5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Special Education
If you know these 5 things about Special Education, keep telling others!
If you didn't know about these 5 things... you're not alone!
1. Honest Conversations are Required for Effective IEPs
Open communication between parents, teachers, administrators, and service providers is essential. Avoiding difficult but necessary conversations will not lead to a strong IEP that prepares the student. We must have courageous conversations to align on goals and more.
2. ESY is Not Just for Regression
Many believe Extended School Year (ESY) services are solely to prevent regression over school breaks. However, there are several criteria for qualifying for ESY, not only regression. Know the criteria in IDEA law to advocate for appropriate ESY services.
3. No Surprises at IEP Meetings
IEP meetings should build on conversations already happening, not introduce new evaluations or goals without warning. This prevents shock, mistrust, and unproductive meetings. Share updates continually so IEP meetings are focused time.
4. Inclusion is an Experience, Not a Place
Inclusion is feeling welcomed, accepted, and able to participate. It looks different for each student. Avoid putting labels on classrooms or placement being "inclusive." Focus on meaningful inclusive experiences.
5. Special Education is a Service, Not a Place
Special education describes services students receive, not a room. Serve students where appropriate to meet their needs with qualified staff. Change language to "receives special education services" not "goes to special ed."
Let's reshape mindsets and conversations to build inclusive schools and communities. Share insights to spread awareness. Together we can transform special education to prepare all students for future success.
Listen to further explanations of each key area on this episode of the Special Education Inner Circle podcast!
P.S. I'm not a lawyer and I don't give legal advice. If you want more info on ESY criteria Read the full article here from my favorite IDEA law website that I go to when I need straight facts about what is and is not supposed to happen inside of an IEP.