Parents with children who have learning disabilities such as autism face an important question when their child reaches the age of kindergarten: what kind of special education program is right for my special needs child?
When it comes to children with special needs, each has unique educational, emotional, and general caretaking requirements that should be addressed. Choosing the right school program for your special needs child is crucial to their future happiness and success. That being said, the process of deciding between special education schools and public schools can be both stressful and overwhelming for parents.
In both public schools and private special education programs, there are definite benefits and drawbacks. With a school for children with learning disabilities, teachers are specifically trained to work with both autism and learning disabilities, and the curriculum is often designed to meet these needs. Additionally, these schools will often be equipped with specialized technology and tools to help special needs children learn in an optimal way and environment.
For many who advocate inclusion within public schools, one of the biggest drawbacks of special education schools are the lack of student interaction with non-disabled students, where children with special needs are educated alongside neurotypical students. They believe that their interaction with these children will help to strengthen their social cues.
At the end of the day, experts often stress the importance of having educators who are both equipped and knowledgeable about teaching individuals with special needs. If you are looking to figure out what kind of specialized education your child needs, start by obtaining an Individualized Education Program (IEP), that will help your child’s school to find the education program that best fits your child’s needs. Many children are also qualified for special needs education through their prior medical history.
Whatever option you ultimately go with, make sure you find an educator that you can approach easily. Take the time to talk to the teacher about your child’s IEP and whatever pertinent information and instructions they need to know.
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