The education system has a goal be to help every student reach their full potential. To do this, it’s essential for parents and teachers to actively play a role together to contribute towards the child’s future success.
However, the education of children with disabilities can be a complex process, but the involvement and contributions from parents are essential. Parents with disabled children can contribute to their learning actively. This brings about positive reinforcement, which can do wonders for their self-confidence. After all, every child deserves a quality education with minimal roadblocks and needs love, encouragement, and compassionate support.
Your job as a parent is not to find a cure for your child’s learning disability but provide them with tools and teach them what they need to live a better life. Types of learning disabilities include dyslexia, ADHD, and language processing disorder. While most educationists have an idea about working with disabilities, there is still much work that can be done from your end.
Here is how you ensure you can help children with disabilities perform better in school:
As a parent, you have a say in the affairs of your school district, and you use this power to push for uniformity in teachers’ education. While most of them have a certificate and basic credentials such as a bachelor’s in education, it is not enough to help your child. It would help if you had a teacher who will understand the different learning environments of children and will actively work on integrating them. These should include limiting visual clutter to reduce distractions for ADHD children and playing soft music for sensory stimulation.
Teachers and educators can opt for a master’s degree in early childhood education to pick up the fundamentals of early childhood development, reshape school policies and create inclusive classrooms.
As a parent, you need to know how well your child is doing in classrooms. Sometimes a teacher may be applying different learning strategies with your child but have no success. Therefore, a progress report will inform you of this situation before things get out of hand. As a parent, you are your child’s most prominent advocate. So, you should provide valuable feedback on how your child prefers learning. For instance, your child will perform complex tasks better between easy tasks, also known as the sandwich method.
More manageable tasks boost your child’s reward center and encourage them to try more complex subjects. It would help if you listed topics your child is good at with the teacher and those they struggle in and help them appropriately sandwich tasks for your child. This valuable input will also make it easier for the educationist to connect with your child.
As a parent, you will have years of experience and knowledge on disabilities, making you an asset to educational institutes. You should also continuously educate yourself on your child’s disabilities as a parent. Attending doctor appointments and therapies with your child helps you gain valuable insights into learning disabilities. For example, if your child has autism, you will be better positioned to discuss the autistic spectrum, triggers, and solutions to common behavioral challenges.
While teachers may have some idea on teaching children with disabilities, your knowledge will add a personal touch that educational degrees may not explore in detail. For example, children with autism learn better with visual cues than audio lectures. This will make you an advocate for children with different disabilities and help teachers strategize on better educational policies.
Schools can get overwhelming for your child even with all the measures you take. Teachers can only provide a limited amount of time and attention to your child. Still, you have the advantage of fostering your child better. You should help your child do their homework, work on new lesson plans and teach them coping mechanisms when they have a breakdown. Your active involvement will make it easier for your child to lean on you for support as they struggle to keep up with schoolwork.
You should go the extra mile and find federal and state policies on special education to ensure your child’s school maintains the given standards. You should also attend parent conferences and make decisions to introduce better policies into the school. Your dedicated time and attention will make a difference in your child’s life and help them adjust to the classroom.
Children with disabilities also need to transition to new classes. Going from primary to secondary education can be emotionally taxing for your child. You will also need to prepare them for more challenging concepts, advanced learning, and more advanced reading. As a parent, you will be able to make the process easier. Speak to the child’s teachers and advise them on strategies they can adopt while teaching. You should ensure teachers have a list of signs and symptoms so that they can recognize when your child is struggling.
You should have a conversion with your child and accommodate their needs by helping them familiarize themselves with the concept of change. These measures can include visiting the classroom to establish a connection with your child. Suppose your child has a difficult time and may have an intense reaction to a lesson. In that case, you should have a communication channel with the teacher.
The IEP team is an integral part of the education system. This team aims to ensure students can successfully earn an education emphasizing disabilities. By becoming an active participant, you will help your child thrive and grow in school. Therefore, you should attend all IEP related meetings and discuss methods of improving special education. It would help if you also recorded all your child’s school performances, using them as a reference when talking about IEP reports and where the school needs to improve.
Children with disabilities need help and accommodation when it comes to schooling. Traditional teaching cannot facilitate common diseases like ADHD, autism, and nonverbal communication through conventional teaching methods. As a parent, you can involve yourself with special education to help schools provide a better learning environment for your child. It would help if you pushed for higher educational qualifications so teachers can handle your child better.
You should also check in with the school about your child’s progress. You should also provide valuable insight on disabilities, be there for your student and become an active participant in the IEP. With these measures, your child will feel comfortable learning and getting educated.