Being different can easily lead to extra challenges for children at school. If your child has special needs and learns differently because of dyslexia or acts differently because of autism, extra help can draw the unwanted attention of bullies.
First, what is social promotion? It is a practice of passing all children to the next grade level even if they have low achievement.
Summer goes go by quickly. Before you know it the advertisements for back-to-school clothing and supplies pop up everywhere. If your child has autism or other special needs, advance planning will smooth the adjustment to a new grade, new teacher and maybe even a new school.
After many lean years, California lawmakers have set aside $10 million to fund training for teachers and administrators on more positive methods of disciplining students. This multi-tiered system of supports ranges from a positive school climate to individualized counseling.
An Individualized Education Program lists the educational goals for a child with special needs, including how these goals can be met. Annual IEP reviews can be a source of anxiety for parents, but they do not have to be with preparation.
Since the mid 1970s, federal law has mandated that students with special needs be given access to the same free, public education as other children their age. With the passage of that law, the model of special education turned from one of exclusion (and even institutionalization) to one of inclusion.
As we have said before on our blog, schools that receive federal funding, whether they're here in California or in another state, are required by law to help students with disabilities get a proper education. From individualized education plans, or IEPs, to other accommodations, schools do have resources they can tap into to make this happen.
Because charter schools are typically formed by teachers, parents and people within a community, some people assume that these schools do not have to follow the same rules as public schools. It's believed that some charter schools even practice "soft discrimination" by turning away children with disabilities and special needs in exchange for students who can bring test scores up and bring the school more funding.
An encouraging fact can be seen by looking at federal data concerning graduation rates in the United States. According to 2013 data -- the most recent year available -- the graduation rate among students with disabilities has risen by 2.9 percent over the last two years. A student with disabilities, which can include behavioral disorders as well as speech impairments, is more likely to graduate now than they did in the past.
Imagine for a moment that you are a parent here in Santa Cruz who has a child who has just started kindergarten. After a few weeks, your child's teacher pulls you in for a meeting and expresses concerns about your child's behaviors in class. They seem impulsive when it comes to making decisions which tends to disrupt classroom activities. Your child also demonstrates aggressive behaviors and tends to lash out at people, particularly when they become frustrated.