If your child has special needs as a result of a birth injury, he or she may need some additional educational support than what general education has to offer. The good news is that there are a variety of educational resources available to parents and teachers that can aid in learning and growth. Below, we discuss some of the educational resources that may be available at your school, in your community and online.
Public Special Education
Public special education may be an option for students with more mild disabilities, or with students with a severe birth injury who prefers to be mainstreamed as a social outlet. Every public school has a special education counselor who can meet your student’s needs and adapt the curriculum however necessary to adjust to your student’s level. Teachers are accommodating and meet with the counselor, with you and with the student to make sure that all of the needs of the student are fairly met.
Public schools have special education programs that are available to students who meet certain eligibility requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires that schools provide special education services to all children ages 3-21. In order to qualify for special education, the student must:
- Have a documented disability as established by IDEA
- Require special education in order to have access to general education curriculum.
In public schools, all students have the right to access curriculum and learning materials. For children with special learning needs, special education programs can help do just that.
Private Special Education
Private special education is an option for education that requires tuition. Unlike public school, private school is not free and is not guaranteed. Private special education may be the best option for parents who want their children to work with special education professionals. In private schools, teachers are often trained in special education. That means they may have experience preparing curricula for children with the same kind of developmental disabilities that your child may have.
Private special education is a way for your student to go to school, socialize with other students that are at his or her level and to have a school day that is adaptable for your student’s specialized needs. If you prefer this option but cannot afford it, there are resources available. IDEA has made it possible for private schools to offer scholarships and tuition assistance for certain students.
Online Educational Resources
Now more than ever, educational resources are available online. There are numerous websites that offer educational support for parents and teachers of students with all skill levels. There are also numerous sites that are dedicated to parents and/or teachers of children with special needs. Some of these websites include:
Apps for Games and Tutoring
The modern age has proven to have a number of resourceful tools available to students with learning disabilities. Mobile devices and tablets are one of the best ways now to aid in learning. Most schools use tablets, like the iPad, to install educational applications (apps) that children can play on their own. These apps are often available at home and school, which allows parents and teachers to monitor progress.
By searching “special education apps” in your app store, you can find a number of tools that help tutor and educate the student with special needs. There are also numerous educational games available, which help special needs students engage in their learning environment even more.
But technology doesn’t just support students. There are also apps available to support moms who are raising special needs children. These apps are great as part of a homeschooling curriculum, or as a supplement to public or private special education. Whether you are looking for craft ideas or you need some one-on-one mom support, there are apps available.
Exercise for Physical Education
Kids want to go outside and play no matter what. Special needs children are no different. In fact, some physicians require more exercise of children with special needs so that they can maintain good health. It doesn’t matter if your child is homeschooled, attends public school or is privately schooled – he or she can benefit from exercise and outdoor play. As a parent, you can incorporate exercise, sports, physical therapy and/or physical games as a way of increasing physical education. Work with your child’s school to find activities that are appropriate for your child. Also, find activities that will engage and involve your child with others.