Workshops to guide parents through education of special needs students
March 3, 2012 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.
Parents of students with special needs are invited to a free workshop that will walk them through the process of creating an education plan for their child.
The TEAM project of the Partners Resource Network is hosting the sessions across the Crossroads. The Victoria workshop is March 6.
"When you think about a child with a disability, they all have unique difference. They're special. So we're going to design an education specifically for that child," said Brenda Nelson, the TEAM project coordinator of the region.
Nelson, who has a 12-year-old son with Asperger Syndrome, said the training session will give parents a glimpse into the Admission Review and Dismissal meeting that's held each year for a child who takes advantage of special education services.
At the ARD meeting, a group of people, which can include a regular education teacher, special education teacher, a diagnostician, principal and other specialists, meet to create an Individualized Education Program for each child.
The IEP is based on evaluations and assessments and includes measurable goals set out for the child - like learning how to conduct a conversation or how to count to a certain number by a certain date.
Nelson said parents should play an integral part in creating the plan their children will follow.
"We take the curriculum everybody's learning, look at deficits for specific child and put plans in place to help them learn what everybody else is taking," Nelson said.
The TEAM project is a statewide network of parent training and information centers that aims to empower parents to be effective advocates for their children.
Assistance in English and Spanish is available to parents of kids ages birth to 26.
Nelson encourages anyone who thinks their child may benefit from special education services to contact the TEAM project.
"Even if they think the child is struggling, and if they're not in special education, they can come too and learn about process," she said.