I wanted to accomplish a couple of things when I started this adventure. Give as much information as I could on disabilities and give parents as much information as I could about special education in school settings.
There are many important things that parents should know about special education, including:
- Special education is a legal right: Children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education (FAPE) under federal law. Schools must provide special education services to meet the individual needs of each child with a disability.
- The special education process: Identifying and providing services for children with disabilities can be complex and involve multiple steps, including evaluation, eligibility determination, and developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan.
- Different types of special education services: There is a wide range of services and supports that schools may provide to students with disabilities, including accommodations and modifications, specialized instruction, assistive technology, and related services such as occupational therapy or speech therapy.
- The importance of parent involvement: Parents play a crucial role in the special education process, and are entitled to participate in decisions related to their child’s education. Parents should be involved in the development of the IEP or 504 plan and should communicate regularly with teachers and school administrators.
- The need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation: Special education services should be regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure that they meet the student’s needs. Parents should be informed of their child’s progress and involved in decisions related to changes in services or placement.
- The role of advocacy: Parents may need to advocate for their child’s rights and ensure they receive the appropriate services and accommodations. This may involve working with the school, seeking outside support from advocacy organizations, or seeking legal assistance if necessary.
Overall, parents need to educate themselves about special education and work collaboratively with their child’s school to ensure their child receives the appropriate services and supports to reach their full potential.