What are the issues?
Too often, school staff have not been informed about good practices that support children with significant physical and cognitive disabilities. This has resulted in an assumption that students with significant disabilities can only receive special education in “special” schools or separate programs that are often located outside their communities. Every member of the IEP team, including the speech, physical and occupational therapists working in the district, can and should be expected to help their schools support children in their school community. The legal standard to be considered is meaningful benefit – can and does your child benefit educationally from access to the general classroom with services and supports?
Here are possible parent responses:
“Susan has always been successfully included in a community preschool and in our neighborhood. It is very important to Susan and to us that she attends school with her friends and her brothers and sisters. We know that with proper supports and services, Susan can benefit.”
“We agree that Susan will require specialized support with her physical needs during the school day. We are sure that the IEP team can come up with a plan to provide the help she will need. We will support the IEP team in asking for the information and additional expertise needed to implement the plan.”