Evaluating whether your child needs special education or assistance can sometimes seem an overwhelming task, but every child deserves an education. The federal special education laws in the United States are outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These laws and regulations provide students with special needs to certain rights and procedures when evaluating, qualifying and providing students with special education. For instance, school districts must identify qualified special needs students and notify the parents of the student’s right to a free and appropriate public education. Obtain an evaluation of your child’s needs to determine what individualized resources your child may need – such as classroom aids, technological devices, or specialized placement. The goal is to develop an educational plan specific to your child’s individual needs. The special education facilitator at your child’s school should help you through the process. However, if a dispute arises, legal counsel is often needed in order to ensure your child receives the education he or she is entitled to under the law.