A new guide released Tuesday provides parents with a step-by-step look at how to obtain special education services from their school district.

The 26-page download from Autism Speaks offers a broad overview of the legal rights of parents and students with disabilities and walks through the process of forming an individualized education program or IEP.

The guide was prepared by attorneys at Goodwin Procter for the autism advocacy group, but is written in layman’s terms, using bullet points and flow charts for clarity.

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“The IEP process can be daunting, overwhelming and highly frustrating for parents who are trying to ensure their child is getting the appropriate educational opportunities,” said Lisa Goring, vice president of family services at Autism Speaks. “We hope this guide will give families an effective road map that prepares them to make informed decisions and advocate for their child as effectively as possible.”

Though produced by Autism Speaks, most of the information included in the guide is applicable to all students that qualify for special education, irrespective of their diagnosis.