As the new school year is well under way, parents from all over the world are talking to their child’s teacher about the best way to teach their children. While this can be a quite a process don’t look over the fact that your child has a right to a quality education. Parents of special needs children have the legal right to what is called an IEP in the U.S., U.K and Canada and an ORS(Ongoing Resourcing Scheme) in New Zealand.
IEP stands for Individual Education Program and is done annually as your child progresses from year to year. This is a wonderful tool parents can use to sit down with teachers and school administrators to discuss education goals for their child. For instance, if your child requires speech therapy you can implement a goal where your child learns to speak in full sentences or if your child is learning to write you can implement a goal that they be taught to write their name. Sitting down with the IEP team, which by the way you are a part of , also gives you the chance to explain your child’s behavior. I know a lot of parents deal with meltdowns with children that are autistic and this is a constant concern for them. At an IEP meeting you can explain to the teachers and other staff that work with your child the most effective way to calm your child. You can tell them when a meltdown is most likely to happen and signs to look for. Having this kind of input gives you, the parent, lots of control and a sense of comfort because you know what your child is working on.
Remember this is your legal right and not a gift from the school. For more information on the IEP process in the United States visit the U.S. Department of Education website. Other countries should refer to their Department of Education website. Our children can and will have bright futures with a quality education plan set in place, so lets make sure they have one.