The world of special education can seem complicated and overwhelming at times. It’s important for parents of students with special needs to identify best public schools in Dallas that provide special education for children so that they can be the best possible advocates for their child. The top school districts work with teachers, paraeducators, educational staff, parents, and community partners to help students with disabilities access and make progress in their education.
Some of the programs & services provided by public schools providing best special needs education include:
Therapy Services – Communication, fine motor, and gross motor services
Preschool Age Services – drop-in therapy, inclusive preschool support (ECEAP, Head Start), Developmental Preschool
Specially Designed Instruction — Cognitive, Reading, Written Expression, Math, Social, Behavior, Adaptive and Executive Functioning services.
Consultant Services – Service is provided by a special education certificated staff member to assist the general education teacher in adjusting the learning environment and/or modifying his/her instructional methods to meet the needs of a student with a disability who attends the general education class.
Co-Teaching – Specially designed instruction and academic instruction are provided collaboratively by both a special and general education teacher to a group of students with disabilities in a general education setting with their non-disabled peers. Students receive core academic instruction with general education materials. The special and general education teacher share responsibilities for the delivery of primary instruction, planning, and evaluation for all students. The special and general education teacher must have the same planning period. The percentage of students with disabilities in the class must be less than 50%. At this time, co-teaching in RSD is only offered in ELA and math courses at the secondary level.
Push-In Services – Service is provided by a special education teacher (or paraeducator) to support students with disabilities in a general education classroom. Specially designed individualized or group instruction is provided to students with disabilities which provide support in the student’s general education class.
Pull-Out Services – These are most often Resource Room services. Pull-out services are for the purpose of supplementing the general education instruction of students with disabilities who are in need of supplemental instruction. Students receive specially designed instruction from a special education teacher (or paraeducator) in small groups in a separate location.
The Department of Special Programs at Highland Park ISD directly oversees and/or assists with the administration, coordination and implementation of a variety of school district programs and initiatives. These HPISD Special Programs include:
Special Education Services
Section 504 Services
English as a Second Language (ESL) Services
Coordinated Health Services
The Special Programs department provides instructional services and support for students throughout Highland Park ISD. In order to effectively lead, support, and coordinate the variety of programs, Special Programs staff work with district staff, administrators, directors, principals, teachers, parents and students as appropriate.
More information about special education services provided by Highland Park ISD is available here
Learn more about Highland Park ISD by clicking on the image below.
#2 Plano Independent School District | Plano
Plano ISD provides special education services for students with disabilities, ages 3-21, who have a need for specially designed instruction. Identification of children with disabilities begins at birth. Plano ISD believes in educating students in the least restrictive environment. A full continuum of instructional and related services is available to eligible students, with initial consideration given to provision of services in the general education classroom to the greatest extent possible. More information about special education services provided by Plano ISD is available at https://www.pisd.edu/sped
Learn more about Plano ISD by clicking on the image below.
#3 Grapevine-Colleyville ISD | Grapevine
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is committed to providing quality services to students with disabilities. This commitment is based upon the belief that special education is a service and not a place. Each student identified with a disability and a demonstrated educational need for special education services is provided access to the general curriculum and opportunities to progress in the general curriculum. More information about special education services provided by Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is available
Learn more about Grapevine-Colleyville ISD by clicking on the image below.
#4 McKinney Independent School District | McKinney
More information about special education services provided by McKinney ISD is available
Learn more about McKinney ISD by clicking on the image below.
#5 Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School | Hurst
The mission of the special education department at HEB ISD is to promote student success by supporting collaborative teams focused on individual learning.
More information is available at https://www.hebisd.edu/Page/288
Learn more about HEB ISD by clicking on the image below.
Resources for Special Needs Children in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW):
Special Needs Schools for Children
Dallas has several schools for special needs, providing a variety of options for special needs schooling. A child with special needs is eligible for public school at age 3; programs differ greatly between districts.
In Texas, an IEP (Individualized Education Program) is called an ARD (Admission, Review and Dismissal). To start your search, utilize one of these resources; once you have options, contact district or school officials for more information on enrollment and eligibility.
DISD’s programs include a special needs preschool, dyslexia services, and more.
A great resource for finding doctors, therapies, ARD advocates and other needs is THRIVE magazine. It is free and copies are located in some clinic offices, or you can read it online:
Plano PTA SAGE (Special and Gifted Education).
The Connections Project
It is a magazine with all services available in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for kids with special needs.
6380 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, Dallas (972) 960-6228 Texas Virtual Academy : A charter school that has helped a lot of autistic children who are mostly in need of help with sensory and attention issues, as well a lot of other disabilities like dyslexia. The program is carried out at home on a computer that the school provides. The curriculum is K-12
The Dallas Independent School District has special services available to eligible infants, children, and young adults identified with a disability. Federal and State laws require that school districts maintain a Child Find system for identifying, locating, and evaluating individuals with disabilities (birth through 21 years of age) within its jurisdiction who are in need of special education or related services.
Our Children's House
Our Children’s House provides specialized medical care to children with any type of disability. Children’s Health partners with Children’s House locations across the region. The centers provide care to children from infancy to 18 years of age, including surgery, feeding programs, and outpatient centers.
Early Childhood Intervention
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a statewide program within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for families with children birth up to age 3, with developmental delays, disabilities or certain medical diagnoses that may impact development. ECI services support families as they learn how to help their children grow and learn.
Metrocare is a community resource with a Mental Retardation Authority, which works to determine eligibility for, and appropriateness of, community services. The Authority also considers cases outside of mental retardation, from autism to cerebral palsy.
Children with Special Health Care Needs Services Program:
This program offers assistance and benefits such as health care, family support services, and therapies. More information is available here
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children’s Medicaid:
Families with children who receive Children’s Medicaid pay nothing for health care coverage, and children with CHIP pay no more than $50 per year. The coverage can assist with many special needs expenses, from medication to therapy. Be aware that both programs may have a waiting list.
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