Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Ten Things The Classroom Teacher Needs to Know About Your Child With Special Needs

Here is a guest post I did recently for Special Education Advisor. If you haven't checked out their site yet, it's a fabulous resource for families about special education, IEPs, and advocacy.

If your child with special needs has been mainstreamed or fully included in a general education classroom, it is important that you communicate openly and honestly with the teacher about your child’s needs. 

While special education teachers and outside agencies will meet with your child’s classroom teacher to share information, these meetings can often be brief, delayed, or worse yet, cancelled until further notice.

Therefore, It is necessary for you to monitor the information that is shared between your child’s teacher(s) and the support personnel, and then fill in any gaps. Between you and your child’s school, here are the top ten things that the classroom teacher needs to know about your child’s special needs:

1.  Special Needs/Learning Disabilities – what are your child’s special needs and/or learning disabilities? Provide information, tips and resources that are relevant to your child’s health and abilities.

2.  Assistive Technology – what types of assistive technology is needed to teach and work with your child? What has been used at school and what is used at home?

3.  History of School Support – What types of supports has your child received in the past? Has your child had a paraprofessional or ever been in a special education class? Has your child received outside support services such as speech and language classes or occupational therapy?

4.  Parental Support – how do you support your child at home? Do you help with homework, provide a fidget toy or play music in the background? Do you like to accompany your child on field trips or are you able to volunteer in the classroom?

5.  Social Skills – are there any concerns you have with your child’s social skills? Does your child interact with others successfully outside of school? Are there any areas that need extra support?

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