Parents with special kids should raise their kids with extreme care and patience. The good part is that they can choose between different levels of training to help accommodate the needs for people with disabilities.
Parents should prepare themselves psychologically and financially for future purposes especially when early diagnosis has been conducted. Most parents accept and trust the diagnosis and they must do an early intervention to help their child cope up and learn different ways to deal with the disability. However, some parents can’t accept that their child has the disability, and even address the situation without seeking for help. In such cases, it’s best not to avoid the education of the child even though they have the disability.
The education system in the U.S provides children with special needs with special educational services and accommodations in public schools. Teachers who teach special kids are trained on how to cope up with the disability of their students and designed special curriculums for them. Such curriculums were based on assessment results, behavioral patterns of the students, and their experiences.
Different K-12 schools in the U.S are mandated by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to ensure that students with learning disabilities are provided with specialized support. We’re going to tackle 4 tips on how you can work better with your child’s special education program. Let’s take a look at them.
Keep the Conversation Alive
- Knowing your child’s needs and what he/she is experiencing in school can help you know if the needs are met. Take time to talk with your child’s instructor and ask them whether your child is doing well in class. Don’t wait for a PTA meeting to know what’s happening to your child and to express your concern to its teacher.
- Furthermore, you can create a habit for your child to enable them to give detailed answers to questions. This can create an advantage for both you and your child so he/she can better understand what he/she needs. Some of these habits can help them to take care of themselves and voice out what they need.
- Gather data by creating a communication log. Collect details to all of your phone calls, meetings, emails, notes, study material, meetings, and important appointment with doctors and therapists. Multitasking is a must when taking care of a child with special needs.
Always Have an Emergency Plan
- From your child’s early years, track down all the possible outcomes like his/her likes and dislikes, mannerism, and reactions towards things. These details can help you identify different stimuli that triggers your child’s mental breakdowns or tantrums. It is important to make your child stay away from sensory triggers that causes his/her emotional breakdown. Such triggers include presence of strangers, heated arguments among people, and unfamiliar environments.
- Being aware of your child’s sensory sensitivities can help you respond better when unusual activities may begin. Always keep the things that can help your child calm down beyond your reach, this can be his/her favorite jacket, book, or a music record.
- Make sure the surroundings are clear from all the stimuli that can worsen your child’s meltdowns or tantrums. Examples are loud noises, chaos, or flashing lights. During a meltdown, you can physically hold your child and talk to him/her to reduce the symptoms.
Always Attend School Meetings
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires children with special education in public schools to have an Individualized Education Program that’s designed by keeping in mind the children’s needs and responsiveness. This is needed to identify the child’s abilities, strength, preference, and interests.
- As a parent, you’re an important member of the IEP development team. So making the same effort that’s done by teachers, administrators, and support staff will help your child learn with fun.
- Participating in all IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences can help you be updated about the results of the teaching program and see the areas that needs to be worked on. Don’t forget to record all updates about your child’s progress.
Know the Special Education Law
- As a parent of a special child, it’s important to know your child’s legal rights and the special education law. Even to this day, there are some parents that still don’t know about the right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the IDEA.
- Denying a right for your child will result to a direct violation of federal law that can lead to a lawsuit against the institution for such deeds. You need to be aware of the details of the law and know if your child has the right to have extra time when taking exams and other school stuff. In such situations, you can request a parent advocate to guide you during meetings.
- Special children can be extremely particular when it comes to daily routines. Having a healthy relationship with the school and working in partnership with the instructors can help you support your child. You can also get an attorney that has knowledge about the special education law to protect your child’s rights. This help’s avoid unnecessary complications and ease your child’s learning process.