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Education for Special Needs Kids: What You Need to Know

When your child has special needs, taking care of them and offering them the best possible opportunities becomes one of your top priorities. Naturally, these unique kids need extra help in a few different areas of life.

One of the biggest factors you’ll be thinking about is their education, and how to make sure they’re getting the best support in their schooling journey. Special needs kids might face different challenges than usual and will require extra assistance to help them learn and grow. Here are a few important things you’ll need to know about educating a special needs child.

Understanding Special Needs

The idea of “special needs” is more of an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of specific requirements that might come from physical or mental disabilities, or even behavioural difficulties. Children or adults who have special needs will usually require certain accommodations in school, work, or in society.

When it comes to special needs education, every child’s needs will be unique to them and their personal challenges, which means that a personalized plan will be needed to ensure that their education journey is smooth.

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

This is where an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) comes in. When children have special education requirements, they will need to take an IEP assessment, from which an IEP will be drawn up to meet their needs.

If a parent doesn’t agree with the IEP created for their child, they might wonder, “Can you contest an IEP decision?” and the short answer is yes. It’s important that parents feel comfortable that their children’s needs are being met, so they have the right to negotiate and have the plan amended.

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Inclusive Education Practices

Where special needs children are involved, inclusive education becomes even more important. Inclusive learning promotes more flexible teaching and learning so that all children, regardless of their abilities, can learn collaboratively in one classroom.

Inclusive education is important for a number of reasons, including the discouragement of discriminatory attitudes, better preparing special needs children for real-world success, and even allowing teachers to learn, too, helping them become better educators.

Support Services and Resources

Special needs children, in the modern age, luckily have various support services available to assist them. These include services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, and counselling.

These services are usually “above and beyond” what is included in an Individualized Education Plan, and sessions will take place outside of school hours. However, these sessions will play a pivotal role in helping your special needs child learn and grow while also discovering techniques to manoeuvre the classroom.

Advocating for Special Needs Education

 As parents of special needs children, it’s important that you advocate for the rights of kids who need that extra bit of assistance.

Fighting for inclusive education policies and for special needs education resources to be made easily available will help pave the way for not only your child, but for all special needs children in the future.

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