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Parents/Families of a Child with a Disability

Page banner shows mother and father who are Black playing and having fun in park with their three children--one child is a wheelchair user.

This webpage is for parents and those who work with parents.  It is dedicated to providing information on special education issues, practices and resources to families who have children with disabilities.


Parent/Family Icon (Medium)

Image: Red Curved Arrow Pointing Left and Up

Look for this icon throughout the Special Education website (specific webpages with /cdesped in the URL) to find information and resources for families

How to Search this Site

  1. You can use the Google Search box (which only searches within the CDE) at the top right side of the webpage and type in what you are looking for.
    CDE GOOGLE Search Bar
  2. You can use our Topic Index (Alpha Index) - alphabetical list for the Office of Special Education.

Contact ESSU - Parents - Do you want to contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit?

Special Education:

Questions about Special Education or the Special Education process, please contact:

Beth Donahue
Family Engagement Specialist
Phone:  720-926-1453

Young Children (Birth to age 5) or Preschool:

Questions about young children (birth to age 5) or Preschool Special Education?

Please visit CDE's Preschool Special Education and Child Find Contacts, or contact the Early Childhood Special Education Team:

Heidi White
Phone:  303-501-0837
Email Heidi White

Looking for Child Find ages 3 through 5?

Visit CDE's Child Find for Children Ages 3 Through 5 Years Old or contact the Early Childhood Special Education Team: 

Mary Morin
Child Find Specialist
Phone: 720-766-6507
Email Mary Morin

Gifted Education:

Questions about students in Gifted Education?

Please contact Gifted Education Team:

Phone: 720-774-0908
Email Rebecca McKinney

Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide for Parents and Family Members of Students on IEPs.


ChildFind and Preschool Special Education

Every school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) has professionals trained to evaluate young children’s development. This service is referred to as Child Find.  The purpose of the child find process is to determine whether a child has a need for early intervention or special education services.


Has your child been identified as having a Disability?

Fourteen disabilities have been identified under ECEA.  The Disabilities webpage has links to each of the 14 identified disabilities (with more information about that disability) and the appropriate state office contacts.


Does your child have an IEP (Individualized Education Program)?

The IEP Link has both forms and resources


Does your child need related services?

The term "related services" means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling condition in children.


Dispute Resolution

Find information on dispute resolution options available to parents and school districts regarding disputes during the Special Education process.

Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP)

Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) Logo

Parents Encouraging Parents

Family-centered conferences designed to offer support, information, and education to parents with children who have a disability, ages birth to 21 years, and professionals.


Looking for a Conference or Training?

  • Calendar: PEAK Parent Center [Exiting CDE Website]
    Browse this statewide online calendar of events for families and educators of children and youth with disabilities.
  • Special Education Legal Conference - Provides special education legal trends/updates both nationally and those specific to Colorado. TBD


Colorado Special Advisory Committees

Parent and Family Support List / Lista de apoyo para padres y familias


Supporting Displaced Students

Homelessness and Natural Disasters (such as fires, floods, etc.)

Our Partners Who Help Us Help You:

Peak Parent Center [Exiting CDE]

Peak Parent Center Logo


Thrive [Exiting CDE]

Thrive Logo


Disability Law Colorado [Exiting CDE]

Disability Law Colorado Logo – protecting the rights of Coloradans of all ages since 1976


Having trouble with this webpage?


If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.