Parent participation in the special education decision-making process is vitally important. The most important thing parents can do is ensure they are involved with and take an active role as a member of the Individual Education Program (IEP) team that determines a student's path. In the following lines, we will have a look at the various methods, by means of which, the learners of the SEN courses for teachers can influence the parents in getting involved in special education once they start teaching.
In short, the IEP team is charged with making educational decisions for students and address issues such as eligibility, evaluation, program development, and placement of a child in special education or gifted programs.
Here are the methods that can be beneficial in the involvement of the parents in a special educational course meant for the development of their specially-abled children.
1. Parents should not get overwhelmed
Despite their importance in education decision making, parents sometimes feel overwhelmed by the IEP team process. They may believe team members perceive them as less knowledgeable about teaching or as obstacles to the decision-making process, especially if they disagree with the educators. This is something that a special needs educator need to avoid so that the parents don’t feel left out, which they must learn while pursuing the SEN courses for teachers and implement it when they start teaching.
In this respect, parents and other guardians should not let school personnel intimidate them in this process, because their role as student advocate is paramount.
2. Critical input from parents
Parents and guardians know their children better than anyone else and have the most complete understanding of a child's physical, social, developmental, and family history. A special needs educator needs to collaborate with the parents and help the students in developing through the whole-hearted participation of the parents. This is also because parents are the only adults in the educational process who have been and will continue to be deeply involved throughout the child's school career; and while they may not be educators themselves, they bring their years of experience in other professions and aspects of life to the process.
3. Emphasise on closeness
Parents may be the only adults who closely observe students' work and get feedback from their children. Consequently, no one else has the perspective of a parent in a meeting. This is another nuance that a special needs educator should be acquainted with and should gain an in-depth understanding about it when they pursue the SEN courses for teachers.
It's also critical for parents to be well-versed in the laws of their district and state so that they can be sure school administrators are following the rules.
4. The Role of the Parent in the IEP Team
Parents are vital to the IEP team process. They provide information on the child's strengths and weaknesses at home, background information on the child's history and development, and information on any family factors that may affect the child's learning, which can be very useful for the special needs educator to put individual focus on the children with special abilities.
Parents should be prepared to offer insight into whether current strategies and instruction are helping the child learn, even when not specifically asked, and provide suggestions for change and improvement. ?This is something that a learner of the SEN courses for teachers should focus on.
5. Parents can provide Comprehensive Insight
The comprehensive insight that a parent provides in terms of a child with special ability can be very helpful for the special needs educator in a parent-teacher meeting. Only the parent accompanies the child throughout the important school and life transitions. The parents' input at each transition can ensure that appropriate services and supports are in place and increase the chances of the child's success in the new program.Whichis why, it is very important for the learners of the SEN courses for teachers to inculcate the different norms which can help them to involve the parents in the progress of the children with special abilities.
6. Parents can keep records properly
There is no one as interested in and motivated to see children succeed and thrive than her own parents, and this alone places the parent in a crucial role on the IEP team. This is something which a future special needs educator should understand and implement so as to make the parents get more and more involved in order to help the child progress well in the future when he/she starts the career as a teacher. In this respect, the parents can be benefitted by keeping careful records of their child's education, including any testing and any IEP reports. The parents, in co-ordination with the educators, should also keep a record tofile these carefully so that they have them on hand readily if needed.
The aforementioned techniques can prove to be effective in terms of involving the parents in the education for the children with special abilities. There is no one as close as the parents for any child and especially in the case of the children with special needs, the full-fledged involvement of the parents in the IEP as well as the various development programs can be very beneficial for the students as well as the teachers. This is why, it becomes so very important for the future special needs educators, especially those who are currently pursuing the SEN courses for teachers, to learn about the various ways and the benefits of involving the parents in the special educational system and make it more incisive and effective for the students when they start their teaching career in the sphere of special education.
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