The special needs of children come in a very wide range. The term special needs covers multiple scenarios, including gifted children, to extremely disabled children.
The first difficulty or challenge would be determining what the child actually needs. Does the child need a private tutor and release time because the classwork is not challenging enough? Does the child need a severely disabled child need a full time class room aid as a personal assistant? Does the child need a private or specialized school?
Special needs students have individual needs in a system that is designed to serve the majority. Get professionals to listen and work with parents to identify how to meet the students needs.
Typically a special needs child requires separate funding for programs, classes and extras. Some areas and schools do an excellent job of budgeting, applying for grants, and using volunteers to make accommodations.
Other times parents have to be actively involved in trying to get funds. They turn into a lobbyist for their own child.
Homeschooling is one of the options that is open. This requires a great deal of dedication and personal funding.
~ Communication gap
Bridging the communication gap is a constant struggle with a special needs student. It is important that expectations for the school, the child and the parents are realistic and closely related.
~ Develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP)
An IEP is just a road map. It clearly assigns tasks and expectations. However, it needs to be a living and adjustable document. Communication needs to be clear and constant between home and school.
Let’s take a look at an actual example of the why and how of this communication. Jessica seems to wind down and by Thursday at school the teacher notices she has a melt down. The school and family began to talk about what was going on.
-Is the family schedule different on Wednesday nights or Thursday mornings?
Is transportation to the school different on that day?
Are there unique challenges in the class schedule on Thursdays?
In this case on Thursday Jessica gets to ride with her parent to school because one of them always has that day off. Instead of her regular routine, she was eating breakfast in car and riding to school with her siblings. As soon as they switched it to her normal routine, the behavior was normal.
If the parents and the school can work together and keep the needs of the child as the primary focus, the struggles are not so great. Realistic and proper expectations are key.