What to do if you think your child needs special education?

 

What to do if you think your child needs special education?

Asking the Right Questions at the Beginning

If you believe your child requires special education services, it is important that you ask the right questions from the start. Talk to your child's current teacher to find out if there are supports available within the general education setting at the school that he or she already attends. Those kinds of supports might be all your child needs.

Schools offer supports like Academic Intervention Services (AIS), reading remediation programs, and counseling. It may also be possible to adapt your child's general education program without special education services.


Does Your Child Need Additional Supports?

After talking to your child's teacher and school, you may feel that your child needs additional support. In that case, you (or another individual) may refer your child for a special education evaluation, which is a series of evaluations to determine if your child has a disability. You can make a referral for a special education evaluation at any time.

Questions to Ask the Teacher:

  • What do the grades on my child's report card mean?
    Is he/she doing the kind of work that is expected?
  • How do I know if my child understands what I am reading to him or her?
  • What sorts of questions should I ask my child as we read together?
  • How can I help my child if he/she is struggling with math homework?
  • What are some math learning activities I can do at home or in the neighborhood?
  • Does my child get along well with the other students in school?
  • Does my child have any difficulty following directions or doing what is asked of him or her?
    What do you do if that happens in class?
  • What can you tell me (what have you noticed) about how my child learns?
  • Are there any additional services during school or after school that could help my child?
    If so, how can we get that extra help for my child?
  • What are some things I can do at home to help my child do her/his best in school?