When some parents hear that their children will be enrolled in special education programs, they feel uncertain about the future and worried about their little ones. This is a natural first reaction to hearing someone needs a little extra help, but it isn’t the end of the world for you or your child. If your children have been placed in special education classes, keep in mind that how you approach what’s going on and the attitude you have has the ability to make this experience either a wonderful one or a terrible one for your child. Below are some things you should remember when working with your child to help them with their education.
Trust the Teachers
The teachers your child will have been trained not only to teach the subjects they know but also how to work with children in special education programs. No matter your child’s needs, they have the experience and know-how to handle them. Of course, you must know when to speak up about serious or disruptive issues. In general, though, many special education teachers are thoughtful, caring individuals who have been trained in this area. Some teachers might have approaches that you question at first, or you may think that the school is providing too few or too many services for your children. Learn when to step in to advocate for your kids and when to trust the process.
Make Use of Resources
Schools often have a robust array of resources that you can take advantage of. For example, a traditional or online special education program may provide advisors who can offer extra help to students or assist learners with building social skills in their classes. Connect with your children’s teachers and counselors to determine the right resources.
Enroll Your Kids in Extracurricular Activities
When you have kids in a special education program, you might think that your children need to focus solely on their education. In other words, you may worry that extracurricular activities could distract your kids from their studies. Remember that you want to raise well-rounded children though. Enroll your kids in extracurricular activities offered by the school. Also, you can look for opportunities in the neighborhood. The fact that your children are in a special education program at school does not preclude them from participating in activities with neurotypical children.
Don’t Limit Your Kids
If you tell your kids that there are goals that they can’t achieve because of their learning differences, you are likely to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. While being aware of obstacles and true limitations are important, you also want to encourage your children to pursue their dreams and to make the most of their educational experiences. Even if you’re nervous about your kids trying out a new activity at school or in the community, consider giving the experience a try.
Success is important to all children. As parents, you have to assist in fostering that success and in building up your kids’ confidence. When your children are enrolled in special education programs, you may very well need to put in some additional effort in these areas.