Thursday, January 8, 2009

What You Should Know about Your Autistic Child and School

If your child is Autistic, you probably already know that they will have special needs when it comes time to go to school. If your child is already in school, you’ve probably had first hand experience with some of those needs. Even if your child goes to public school, he or she can be accommodated by their school and in fact, the law requires public schools to provide needed teachings or facilities to children with special needs. Below, you will find some more information on your Autistic child and school.

Individuals with Disabilities –

This act was created so that all children are able to obtain a good quality education from public schools – even those with disabilities. Partially in thanks to this law, children who have special needs must have their needs accommodated by their public school if they meet the criteria. Children with autism meet the criteria, so your child should be provided an education by the public school and their needs must be met.

The Right to a Non-Restrictive Learning Environment –

What this means is that your child should be placed in a classroom or setting that allows them to learn and socialize with children that do not have a disability. While the school may place your child in a ‘special needs’ class, they should also be able to interact with children who do not have special needs. Because of this, most schools simply place Autistic children in regular classrooms while implementing modifications that are designed to meet those children’s needs.

Your child will be evaluated to determine whether he or she has special needs – and this evaluation is requested either by you, as the parent or by the school. There are many tests that will be completed during this evaluation, including tests for learning disabilities and mental or behavioral issues that need to be addressed. You will then be notified of all findings and diagnosis.

What is an IEP?

An IEP is basically a statement, listing exactly what your child needs in order to receive a satisfactory education. It will also include what modifications or methods are being used to ensure that your child receives this education. This IEP is created specifically for your child, and may be different from those of other special needs children. It will also be evaluated and considered in evaluations of your child’s improvement and performance in school.

Although many schools will try to get away with anything, most are prepared and happy to help your child receive the education he or she deserves. By knowing you and your child’s rights, you can effectively demand a fair education and help your child receive the learning skills and knowledge that he or she needs.

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