IDEA is a federal law that guarantees a free and appropriate public education for every child with a disability. This means that if you enroll your child in public school, his education should be at no cost to you and should be appropriate for his age, ability, and developmental level. IDEA is an amended version of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) passed in 1975. In 1997, IDEA was reauthorized (P.L. 105-17), further defining children's rights to educational services and strengthening the role of parents in the educational planning process for their children (Autism Society of America, http://www.autism-society.org).
According to federal law, each school district must ensure, that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and
Those special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment must occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
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