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Using Parent Advocacy To Enhance Your Special Needs Child’s Education

Using Parent Advocacy To Enhance Your Special Needs Child’s Education

INTRODUCTION

If you are a parent of a special needs child, one of the most important roles that you can play is that of championing for the rights of your kid.  The goal of advocacy for special needs students is to draw attention to the injustices of health and government policies affecting children. For instance, you can advocate for children to receive the quality education that is tailored to their conditions.

TIPS

There are several tips that you can use to be a more effective advocate for these special groups of people. Here are the tips as given in one of the essays on writing service ukessay.com.

  • Learn as much as you can concerning the disability of your child.
  • Observe your child’s learning style. Even though most special needs schools have tests whose goal is to determine the best learning method, parents are best placed to watch this activity on a daily basis.
  • Keep records of the education of your child including details such as testing. You should file these well so that you can always get them when needed.
  • Correspond with teachers regularly through writing.
  • Prepare well. You will need to state the issue that you are advocating for in a clear & concise manner. Understand the bill that you are already advocating for, who is supporting or opposing the bill and who is not. Make sure you do your research well and remain truthful.
  • Be passionate, but don’t demand. When you present that impassioned pleas in a good and respectful tone, the authorities are likely to listen to you. If you choose to be strident, you will only serve to alienate the listener. Therefore, make sure that you are polite to the office staff that are in control and make sure that you schedule some personal times with the school administration. Don’t feel offended if you will be speaking to a staffer rather than directly to the head teacher.
  • Follow up. If you are passionate about an issue affecting special needs education, you need to follow up on the matter.
  • Op-Ed letters. You should not ignore the value that you are likely to get from sending letters to the editors of the national, state or even local publications. This will help improve awareness to enable the issue to reach a wider audience.

If you are wondering why you should engage in parent advocacy, there are several ways in which you can help.

PROVIDING IMPORTANT INPUT

The people who know their kids well are the parents, guardians, and children with special needs experts. If you have a child with special needs, you are the best-placed person to understand the physical, social, family and development history of that child. This means that when it comes to teaching children with special needs, parents are the only adults who have been with the child throughout their school’s career. Even though you are not a teacher yourself, you can bring in your experience and help to raise awareness on issues affecting the kids with special needs.

PARENTS SPEND MORE TIME WITH THEIR CHILDREN THAN TEACHERS DO

Kids usually spend around 6 hours at school. Out of these hours, they will only have the uttermost attention of the teacher for less than an hour. This is unlike parents who sit by their side and help them with homework and other chores for longer periods of time. The parent may be the only person who will observe the work of the student closely and get the child’s feedback. This means that during meetings, parents will have their own special perspectives. It is advisable for parents to attend the various meetings to ensure participation during decision-making and provide important input on the different aspects of their kid’s programs. Parents should also understand their state and district laws to ensure that the school administrators are following the relevant laws.

PROVIDING KEY INSIGHTS DURING TRANSITION MEETINGS

According to organizations that champion for special needs children the goal of transition meetings is to discuss the movement of students from one level of schooling to another or from one program to another. This can also include a transition to a job, postsecondary program or the assisted living programs. The parent is the only adult who accompanies the special needs child to all these meetings. The input of the parent in these transitions can ensure that the right supports and services are put in place. This can increase the chances of success in teaching special needs students.

PARENTS ARE THE BEST ADVOCATES

The parent is the one person who is interested in seeing their children succeed and thrive. This makes them the best advocates for children with special needs. They have a special love for their children and whatever issues they will raise will be from the deepest part of their hearts. This means that parents are best placed to passionately advocate for inclusive education for children with special needs.

Author – Ryan Bronson