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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better!"


Often, new teachers, aides or other school personnel have told us about their concerns for the students with special needs in their schools. It is not that they don't want to help these students, they really do. We have heard the same sentence a hundred times,

"I'm not a special education teacher. I had one course on teaching students with special needs in my teacher education program and there was one chapter on the disability this student has. And I'm supposed to know what to do?"

Let's assume that your child's teachers really sincerely want to help, but they are exactly like so many other teachers we have ever met. When the teacher says,

"Mrs. Longie, what exactly do you want me to do to help your child?"

What will you tell them? Teachers, teacher aides and other adults can help students grow emotionally, socially, and educationally by supporting them and teaching them to adapt.

More specifically, you can ask the teacher to help students learn through changing the way assignments are given and completed. For example, a student with a visual impairment may receive books on tape or have the books read to her. A student with a learning disability might also receive books on tape. The exact needs and ways to meet those needs depend on the student and your ability to be creative in meeting his or her needs. Organizational skills, time management, and the ability to follow directions should be worked on, as students should get used to the regular schoolwork demands, which will be relevant when it comes to employment and/or volunteer options in the future. Teachers can also help the students practice proper social and communication skills that will be necessary for success in and out of school. It takes cooperation between the students, parents, teachers, and professionals to insure that every student is given the best education possible.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide staff and families both with information they need to know. Click on the next link to learn "just what your legal rights are under special education."

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