Tips for Getting Quality Special Education Services

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is receiving the best teaching and guidance for his or her own learning style.

But what if your child’s learning or development is affected by a disability or other disorder?

Special Education programs in schools, or administered by county or state agencies, can give your child a better educational experience. Tailored to match your child’s own specific learning style and ability level, Special Education services will assist your child in achieving his or her fullest potential.

If you suspect that your child has a learning deficit or delay, or just needs some extra help, the first step is to see about having him or her evaluated by the school or other local agency providing services. Once your child has been evaluated, you will attend meetings with teachers, and possibly other personnel, such as counselors or therapists, to design the best plan (known as an Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP) for helping your child succeed. This plan might include modified classroom requirements, testing modifications (such as extra time), resource-room time, therapies, help with organization, or alternative classwork assignments. Together, you will meet on a regular basis to go over new goals for your child, and to determine whether he or she is meeting those goals.

Your child’s IEP may change over time, so it’s important for you to make sure that you always know what is expected of your child. This will help you be an effective source of support. Be sure to monitor your child’s homework and independent reading time at home, and enforce a good routine and plenty of sleep; good home habits are important. Keep notes for yourself about any concerns you have, and bring them up at meetings with teachers. You are your child’s best advocate, and you have the right to express your feelings and concerns whenever you need to do so. Also, feel free to contact the teachers at other times, not just at formal meetings. Special Education services are designed to help children and their families succeed through personalized attention, instruction and guidance.