An Introduction to Special Education

The Garden Grove Unified School District is committed to serving the educational needs of each of our students. Each school in the District has a process that brings together the parent or guardian, the student (if appropriate) and school personnel to address any problems that interfere with a student’s success in school. This team of people is known as a Student Study Team (SST). This team is responsible for identifying the student’s needs and developing a plan to enable the student to be successful.

Sometimes however, students may require special education services. After a student has been assessed, eligibility for special education services is determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team of parents and professionals. Students receive special education services only after all the resources of the general education program have been considered.

A student who is not eligible for special education services may qualify for accommodations or classroom modifications under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. You or your child’s teacher may submit a written request to the school administrator for a Section 504 evaluation of your child in order to determine whether accommodations or modifications might be appropriate. You will be notified when the evaluation meeting is to take place and you may participate in the meeting. Your child may then be provided with accommodations, such as classroom modifications and intervention strategies, in the general education classroom.


Special education is a program designed to meet the unique educational needs of children with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria under the law. Special education services can begin at birth and continue for your child until the age of twenty-two (22). Your child may receive special education services under one of the following eligibilities:

  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Other Health Impairment (chronic or acute health condition resulting in limited strength, vitality or alertness adversely affecting education performance)
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Autism or Autistic-Like Behaviors
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Deafness
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Visual Impairment (including blindness)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Multiple Disabilities