Special Education

Family Involvement and Resources

Resources for Families of Special Education

Parent/Guardian Leadership in Special Education – SEAAC, Parent Partners, School-based Parent Partners, and Special Education PTSA


Know Your Rights

Learn more about privacy, parental consent, federal and state laws.


Family Responsibilities

Every parent and guardian has an integral role to play in their student’s education. When their student also receives special education services, that role expands considerably as they become integral members of the team that will plan their student’s individual education needs and goals.

This is a demanding role for many parents as they find themselves learning new ideas, terms, and methods of communication with the district’s teachers and staff. We provide a variety of resources here, on the District Special Education Department website, to help families feel ready to play an integral role in planning for their student’s success.

Your most important task is to build a strong partnership with your student’s school, principal, and teachers. If you feel motivated to engage further, we have many opportunities for parents to support special education at a District level. Parents provide leadership for the special education community in the following capacities:

  • Special Education Parent Partners, a group of parents trained to support families and teachers to work together collaboratively. This is a pilot program that is started in the 2016/17 school year.
  • Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC), a group of parents, teachers and community leaders who advise the district on advocacy, policy and practice. Members serve a two-year term and are selected by the district from a pool of volunteer applications.
  • Special Education Parent Teacher Student Association (SpEdPTSA), a volunteer PTSA advocacy organization.
  • Special Education Task Force, an interdisciplinary group supporting the rollout of the Continuum Approach of Services. The Task Force will have five parent members and a Point Parent at schools rolling out the Continuum Approach Services. Additionally, a Parent Liaison will coordinate and integrate parent feedback across the service design/implementation process.

Link to Learn

Dance of Partnership Article on strengthening the parent-professional partnership


External Resources

ARC of King County

Asian Counseling and Referral Services

CADRE (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education)

CHADD, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS) and Intensive Stabilization Services (ISS)

Children’s Disabilities Information

Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC)

Developmental Disabilities Administration

Disability Rights Washington

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Washington State)

Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) 

The Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center (HSDC) 

Informing Families

Life Course Tools

Listen and Talk

OSPI Guidance for Families

King County Wraparound Services

Open Doors for Multicultural Families

Seattle Parks and Recreation Specialized Programs

Sound Options Group (mediation services) 

SPS Special Education PTSA

The Autism Center in Seattle

The Fathers Network

The Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind

Washington Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (WABIDA)

Washington Department of Services for the Blind

Washington Sensory Disability Services

Washington State Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL)   

Washington State Dyslexia Resource Guide

Washington State Family and Community Engagement Trust

Washington State School for the Blind

Washington State School for the Deaf

Washington Talking Book and Braille Library