You are your child’s best advocate, therefore you need to have an understanding of your child’s disability. The first thing to do is review your child’s evaluation. If a comprehensive evaluation was not completed by your child’s school district then you can either request one to be completed by the school district evaluator or you can contact an independent evaluator from the private sector(psychologist). To provide an independent comprehensive evaluation but you would be responsible for paying the expense of the evaluation.
Once the evaluation has been completed ,review the evaluation and make notes on a separate piece of paper, as well as questions that you may have. It may also help to read articles, books,journals and blogs on issues concerning children with special needs to gain a better understanding of your child’s disability, as well as support services that may benefit your child. In addition, to support your understanding of the special education law, placements and support services that may benefit your child contact an educational consultant agency such as Achieve Consulting Services Inc.. An educational consultant can help you to navigate the systems, link you to support services, advocate for a quality based educational placement, secure appropriate accommodations and modifications to the curriculum as well as monitor your child’s performance in school. The Educational Consultant can attend your child’s team meetings with you to ensure your child’s success in school,college,work and in life.
During the IEP,CSE or treatment team meeting ask the evaluator to clarify the test score results and demonstrate how the scores relate to your child’s present needs. It is important to use the advice from the evaluator and the team to develop an individualized education plan (IEP) that will aid in your child’s overall development .Therefore, make sure that the evaluator discusses the educational setting and approach that will truly benefit your child in school and discuss how progress will be measured. Also take this opportunity to educate the team about your child. Share your insight, you are your child’s first teacher, you know your child’s unique talents, strengths and abilities. Share that information with the team to further enhance your child’s success in school.
Lastly, please remember that ALL children are capable of learning, including children with special needs; they learn at their own pace and flourish when provided individualized supports that are tailored to their unique needs and areas of strength. Once it is determined how your child learns best and instruction is tailored to meet your child’s needs you will then see progress made each year as skills are developed.
Again, you are your child’s best advocate and first teacher. Don’t let anyone tell you that your child will not succeed in school-you know otherwise. Read up on your child’s disability, learn your child’s area of strength, review your child’s evaluation,work together as a team to develop your child’s Individualize Education Plan and seek professional assistance from an Educational Consultant trained in the Special Education laws and regulations to further support your child’s development and success in school,home,work and in life. For further information contact : Achieve Consulting Services inc. email: firstname.lastname@example.org website:www.achieveconsultingservices.com