Special education services ensure that learning is available to all children. Special education students are able to get the same opportunities as other children because their needs are identified and plans are put into place to make sure they are successful in their current setting and school.
Teachers certified in special education are trained to make sure these students’ needs are met. Yearly meetings called ARDs (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) are held to decide on the best methods of providing the student with optimal opportunities. General education teachers, special ed teachers, administrators, parents, and school psychologists meet to review educational plans for the child being discussed and reviewed. If the child moves to another school, another meeting is held with the same type of professionals to ensure that special education services continue uninterrupted.
The “least restrictive” environment is usually the goal. Mainstreaming special ed students into regular classrooms ensures they are getting the same education as other children their own age. While their learning style may be different from other students, they will still be exposed to opportunities to grow and succeed. Social skills are also emphasized. When this is not possible, other alternatives are pursued, including resource rooms and home bound services.
Many picture special ed students as being obviously physically impaired. This is no longer the case. Now many special ed students are considered emotionally disturbed or learning disabled. They may just have one area that makes them qualified for special ed services. In other areas, they may be average or even way above average. Their disabilities may not be apparent, but this makes their needs for special ed services no less vital.
Evaluations and testing are the keys to determining whether or not a student is eligible for special ed services. Every child has his own learning style. If you feel that your youngster may need some extra assistance because of a disability, contact your school special ed department to gain information on how to proceed with your case. The child will be evaluated by a licensed school psychologist. Any paperwork you can provide from his own doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist will also be very helpful in determining his condition.
Special ed services are important to the success of your child. Asking for help as soon as you realize there may be a problem will go far in ensuring his future success in his school and beyond.