No parent wants to believe their child should attend one of those schools for students with learning disabilities. Many people still have visions of special education programs for kids as resembling insane asylums designed to lock a challenged kid away. On the contrary, many children could benefit from special education programs, not just the most visibly challenged kids. Also, most special education schools are truly trying to help, and they have the resources and experience to handle more “problematic behavior” than a typical school for “neurotypical” kids.
In this article, we’ll discuss what special education programs for kids really provide, and what kinds of kids can benefit from them.
A special school caters to students with special educational needs, due to learning difficulties, disabilities, behavior problems, or other factors. Ideally, the special needs school will customize its program to reflect the individual needs of each student. This is done by giving each student an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines how the school will meet the student’s unique needs.
What if you suspect your child would benefit from attending special education programs for kids, but the child has no diagnosis? There are certain behavioral traits that accompany learning disabilities that you may be able to observe in your child.
For example, autistic children can be identified by impaired social communication, repeated or restricted behavior, and diminished engagement with the “exterior world.” The diagnostic criteria for autism requires that such traits be observed before the age of three. Although some parents may be afraid of acknowledging that their child is autistic, and prefer to rationalize behaviors away on the grounds that their child is still “figuring things out” or due to one circumstance or another, many of these behaviors will cause problems for the child down the line if left untreated. For instance, less than half of individuals with autistic disorders go on to paying jobs within two years after high school, the lowest amount of any disabled group.
Special education programs for kids are ideally suited to provide resources for children with autism. They are well equipped to provide the supportive environment, and the necessary interventions on behavior and understanding, that can start moving your child towards integration and self-reliance at an early stage in your child’s development.
Although autism spectrum disorders are some of the more common learning disabilities, they are not the only ones. Many children fall somewhere in between being “disabled” and well. A special needs school is equipped to help with these sorts of children as well. By identifying your child’s unique needs and assessing the capability of available schools, you may well decide that a special education program is right for your child.