August 11, 2023

College Bound

School is right around the corner. Do you have a young adult launching into the next chapter of their journey? You probably have many questions on how best to support them to achieve their full potential and what supports are out there to help. South Dakota Parent Connection can help answer your questions.

South Dakota Parent Connection has several helpful resources for you and your young adult. Check out our Youth Support and Transition page on our website where you will find many helpful resources such as What Parents Should Know About Reaching Age 18 that will help parents and young adults understand that the parental rights for their IEP will transfer at age eighteen.

Another great guide for families and graduating students is Exiting IEP Services and Supports. This publication will provide valuable information about transition supports that may be helpful as your young adult gets older and begins planning for life beyond high school.

Here are a few more resources:

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Back to School

Another new school year is quickly approaching. Are you ready? If your child is on an IEP or a 504 plan, be sure to review it prior to school starting. Are there any changes that need to be made? Are the goals, accommodations and services still appropriate? What are some things the new staff should know about your child to better understand their needs and prepare for them? Taking time to prepare and review for the new year can be very beneficial to a successful school start. South Dakota Parent Connection can help you answer these and many other questions parents face throughout the school year.

South Dakota Parent Connection provides resources for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs; individual assistance and workshops; connects families to programs at the state and national level; and helps parents and schools navigate the special education process. An Outreach Specialist will discuss your concerns and help answer your questions to help you advocate for your child's needs.

South Dakota Parent Connection has many resources that can help you along the way. Find some helpful tips for returning back to school in our publication, Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs.

Did you know that there are procedural safeguards to protect your child? If not, Parents Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education is a great read to help you start to understand this complex topic.

Maybe you are new to all of this information and want to learn more, check out What is an IEP? Everything You Need to Know About IDEA, IEPs and 504 Plans to learn more about the three major federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities.

Check out these other resources:

South Dakota Parent Connection can help answer your questions.

We Can Help

Hand Picked

The South Dakota Parent Connection staff have selected these resources to help answer some of the more common questions we receive.

Transition IEP Workshops

The transition IEP workshops are presented by your regional Transition Liaisons and will provide secondary special education teachers and directors an overview of how the transition process can guide IEP development to assist the student in achieving their post-secondary goals.

Register Here

Families Wanted

South Dakota Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative wants to hear your voice. If you are parenting a child under five years of age or have used early childhood services with in the last five years you can apply to be a member of the Family Leadership Group. Meetings will cover leadership and learning opportunities while helping to improve early childhood systems. There are 8-11 meetings per years with compensation. To apply: Family Leadership Group

Calling all parents of little ones! The Sioux Falls Library is hosting a free workshop every Tuesday from 10-11:15am, September 26 through October 24. This workshop is for parents of children one to three years of age. The workshop will offer opportunities for parents to network with a child development expert. Registration is required. To register please call 605-367-8700 or email

Upcoming Opportunities

Here are some educational opportunities offered by South Dakota Parent Connection and by other organizations that can help support South Dakota families. A complete list of events can be found on our website at or Facebook page.

August 16, 2023 - PACER's Symposium on Students with Mental Health and Learning Disabilities: Join PACER for a full day of informative, engaging sessions on current best practices related to children's mental health and learning disabilities. Parents, educators, administrators, and other professionals will learn strategies to more effectively support students at school and at home.

August 23 and 30, 2023 - Early Literacy for Providers and Families - training will be from 7:00-9:00pm CT and 6:00-8:00pm MT. Participants will learn strategies to support young children’s language and literacy skills to increase their school readiness in home and childcare environments. A $100 stipend is available for all providers and family members from South Dakota who complete the class, and providers who attend with a family member of a child they support will receive an additional $25.

September 6 -7, 2023 - South Dakota Conference on Developmental Disabilities: The theme of this year's conference is Leading Change Together and will focus on developing partnerships to improve the well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities in South Dakota. This is a joint effort across multiple agencies throughout South Dakota.

September 22-23, 2023 - Parent Leadership Training for Educational Advocacy: PACER’s Minnesota Statewide Family Engagement Center (MNSFEC) is recruiting parents and caregivers for our annual Parent Leadership Training for Educational Advocacy. This two-day training is for people who have one or more children in regular education and want to learn leadership and educational advocacy skills. NOTE: special education issues will not be the focus of this training. Application deadline is September 1.

October 23-25, 2023-2023 Disability Services & Supports Fall Conference: Brought to you by SDRehabACTion. Learn more about the presenters and how to register on their website.

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This e-publication was developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M2000666 and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H328M140021, Family to Family Health Information Center, $93,175; and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.