Disagreements can occur at any time between teachers and parents. In Special Education disagreements are heightened because the levels and types of support offered or not offered by the school are often questioned by parents.
Conflict between parents and schools is unpleasant but the person most affected is the child. The first step a parent can take is to meet with the teacher or the specialist special education teacher(SENCO or SEN teacher).
As a parent you should try to:
Focus on the needs of your child and discuss with the teacher(s) the way in which those needs are going to be met. Make sure you have all documentation concerning your child’s special needs.
Start with the positive. What are the areas where the school is meeting the needs of your child? From there move to the areas where you feel your child’s needs are not being met at present.
Keep calm and avoid criticising the teacher. Remember you are there as an advocate for your child. Try to work for solutions. There will be accommodations and adjustments that will work for your child.
Be creative and ask questions. If you’re child has only limited teacher assistant time ask how this will be used? You are asking for support that will enable your child to participate in the curriculum ‘on the same basis’ as other students in his/her class.
Finally you need to know how you can help your child. Children with special education needs can be supported to access the curriculum.
Finding the best way forward for your child can be difficult, especially when you are a parent. Sometimes emotions take over and sometimes you feel you have not done the best by your child.
At ASM Plus we have the expertise not only to mediate effectively but to intervene at an early point before the dispute escalates. Our team of experts includes an accredited education mediator with many years experience of very successfully helping to resolve educational disputes at an early stage.