Special Education Schools

We all want our children to enjoy learning, and to be the best that they can possibly be. If your child has a physical or learning disability, you may be considering special education schools. Many offer a wide range of programs that support and grow with the student throughout the academic years, so they have the best chance to succeed.

Needs addressed
Does the program have a particular focus for the children it serves? Some are specifically designed for kids with autism, while others may be for adolescents with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. Consider a school that has programs proven to help your child’s particular needs.

Services
Most special education schools will offer some supportive services. Do they conduct periodic assessments? Since you may be attending the school with the help of federal or state assistance, ask what kind of support the school offers with completing paperwork and providing regular updates to the appropriate groups. Do they offer transportation to and from school?

Class size
It’s important to consider the class size for the different programs that may be attended. A larger class size is not necessarily bad in all cases, as group activities can be very beneficial. However, instruction is best received in smaller group settings. Will your child get the attention and focus they need based on the average class size? How many teachers and assistants are in any given room?

Methods for teaching
Ask about the different teaching methods the institution uses. All children learn differently, but those with disabilities may also need help with accessing resources or having materials read to them. Hands on activities are important, but interacting with students at their level and in a way that is not demeaning or intimidating is most important.

Faculty experience
Do your homework on the actual staff. If the specific programs will have more than one teacher, get to know each of them and go observe some classes if you can. Do they seem to adapt to the different kids and learning levels? How do they handle challenges or disruptions? What disabilities do they specialize in? Does the supporting staff have experience as well? You should find staff biographies on the school’s website, but you can also ask for references and learn a lot by just talking with them.

Reputation
Is the institution known in the area for their programs and success in working with children with disabilities? If they’ve been around a while, chances are they are doing something right.

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