What is special education?



my son Max has lots of energy and no interest in reading at school it was becoming a problem but my sister's a teacher and she wondered if max might need some form of special education and I said no way he's perfect but she said he can be perfect and still have special needs she said special education is an umbrella term for all sorts of challenges some issues are obvious but some are harder to identify I ignored her but over time my bright boy seemed to lose his bounce he stopped wanting to go to school he said he was stupid it broke my heart turns out we're not alone many kids have learning challenges and there's a law called I DEA which guarantees every child with a disability of free and appropriate public education in fact if a learning problem is suspected public schools are legally required to have the child evaluated but families may have to request it if the child's eligible teachers specialists and parents make an individualized education program that's IEP in Edge's speak or a 504 plan legal documents which set forth what the school will do for the child sounds simple right while it rarely is in Max's case his first plan didn't have what he needed thanks to my sister I learned that in order to get max the right support I might have to be wrong persistent she helped me research Max's options most students getting special services stay in the ordinary classrooms but get extra support like tutoring or extra time on tests some students end up in separate classrooms with specialized teachers but spend part of the day with non-disabled peers finally a few schools most of them private only serve students with specific needs like autism or dyslexia I found the best path for my child and you can too worried your child might need something special do your research go to great schools and visit a range of schools with your help your child will thrive you

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