Did you know that all public schools (district and charter) are required to include and educate students with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)? Schools must create specialized academic plans, referred to as individualized education programs (IEP)s, for children with special needs. IEPs are tailored so the child can reach his or her full potential. Before a student can receive special education services, he or she must be evaluated for eligibility.


Missouri Parent Act- MPACT

MPACT’s staff consists of parents of children with disabilities, therapists and educators  who can help to answer some of your questions. Find out about the services offered at MPACT’S online resource or at 1-800-743-7634.


Kansas City Public Schools Exceptional Education

Find information about the special education services Kansas City Public Schools offers online or at 816-418-8941.


Inclusive Catholic Schools – FIRE Foundation

Several local Catholic schools are welcome students with special needs into classrooms through the FIRE Foundation. The FIRE Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 organization, makes it possible for partner Catholic schools to hire special educators and paraprofessionals and to acquire learning materials and technology that create successful learning experiences for all children. The following Catholic schools in our area are FIRE partners:

Helpful Links

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Special Education

Council for Exceptional Children

The Children’s Advocacy Project of Kansas City


Parenting Children With Special Needs

Missouri Family to Family

Special Needs Planning Center

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents

Good Reads

Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education, Daniel P. Hallahan

Out of My Mind, Sharon Draper

Somebody Else’s Kids, Torey L. Hayden

Wonder, R.J. Palacio and Raquel Jaramillo

Additional Resources

  • What Special Ed Teachers and Parents Need to Know About Social Media

    NPR  "Discuss, monitor and educate." Read the story:
  • The Plaza Academy

    The Plaza Academy The Plaza Academy removes the barriers that elicit oppositional or rebellious behaviors and builds genuine enthusiasm for learning. We do this by encouraging our students to be socially and academically responsible while monitoring and guiding their progress. Of those students, approximately half are gifted or talented, some having learning disabilities and others have outgrown traditional academic environments. For more information, contact the Executive Director, Ward Worley, at … read more
  • Sherwood Center

    Sherwood Center Sherwood Center’s Special Education component is a comprehensive full-day program that operates 225 days a year, including a nine-week extended term during the summer. Special Education offers a variety of instruction, therapies and activities that are available in group and 1:1 settings, on and off site. Classrooms follow routines that are based on goals and objectives identified in each student's Individual Education Program (IEP). Transition services are also … read more
  • Gillis School

    Gillis School For over 40 years, Gillis School has provided educational and therapeutic services to children. We are licensed to provide services for emotional disturbance, specific learning disabilities, autism, other health impairment, mental retardation, speech or language impairment, and traumatic brain injury to children who do not have the skills to function successfully in a public school setting. Gillis School accepts boys and girls between the ages of five and … read more
  • A Starting School Survival Guide for Parents of Children With Disabilities

    A Starting School Survival Guide for Parents of Children With Disabilities The Huffington Post, 7/22/2015 Parents of kids with disabilities face all of the same anxieties that other parents face upon starting pre-school or kindergarten. Will my kid make friends? Will she like her teachers? Am I going to cry before I get back to the privacy of my car? Read one mother's tips to help you navigate the start of school at … read more