Special Education Resources

When you look at your child’s IEP (or IFSP or 504 plan), what do you see? Do you see a cohesive document that reflects your child’s strengths, needs, goals, and supports to accomplish them? Or do you see a pile of papers with a bunch of acronyms that only partially makes sense? If your response is the last one, there is help! We will provide options and ideas for sharing your concerns with your IEP team. Do you need help preparing for your next IEP meeting? Empower yourself to be your child’s best advocate! It all begins with understanding your child’s IEP!

In order to reach the greatest number of families, LifeLine staff have reallocated our time from individual consults to building online resources.  We are expanding our website to provide more of the information that we used to share in workshops and single family consultations in a format that will be more available to more families around the clock.

When we walked through an IEP consultation with a family, we used the following document.



We suggest that you print the IEP Template document, and then sit down with it and a current copy of your child’s IEP. Listen through our discussion of what needs to be in each space. Evaluate your IEP as you listen and make notes in the blank document to build an agenda for discussion at the next IEP meeting.


If you would like additional information, here are some additional resources:

  1. Need to see a copy of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? Find a searchable PDF here.
  2. Need to see a copy of the 504 Rehabilitation Act Law? Find a searchable PDF here.
  3. Need to see a copy of the FERPA (Family Education Rights & Privacy Act) regulations? Find a searchable PDF here.
  4. Visit the Tennessee Department of Education/Office of Special Populations for Eligibility and Evaluation information, definitions, and standards. You can find rules, eligibility criteria, sample forms, manuals for the state of Georgia here.
  5. If you are in Georgia, contact the Parent Mentor for your school system:  Find your parent mentor:
  6. Looking for a local online connection? Want to ask your question to other parents? Several of the Parent Mentors that LifeLine has trained over the last 10 years are on the IEP/504 Caregiver Mentoring Facebook Group.
  7. Looking for ways to meet other families to discuss special education issues? Join us for special education topics during FamilyShare, our monthly support group meetings. Check our event calendar for meeting dates and topics.
  8. If you have questions beyond this, feel free to contact Support & Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP), Inc. STEP is Tennessee’s Parent Training and Information Center. Their mission is to empower parents through information, training, and support to become effective partners with professionals in planning appropriate educational programs for their children. They have paid staff to answer your questions and will review IEP documents and help you prepare for meetings via phone. If you live in Georgia, the Georgia parent training and information (PTI) center can be found here. If you live in another state, you can find your Parent Center.
    Wright’s Law is also a searchable web resource.



Are you homeschooling a child with special needs?  Would you like some new ideas for alternate delivery or evaluation of information, development of high school transition plans, or just need to brainstorm through options available for your child? Would you like help developing an IEP to go along with your lesson plans?  Contact Brookstone at Christ First Church.  


Is your child in a private school that doesn’t specifically provide an IEP/504 plan, but you have questions about options available, accommodations possible, or ideas for accessing support services?  LifeLine offers trainings for Christian schools..

We are working to provide more of our trainings, resources and information online. You can find answers to your frequently asked questions here:


The purpose of LifeLine’s Special Education Services is to empower parents and guardians to be their own child’s best advocate.  While for many years LifeLine staff and mentors went to IEP meetings with families, we are working to provide more of our trainings, resources and information online so that families will have access all year long.  You can find answers to your frequently asked questions here:

If you cannot find the answers to your special education questions in the resources listed, contact the following for additional help.


Here are some additional links and resources that you might find helpful:

Disability Rights Tennessee
Georgia Department of Education Eligibility Report: Quick Reference Guide
Georgia Learning Resource System
Georgia Parent Mentor Program
Homework Practices that Support Students with Disabilities (Article)
Kids Together
NAMI Guide to Emerging and Promising Crisis Intervention Programs for Youth: Supporting Schools & Communities in Breaking the Prison Pipeline
National Disability Rights Network
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Pacer Center
Parent to Parent of Georgia
Schwab Learning
Sensory Issues & the IEP
State of Tennessee Special Populations & Student Support
Wrights Law