmental delay, or have a condition that has a high probability of later delays if early intervention services are not provided.

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Do you want your child evaluated for potential delays? Contact us with this form:

Age 3- 5 Early Childhood Services

If your child is between the ages of 3 to 5 years, is not yet enrolled in school, and you have concerns about his/her development, you may contact GWAEA for more information about its Early Childhood Services. Grant Wood AEA's Early Childhood special education professionals provide training and serve as a resource to early childhood special education teachers in public schools, early childhood providers in community settings such as preschool, child care and Head Start programs to meet the developmental learning needs of young children. Also, families and early childhood providers may request information about appropriate expectations for children's development.

Age 5-21

Schools and the AEA use a process called Child Find to help identify and evaluate students who are eligible for special education services. A parent may request an evaluation by contacting an administrator at the student's school.