Special Education

Getting Started with Special Education

Iowa’s AEAs (AEA) are responsible for providing general supervision of special education in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Iowa Administrative Rules of Special Education (IAC Chapter 41) and Iowa Code Chapter 256B.

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-3 Years

If your child has a condition that may cause later delays in development or if he/she is showing delays in his/her ability to play, think, talk or move, your child may be eligible for Early ACCESS services. These services are not associated with special education.

Children 3-5 Years

Special Education services are available to children ages 3-5, who through an evaluation have been identified as having a disability and 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.

How do I make a referral for AEA services?

  • If you are concerned about your child’s learning and/or development, please call Northwest AEA at 712.222.6050.
  • Teachers in a school-based preschool: Referrals may be made by contacting your AEA early childhood consultant or other appropriate staff (i.e. SLP for speech/language concerns). Provide your contact person with the date you discussed the referral with the child’s parent.

Important contacts

Staff Directory
Image thumbnail for Seth Piro

Seth Piro

Executive Director of Special Education

712-222-6011 Email Seth Piro
Image thumbnail for Susan Moran

Susan Moran

Director of Early Childhood Services

712-222-6381 Email Susan Moran