Children with disabilities face many unique challenges when attending school and often need accommodations made to ensure their academic success. As a parent, you may feel inclined to place your child in a school of special education so as to avoid the potential complications that arise among the general public school population. But, by allowing your child to attend public school, you are encouraging self awareness, encouraging social skills, and your child is learning how to navigate in an environment independent of accommodations in some area.
When preparing to send your child to public school for the first time, it is important to meet with the school principal and teachers to ensure your child is getting the best possible education. Accommodating your child’s learning disability will be your top priority. But, in addition to this, it is important to also ensure that your child is getting the best possible accommodations from a physical and technical standpoint.
For many children with disabilities, who attend public school, the challenges with physical and technical accommodations can lead to restrictions in playtime, and can restrict, to some extent, the degree of learning. Schools often restrict a child’s access to some areas because of fear over liability issues. To ensure your child has the best accommodations, be sure there is open communication about your child’s needs with the school administrators.
Much like physical and technical accommodations for learning, children with disabilities often experience some barriers to social and psychological accommodations. Schools typically do not think of your disabled child’s needs at this level and it is important, therefore, that you discuss those needs with your school administrators. For most disabled children, the greatest social accommodations that needs to be made is in the realm of bullying or teasing and the school taking measures to prevent, or stop, these actions from occurring.
As the parent of a disabled child, it is important to consider a variety of educational platforms for your child’s academic development. While most public schools offer great accommodations for children with disabilities, there can be some deficiencies and, as a parent, you are the advocate to ensure your child’s physical, technical, social, and psychological needs are attended to while they are in the care of the school.
Sources: Children with Disabilities, by Mark Batshaw, pp. 105-116.