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 is 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. Looking for a local online connection?  Want to ask your question to other parents? Several of the Parent Mentors that LifeLine trained over the last 10 years are on the IEP/504 Caregiver Mentoring Facebook Group.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Wright’s Law is also a searchable web resource.