Working with Students with
Complex Needs

The resources and trainings provided by SESC are aligned with disability categories as defined by IDEA. 

See also resources and courses that focus on:

Disabilities | Challenging Behaviors | Special Ed Rules & Regs

Resources for Working with Studends with Complex Needs:

  • The Kentucky Peer Support Network provides a variety of resources, including  narrated “How To Modules”
  • Assistive Technology can open up opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. The Special Education Technology Center provides resources for assistive technology.
  • Augmentative-alternative communication, or AAC, is any method other than oral speech used to communicate. Children and adults who are non-verbal or whose oral speech is not sufficient to meet their communication needs benefit from AAC. The Northwest Augmentative Communication Society provides background information and resources to assist families and educators with Augmentative Communication.
  • The Charting the Life Course Framework provides a method and resources to enable families and educators development of a vision and course of action to enable youth with intellectual disabilities live a good life. Individuals and families may focus on their current situation and stage of life but may also find it helpful to look ahead to think about life experiences that will help move them toward an inclusive, productive life in the future.
  • Support for improving behaviors can be found at Intervention Central.


Some students may qualify for special education services due to an intellectual disability. Washington Administrative Code defines an intellectual disability as: a significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. 

States vary in the specific definition of intellectual disability, but there is broad agreement that a student with an intellectual disability has a lowered intelligence quotient and experiences a lack of proficiency in a wide variety of adaptive skills including conceptual, social and practical skills.

These students have complex needs which often require the services of speech and language, occupational and physical therapists to address their communication, academic, adaptive and functional needs.

Classes we offer to support teachers and parents working with students with complex needs:

(Click the course titles for full descriptions and registration information)