Special Education Question For Parents - FamilyEducation
Special Education Question For Parents
05/18/2008 at 01:00 AM


I am a student who is currently taking a class about students with special needs.  I was wonding if anyone would please take the time to answer or respond to any of the following statements/questions.  Your help is greatly appreciated.  Effects of the child's disability on the familly.  Collaboration between family and teachers. 

Hi there, I am a parent of a child in special education. B/c our son's only 4 yrs old, he hasn't been officially diagnosed yet. This has been frustrating for us, not knowing what the future holds for him. At this time, we have come to accept his disability, and we've been putting most of our energy into helping him. This is both rewarding, yet stressful at the same time. Having a child w/ special needs takes a lot out of you, and there are days when it's really hard to deal with everything. Overall, though, we have seen a lot of progress in our son since he first started school, and we are so proud of his accomplishments. It's all worth the effort, and this experience has taught us so much. It has also brought us closer together as a family. Currently our son is attending 2 schools: our town public pre-k and a private special ed pre-school. We have always had a good relationship w/ our son's teachers/therapists in the private school. We use a notebook to communicate any concerns or questions we may have, or just to share some positive feedback. This works great for us since our son is bused to school and we don't get the opportunity to speak to the teachers in person. On the other hand, it's been difficult for us to communicate w/ the teacher at the public school b/c she not only doesn't use a communication notebook, but she's very difficult to get in touch w/. For this reason, among others, we prefer the private school and feel it's a much better fit for our son at this time. You are entering a very rewarding career. Enjoy every moment of it. I hope my information has been helpful.

Having a child with a disability can impact hard on a family. A lot of course depends on the severity of the disability. Personally, I have a son who has ADHD and another who has ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. The elder child was never diagnosed as such and spent his school career in special schools labelled 'bad boy'. Of course, with that came the shadow diagnosis of 'bad parenting'. He was brought up exactly as his older brother and sister, and they had no problems. When my youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome, it was suggested that his brother was probably the same. TOO LATE FOR HIM. This is an 'invisible' disability. People outside, when you go out in a family, stare and make comments about this wild child, and the parents who can't 'control' him. Outings get less and less and the other children miss out too. . There are some days when you despair and just want your child to be 'normal' and do 'normal' things. As they say, ADHD makes good parents look like bad parents. Other impacts are that parents will be under more pressure and stress, which can ruin marriages and relationships. I am not sure how much I can give you on the question about collaboration with teachers as I live in Britain and our system may be different. I guess the basics would be pretty similar though. With my son I would be talking about 13 years ago and I know from my professional work that things have changed a lot in Education since then. My son spent his first term in school [ age 5, Primary 1] regularly excluded. In the end, I had to withdraw him from education and force their hand to do something for him. He ended up getting an hour a day tuition until they could find a school which would accept him. It took my son nearly killing himself for them to take some notice. He was then give a place in a special unit to be assessed. He then attended 'special school' for two years before being slowly re-introduced to mainstream school. Having a diagnosis made a big world of difference then to the way teachers collaborated with us. Suddenly they wanted to work with us the parents to get the best for my son. We had a communication book for this, but also regular meetings and reviews to discuss how progress was. This is the reason I went back to college to become an Early Years Practitioner. Now I can spot problem areas some of the children have and get them help as soon as possible. Prevention is better than cure, and the earlier a child gets help, the more we can help them reach their potential.

In our family we were affected both positively and negatively by my son's disabilities. He has CAPD and PPD, diagnosed by 2. The early years were very hard due to his severe inability to communicate at all, but also made us a closer family. Collaboration between family and teachers has veried significantly. My son is now 15 and repeating 8th grade. The teachers don't hesitate to tell me his school work is several grades below his current grade level but the schools do nothing to address this issue except modify state tests that he fails yearly anyway. He has had an IEP since he began school at2.5, and yet his education has suffered. So now we are starting homeschooling.

Thank you for sharing your struggles and your successes. If you wouldn't mind sharing a little more, I was wondering, How do you think communication with the teachers can be improved? Is there a better method? What would you like the teachers to communicate better to you? I understand that caring for your child may be difficult for the immediate family. Do you see your child's needs as impacting the extended family at all? Is your extended family more or less involved? Thanks for your feedback & Take care :)

Bump... Any other input? Thanks.