Tuesday, January 22, 2013
You have to really push some school districts to get what your child needs. Being professionally trained in special education services and law, I can tell you the sad fact of the world that our children live in. School districts get less money for children in special education than what they do for regular education. Fortunately, my extensive knowledge in what I could and could not ask for more than benefitted my son, Damien. He started as a fully resourced (special education) student, to now being a fully inclusive student. Damien still receives special education services, but they are as he needs them, not how the school needs them for him. I can tell you from experience that your number one goal should be inclusion. It helps in all aspects of your child's life, particularly communication and social abilities. I also have a friend who is specialized in autism (one of my professors) that can help me find answers that I cannot. He was my go to person when I needed help with Damien, and he also has inside knowledge that helps. Most of all advocacy and self-advocacy are your two greatest tools. Furthermore, your state education system should have free advocate services for special education students that will help you to determine what is best for your child. They can attend the IEP meetings if you need them to.