Those involved in imparting special education have a tough job, be it parents or teachers. Special education is meant for children with certain disabilities. Such children have special needs and programs are available that cater to them individually. Before you seek services for your child, find some support groups for yourself which can help you in this. Your child’s disability needs to be first identified correctly so the appropriate special education can be provided to him or her.
Special education is a set of services comprising specially designed instruction, related services, supplemental aids and supports as well as transition services. Federal laws protect everyone and special education also comes under its purview. Often it can be frustrating to get the services that you require. Contacting the Department of Education is the best way of knowing what services and benefit your child may be entitled to. Children eligible for special education may fall in one or more of the following categories—autistic, deaf, emotionally disturbed, hard of hearing, learning disabled, mentally retarded, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, speech-impairment, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment.
Special education includes team-teaching, special classroom settings, placement in a private school, physical, occupational, speech and language therapy and counseling as well as transition services. Transition services are usually for helping the child move on to college or towards getting a job. The first step in get special education services is getting a referral and then parental consent for evaluation.
During the evaluation the child’s social history is taken into consideration as well as the educational and psychological background. This is followed by a meeting between the parents and the professionals where a plan is drawn up to cater to the child’s needs. Parents need to be aware of their rights during all these proceedings. Once the child begins special education annual reviews and evaluations might also take place.