Prince William County Special Education Parent Teacher Association
Share information regarding special education policies and laws, community resources and supplemental services. Offer workshops and training regarding various high interest topics such as determining eligibility for services, early intervention, legislative issues, and high school graduation requirements. Provide up-to-date district information relating to special education services and programming. Provide statewide legislative information as it relates to special education
Provide opportunities for parents and teachers to share experiences and resources. SEPTA is your place for the sharing of special needs resources and ideas. We believe that there are many great resources and ideas out there that really need to be shared so that they can be used for children with special needs. We believe that Special Education will be lifted greatly if we all have a desire to share and build these resources for all to use.
Introduce parents of students in Greater Prince William County to the special education process. Providing an overview of special education services, the rights of students with disabilities and your rights as the parent of a child with a disability.
Why SEPTA can be a major benefit
Families with children who have special needs often seek out opportunities to meet other parents in similar circumstances. Special Education PTAs (SEPTAs) provide this opportunity and often bring together families of students who attend different schools in a district under one PTA umbrella. Becoming a SEPTA provides families with an organizational structure, resources and the opportunity to be a collective voice for their child and for all children.
Many units offer family fun days for the whole family, such as a bowling day, a picnic and so on. This is a comfortable place for the whole family to go and be together.
SEPTA can offer support to parents who have similar circumstances
One major benefit of a SEPTA is to offer support to other parents who have similar circumstances. Some SEPTA units have a business meeting then adjourn and offer a parent support time off the record. Sometimes parents like to speak on issues that concern their children and just listening to them can help other caretakers. Other things can happen during the support time, for instance, caretakers can learn about doctors and services that are a positive experience for their child such as a place to take your child for a haircut that is not stressful and a place of business that is understanding and patient.
Other benefits are that SEPTAs sponsor workshops and speakers on topics that can help better advocate for exceptional children and topics that can help parents better understand aspects of special needs and many diagnoses. Many SEPTAs start out with a general topic like understanding your child’s IEP or 504plan, the rights of your special needs child, and the parent’s rights under IDEA.