Transitions and Challenges Series

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Transitions and Challenges: Resources for School-Aged Children with Special Needs

Aiming for success for your child with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD)

Entering the school system for the first time presents new challenges and opportunities for parents of children with special needs, such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Prader-Willi Syndrome. Knowing where to start may feel confusing. Looking into some of the special needs resources below can make the path forward clearer.

Family Voices of Minnesota

Family Voices of Minnesota offers parent-to-parent networking opportunities, as well as parent training, insurance information and peer support. Being well-connected with other parents can increase your confidence in caring for your child and family, as well as decrease emergency room visits.

LBSA’s Family Navigation Services Program

Family Navigation Services from Laura Baker Services Association can help you prepare for a variety of educational settings and needs. This program offers a wide variety of disability support services, including local special needs resources, Individualized Education Program (IEP) help, learning disability support and more.

Gillette Children’s Parent Resources and Support Page

Gillette Children’s Parent Resources and Support Page provides a curated list of resources to help you connect with other parents, as well as community forums you can join.

PACER Center

PACER offers resources, training and workshops for parents navigating special education. Information on the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), Section 504 and other Minnesota-specific programs are all available to support you and your child’s educational journey.

Milestone Tracking

Keep consistent records of your child’s milestones using the CDC’s Milestone Tracking App and use these to inform an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting if your child should need in-school support for a developmental disability or delay.

More Information and Support

If you’re interested in a FREE consultation with our Lead Family Navigator to see what services and supports are available to you, you can get in touch right now.

Family Navigation Services


Sam Gershman

Sam Gershman

Family Navigation Specialist

Main: 507-645-8866 Direct: 507-581-7078