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Managing Documents Under IDEA, Part I

Parents of children with special educational needs can easily be overwhelmed by paper in a short time. From the beginning of school to the time their child either graduates or "ages out" of entitlement to special education services, the accumulation of IEPs, evaluations, progress reports, correspondence, notes, journals, samples of the child's work, medical records and so forth can fill several drawers of a file cabinet or several feet of shelf space.

Some may be tempted to throw out documents when they become too cumbersome to manage easily, but it may be a mistake to do so. Even the oldest documents in a child's history can sometimes help parents make a case for increased or different services for their child under IDEA.

Parents should learn the relative importance of various kinds of documents and organize them sensibly. With this in mind, here are some guidelines for managing documents under IDEA.

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