By Paul Steffens
The success of a student with special needs often depends on an open and trusting relationship between his parents and teachers. The start of a new school year provides a great opportunity to begin building a cooperative and productive relationship. Here are some tips to get started:
Contact your child's special education and general education teachers before the year begins, especially if he is new to the school. Try to meet with each teacher in person, since face-to-face meetings are helpful to get to know one another. Since the beginning of the year can be hectic, assure the teacher you need only ten minutes. If necessary, follow up with a note or schedule a future meeting. Things to discuss at this first meeting are:
Work with the special education and general education teachers as a team. Include your child on this team, if appropriate for his age. What can each of you do to prevent problems?
As a group, discuss the accommodations and modifications that can support your child in his general education classroom. If possible, include your child in these discussions and ask for his ideas. Do you feel your child's IEP accurately reflects his strengths and challenge areas? All teachers appreciate knowing strategies that increase success in individual students as much as possible.
Communication between all parties throughout the year is key. Discuss a plan with the teachers for how everyone can stay in the loop, then stick with it! Some ways to keep communication flowing are:
A child's relationship with his school constantly changes. It's important for parents and teachers to be flexible and change their game plan if things aren't working. Because each child is unique, strategies and rewards need to be individualized and reviewed regularly.
There may be times when this is hard to do, but a little laughter can ease tension. It's natural for people to have differing points of view. Just remember that each person on your team has the best interests of your child in mind. A sense of humor and giving another person the benefit of the doubt can go a long way!
Parents and teachers working together (and with the child) contribute to a child's success at school. Each depends on the other for information and support throughout the school year. Although difficult at times, the rewards of this collaboration go a long way for everyone involved.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.