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Getting Started with Special Education

Iowa’s AEAs serve students from birth to the age of 21. The eligibility requirements for children to receive services differ depending on the age of the child. In all cases, however, services are free and are based on eligibility and need. If you believe that a child or student may be in need of AEA services, we are here to assist you!

Children Birth-2 years old

Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth through age two. If you think your child may need assistance, you can make a referral or request an evaluation by contacting your AEA.


Children 3-5 years

Special Education services are available to children ages 3-5, who may be identified as needing services.  The AEA is the agency within the state of Iowa who has been given the responsibility for identifying children with special needs. The AEA works closely with school districts to provide the services which children need.
If you are concerned about a child’s learning and development contact your AEA.


Students 5-21 years

The Child Find process is different for students who are of school age. A parent/guardian may request an evaluation by contacting an administrator at the student’s school.

Iowa is ranked first nationally with a 91.2% graduation rate.