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School Support Staff: Build a Special Team for Your Special Needs Child (page 2)

School Support Staff: Build a Special Team for Your Special Needs Child

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Updated on May 31, 2013

Assistive Technology Evaluator

Sometimes technology can help your child perform to his maximum potential in the classroom. Examples could include a microphone, recording advice, glare-reduction screens and voice-recognition software. The assistive technology evaluator will determine what, if any, electronic devices your child needs. Keep an eye on the news and talk to other parents about new technology that’s landing in stores. You want to be aware of any breakthroughs that might help your child. If you do learn about something, prepare to ask the assistive technology evaluator and prepare to bring it up in the next IEP meeting.

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"First and foremost, (parents) have to educate themselves on what their child's diagnosis means, as well as, given that diagnosis, what services are most appropriate," says Dror. It may feel like you are a bully or a nag when it comes to your child’s care, but sometimes the Momma Bear attitude is appropriate. It’s best if you back up that attitude with knowledge about your child’s diagnosis, personality and needs.

If your child has a service specified in the IEP, the school is legally obligated to provide that service. "Parents should not accept the reason, 'It's not in the budget,'” Ehlert emphasizes. “Budgetary issues should never prevent the child from receiving a service," After the IEP meeting, stay on top of what's happening at the school. Ehlert reminds parents that if speech therapy is supposed to happen twice a week, for example, make sure it's happening that way.

Dror recommends that parents find a way to work with the school. "While (parents) may feel they are in an adversarial position with their school districts—and sometimes they are—find a way to work with your school district," she says. You aren't going to be able to do everything for your child—no parent can—so it's important to make sure you have a team of professionals who really understand what your child needs.

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