You can get a very good, quality education for your special needs child within the school system. You do need to take heed of some important aspects when dealing with disabilities and the school district.
Educate yourself before you go into a meeting with the professionals in the school district:
* Learn all you can about your child’s specific disability (classification)
* Learn your rights & responsibilities (for you & your child)
* Learn the rights & responsibilities of the school district
* Find an advocate through the state dept. of education
* Find a support group or start one of your own
* Find online support groups- they have a wealth of information that you may need.
You will never learn all the laws of special education as there are several notebooks (about 4 inches thick) filled with these laws. You can, however, learn the laws that pertain to your child and their specific needs.
Your child is entitled to a FREE & Appropriate Public Education!!!
Always keep a record of any and all meetings (IEP or private) dealing with your child. Document every call you have with the school, teacher or district official, with the date, time, name(s) of those involved & the specifics of the conversation. Do this with all meetings as well (general or IEP specific). Any notes sent home should also be kept in this file for reference at a later date, if necessary.
The school &/or district does not usually freely offer the information to all that you feel your child needs. Before attending any meetings with the school personnel, write a list of questions to ask about the things you feel your child needs to achieve his/her maximum potential in his/her school career.
When attending an IEP meeting, make sure the goals & objectives to reach those goals, are realistic & achievable within the year they will be worked on & monitored. If you feel there are other needs your child has, bring them up at this meeting so they may be added to the IEP & another meeting won’t have to be convened to change the IEP. If it’s not on the IEP, chances are, it won’t be worked on in the classroom. Be sure you stay on top of what your child & their teacher are doing at least weekly. If you wait until marking periods end, you’ve lost valuable time that could have been spent working on viable goals for your child’s success. Become involved in your child’s education by volunteering in the classroom.