Are you glad that summer is finally here, and wondering what you can do to prepare for your child’s next school year? Would you like to learn about a few things you can do in the summer time that will benefit your child’s education? This article will discuss 7 easy to do things, that will help you prepare for your child receiving special education services, next school year.1. Get an independent educational evaluation (IEE) on your child. A lot of times it may take a while to get an appointment, so make the appointment quickly. An IEE can help you learn what services your child needs, if they have any undiagnosed disabilities, goals that need to be worked on etc.If your child has autism, try and get someone who is familiar with autism. You could start your child’s new school year on a good foot!2. Attend a training on special education issues especially on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Training opportunities can be found in your community, by calling different disability organizations. Try finding a parent information and training center (PTIC), every state has them.3. Read a book on special education advocacy. Amazon has a lot of them, including my own; Disability Deception.4. Try and meet other parents of children with disabilities in your area. Disability organizations in your area may be able to help you find a parent group. Also, try the Internet, lots of parent groups online!5. Go through your child’s school records, and organize them into binders for easy finding. Then you will start the school year with organized school records!6. After going through your child’s school records, determine if you need to beef up the documentation. Summertime is a good time to send letters so that your child’s record is well documented. Most special education directors or coordinators work year round, so are available to receive and answer correspondence.7. Take time to enjoy your summer and your child! A refreshed parent is more able to advocate for needed special educational services! Have Fun!By doing these things you will ensure that your child is off to a great start for next school year. Enjoy!
Are you a parent who has found themselves in the following situations?- You suspect that your child might have a learning disorder
- Your child has already been evaluated and diagnosed with a learning disorder
- You are just beginning with the Individual Education Program (IEP) process
- Your child already has an IEP but the services are not being provided.If you suspect your child is having difficulty learning here are the five steps you can take immediately:1. Don’t wait to take action
- Don’t think your child will grow out of her difficulties
- Don’t give it to the end of the next semester to revisit
- Three months, six months, one year is a significant amount of time to let pass in your child’s education2. Meet with your child’s teacher immediately
- You do not have to wait for parent/teacher conferences to raise your concerns
- Don’t accept the teacher’s recommendation to wait until the end of the semester or that your child will grow out of it3. Have your child’s vision and hearing screened
- Often time a child’s learning difficulties can be caused by a hearing or visual impairment4. Request an evaluation
- Schools will provide a “Core Evaluation” at their expense, which can give a baseline on your child’s cognitive ability, academic achievement, and emotional health5. Request accommodations through Response to Intervention (RtI)
- Schools are using a process called Response to Intervention (RTI) to see if a child might have a learning disability.
- Response to Intervention provides specially designed instruction for children who have scored low on general tests. The students are tested – sometimes as often as every week – to measure progress.
- Those who improve after the instructional intervention go back to their normal classroom activities. Those who do not improve receive additional testing to confirm the presence of a disability.If you don’t ask (or know what to ask for), school districts may not tell you what services your child is entitled to if they are not already provided. Hey it’s a lot of work for them and it costs the school district a lot of money. But it is your child’s right. Unfortunately they might not publicize it and some systems will create so much red tape that they are hoping that you will get frustrated and give up…..It’s not because they are evil or mean, but because of the unfunded mandate of No Child Left Behind under the Bush administration. School Districts are protecting their too few resources. I’m certainly not letting them off the hook because by law if a child is found eligible for special education services, they must provide them. Although we are experiencing tough economic times, I am cautiously optimistic that under the Obama administration unfunded mandates will be a thing of the past.