Thursday, January 8, 2009

Must Know Information for Parents of Autistic Students

Upon hearing that their child is Autistic, many parents think that they will be unable to go to typical public schools. However, in most cases this is untrue. In fact, most Autistic children are protected by law when it comes to this topic. Below, you will find some must know information for parents of autistic students.

What Your School Must Do:

Due in part to the Individuals with Disabilities Act, your public school may have to ensure that your child’s special needs are met. As long as the particular child meets certain criteria, the school must ensure that his or her learning needs are met at their school. Autistic children meet these criteria. This means that if your child needs special learning activities, help or assistance, the school must provide it – by law.

This might include extra help when it comes to certain topics or it may include visual aids to help learn certain things. Whatever it is – you can have peace of mind, knowing that your child will be provided those things in order to help him or her learn necessary behavioral and social skills.

Another thing the school must provide, according to the Least Restrictive Learning Environment is the ability for your child to learn in a normal classroom. Although your child may have special needs that are taken care of in class, your child has the right to interact with children that have no disability. This is opposed to sticking your child in a special needs class which contains only children with disabilities.

By allowing your child to be in a classroom with other kids who have no disabilities, he or she can learn a lot simply by observing the behavior between the other children. This is wonderful and your school must follow this act.

What Your Child Needs:

When you start feeling as though there is a problem with your child, or if your child’s teachers feel there are learning disabilities, they will request an evaluation. You can also request the evaluation. Your child will be provided with an IEP, which basically states the different things that your child requires in order to learn. It will also contain information about the learning aids or extra help your child is receiving so that he or she gets a fair education.

It’s very important that parents of autistic children do their research and know their rights. This way, you can effectively provide your child with a fair and appropriate education. Stay involved in your child’s education and meet frequently with your child’s teachers. This will give you and your child the best advantage when it comes to your child’s education.

Photo: Tina Phillips

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