What Happens to My Child’s IEP if I Move?

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While all public schools in the United States are governed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), special education systems and policies vary greatly between states and even between school districts within the same state! Before moving, be sure to research the schools in the area before committing to a place to live.

When you move to a new school district, your child is not necessarily guaranteed the same services he or she was receiving. If your family moves during the school year, the new school district must provide services comparable to those in the previous district’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) until the district has time to adopt the existing IEP or develop a new one. The new school does not need to provide identical services, but it does have to try to provide similar ones. If the new school is in a different state, the new district is allowed to conduct an evaluation if deemed necessary before developing a new IEP. This is because each state has different eligibility requirements, and a child who was entitled to special education in one state may not be entitled to them under the laws of a different state.

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Last Updated: December 29, 2016

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.


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