September 6, 2023

Featured Resource

When Behavior Becomes a Concern

South Dakota Parent Connection receives many calls from parents concerned about their child's behavior. We have partnered with Disability Rights to write this guide to answer the frequent questions parents ask. It also includes information for parents so they can participate as shared decision-makers as they advocate for appropriate responses to concerns about behavior at school and in working with the school team in developing appropriate supports and services for their child.

Get your copy here.

Check out these resources for more information:

End of Summer Sibshop

This FREE program is designed specifically for brothers and sisters aged 8-12 of children with special needs. Come and enjoy games, informational activities, food and fun at the park!

Participants will get the chance to talk about their life experiences and relate to what others share. This is what a parent had to say about our last Sibshop, "My child finally had the opportunity to talk with another child about how it feels to be in public with his sibling with a disability."

Lunch will be provided, make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

10:30AM - 1:30PM

Sertoma Park

4300 S Oxbow Ave, Sioux Falls

Registration is required by September 11, 2023.

To learn more about this and other events, go to our website.

More About IEP/504

As a parent navigating the world of education, you may have heard the terms IEP and 504, especially if you have a child facing challenges in school. The IEP and 504 Plan both help students who struggle in school. While the two have similarities, they also have significant differences.

Section 504 is a civil rights law that protects individuals with disabilities against discrimination. It applies to all areas of the public and private sector, including schools and other educational environments. It is a federal statute that mandates schools cannot discriminate against children with disabilities and must provide eligible children with an equal opportunity to participate in all academic and non-academic services. If the student needs accommodations to participate, schools must provide individualized accommodations. The 504 plan focuses on accommodations and removing barriers within the educational environment.

The IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, ensures that each student has access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Through specific evaluations, a student is determined eligible for special education services. Every student who receives special education must be on an IEP. The IEP provides an outline of both services and supports the student will need to learn and be successful to the best of their ability. 

More Resources:

Evaluating School-Aged Children for Disability

Your Child's Evaluations

Hand Picked

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

Happy Grandparents Day

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation marking the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. It’s a day when we stop to honor and celebrate grandparents for the important contributions they make to our children, families, friends, neighborhoods and communities.

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10, 2023

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.

September 9, 2023 - Center for Disabilities Run, Walk, & Roll Event - 5k & 10K Timed Races. September 9th - Elmwood Park

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 12 - 14, 2023 Afterschool...It's the REAL DEAL Conference: Each October, SoDakSACA sponsors a statewide conference for professionals working with school-age children to fit its mission in promoting quality improvement through professional development. Approximately 200 after school directors and staff and others attend this annual conference for the excellent keynotes, workshop sessions and networking opportunities it affords.

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.

November 6 - 8, 2023 - ARC's National Convention: an opportunity to connect and learn with advocates, professionals, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. If you are interested in employment, education, advocacy, housing, criminal justice, and more – our sessions are sure to challenge, inspire, and motivate!

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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.