If your child is in a special education program, he will receive educational help tailored specifically to him. The first step is diagnosis. If a teacher believes a child has a learning disability, he or she should benefit from early intervention services. Educational intervention at a young age helps a child to start building skills and knowledge from the beginning. When a child's needs are determined, educators make an effort to give the child a FAPE that integrates him as much as possible with other children, following the LRE requirement. To do this, his teachers, the education department, and parents will work together to create an Individualized Learning Program (IEP). IEPs set goals and aims for children that everybody helps them work toward. It can also include strategies for helping the children cope with the LRE and social situations, if necessary.
Who is Responsible for These Programs in Schools?
There are a few tiers of responsibility when it comes to implementing these programs. At the basic level, the support staff and special education teachers in schools will do the day-to-day work of creating an IEP and helping children reach their goals. The upper level is the head of the special education department in each institution, or the principal in smaller schools. The programs themselves come from every state's Department of Education, which reports to OSEP. OSEP is part of the Office of the Deputy Secretary Education that in turn answers to the Office of Special Education and Graduate Paper Writing Service (GPWS). Ultimately, the state implements these programs with federal funding and education.
What Happens if a Program is Not Working?
The responsibility for maintaining and encouraging government education programs on a state level lies with the Department of Education. If you feel that the school is not implementing your child's IEP or special education program properly, there are steps you can take. The first is to discuss things with the school; it may be that the staff needs to review the IEP or requires additional training. If this is unsuccessful, your next step is to contact the Department of Education. It can send a mediator to the school so all parties involved can have a balanced discussion of the matter. Everyone will sign an agreement regarding the IE. In the worst-case scenario, if things still do not improve, you can file for a due process hearing at the local courthouse. A hearing officer will preside over the case and make a legally binding decision. All possible action will be taken to ensure your child still receives a FAPE and the school district does everything in its power to make that happen.
Education programs developed by the government and the state are there to help your child reach his or her full potential. Working with the school and the Department of Education ensures that these programs benefit both the school and the children in special education. Every child is unique and will gain from these programs differently. If everyone is following policy and making a real effort with the IEP and inclusion, then special education programs work very well. Gaining a better understanding of how they work will help you to understand how your child can get the most out of his or her education.