Parents & Families

Getting Started: Resources for Parents

The resources provided here will answer many general questions about special education and related services. 

An Introduction to Special Education provides an overview of the evaluation team process that parents are part of when a referral is made to determine if their child needs special education and related services. It describes how an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed by the team when a special education need is identified and what information is included in each child's IEP. A worksheet for parents is provided that can be used to share their child's strengths and needs with the IEP team.  

Click any of the links below to download a copy of this brochure from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).  Printed copies are available at your child's school and through the Appleton Area School District Student Services Department.     

     An Introduction to Special Education

Similar information is presented in a ten minute video, Introduction to Special Education, created by the Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative.

Additional Resources

Autism Now Resources

The Autism NOW Center provides high quality resources and information in core areas across the lifespan to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, their families, caregivers, and professional in the field.

Autism Now

Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners provides information about serving children with disabilities.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners

Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin - Fox Cities provides support to families and individuals with Down syndrome through education, information, and the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin - Fox Cities

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is the world's largest organization of school psychologists, NASP works to advance effective practices to improve students' learning, behavior, and mental health. Our vision is that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and throughout life.

National Association of School Psychologists

The Northeast Regional Center provides: information and referrals that are up-to-date and confidential, connections to community, state and national resources, problem solving on a variety of concerns including school issues, home care, sibling support, transition issues, diagnoses and more.

Northeast Regional Center

The mission of PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.

PACER Center

Core to the teachings of Social Thinking, parents and professionals must avoid assumption of what students understand when it comes to their social knowledge and related social skills. We do not assume that a person with normal to high intelligence and solid language skills understands the dynamics of social engagement. 

Searchable Articles on Socialthinking