Representing private early intervention services, schools, residential therapeutic centers, postsecondary
and adult living programs serving individuals with disabilities and their families since 1971



Serve as the indispensable voice and premier resource for the private special education community


The National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) was established in 1971 as a nonprofit association with the vision of supporting access to appropriate special education programs as vital components of the continuum. NAPSEC currently represents over 200 programs nationally and over 400 at the state level through the Council of Affiliated State Associations (CASA). NAPSEC members include private early intervention providers, schools, residential therapeutic centers, and adult living programs. Our programs are located throughout the United States and provide special education services to individuals across the full range of disabilities.  Although NAPSEC programs are diverse in the disabilities they serve and the services they provide, all strive to guarantee that each individual’s unique needs are met on an individualized basis in order to achieve his or her maximum potential. NAPSEC is the only national association that exclusively represents private special education programs.


NAPSEC accomplishes its mission by:
  • Advocating for private special education students, families, and providers
  • Shaping public policy to positively impact individuals served by member agencies
  • Promoting excellence in quality programs and services
  • Supporting those who serve individuals with disabilities
  • Developing leadership for the future


There are 6.6 million students with disabilities being served through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the United States. Of these students, 3.4% are served in private specialized day and/or residential programs. IDEA requires that a continuum of alternative placements and services exist in order to address the individual needs of students with disabilities.  NAPSEC member programs provide educational therapeutic services to both publicly and privately placed individuals that are not able to be successfully educated in the regular education environment. These services also include infants and toddlers that are enrolled in our early intervention programs and our postsecondary college experience and adult living programs which serve individuals who have graduated or who are over 21 and are no longer eligible for services under IDEA.