Students with learning disabilities need specialized educations. This education insures that the student's individual needs are met. This special education is insured through specific laws.
IDEA stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.This law insures that the civil rights of students with disabilities are met. Under IDEA, students with special needs are guaranteed a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), and be placed in the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment).
In 1990, amendments were added to IDEA in order to insure that Transition Services were provided for students (by the age of 16). In 2004, Transition Services were further defined to include "(A) is designed to be a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation" based upon a student's "strengths, preferences, and interests."
Therefore, in a "nutshell," it is important to educate students with special needs based upon their IEP and Transition Services Plan in order to insure their success in school and after. While the IEP helps students succeed in the classroom, the Transition Services Plan sets goals to help students with special needs in life after school.