Parents who have a child with a disability should provide support to that child and focus on their strengths. It is important that you help your child understand their disability and help them advocate for themselves. Good social skills will help your child succeed. Keep in mind the rule it's who you know that can help you get to where you want to go. Allow your child to participate in extra curricular activities and groups within different organizations.
Having a disability is not insurmountable and should not be used as a crutch. Everyone has a special gift and talent. Find out what your child is capable of doing and capitalize on their strengths. Remember not all students will receive all A's. If your child is applying themselves and putting forth their best forth reward them and tell that they are smart, capable, and will succeed.
Find a good fit for your child-don't try to fit your child in (Mommie Talk, 2019). Finding a good fit applies to enrolling your child in school or putting them in mentor groups, etc. You want your child to be independent. Connect with people and organizations that can help your child. It is also important to find a trade school or college that will support your child's needs. Keep in mind the life of an IEP ends when the student graduates from high school.
Assistive Technology to Help Your Child
Assistive technology (AT) is a tool, device, or system that is used to help people function that have a disability (Warger, 2013). AT tools, can range from low-tech devices, mid-tech devices, to high-tech devices (Ennis-Cole & Smith, 2011). Low-tech AT devices are not expensive and include handheld magnifiers, large print text, canes, walkers, specialized pens or pencils grips (Ennis-Cole & Smith, 2011). Mid-tech AT devices that have some complex features and require some training on how to operate include talking dictionaries, manual wheelchairs, alternative keyboards or mouse, and books on CD (Ennis-Cole & Smith, 2011). High-tech AT consists of complex devices that are electronic and require training to effectively integrate into the classroom (Ennis-Cole & Smith, 2011).
Parents and students can be trained on AT and learn how to locate resources for technology (Dyal et al., 2009). Every state has an Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC). Some of these organizations are funded by Rehabilitation Services Administration or by the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (Ashton, 2006). ATRCs provide information on AT devices, provide training to educators and families, and have a lending library of AT tools that schools and families can loan.
Origin of Special Education
In the 1940s, special educational programs were established for students described as slow learners or for those students who had hearing loss (Alkahtani, 2013). During the 1940s, a student with a disability was placed in a segregated classroom and did not have access to the regular learning program (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2014). In the 1940s educators became aware of the need for students with an impairment to be taught in the same classroom as other students without a disability (Hardman et al., 2014). By the 1950s, countries around the world expanded educational opportunities for students with special needs and funding became available through public education (Smith et al., 2011).
The federal government’s role was expanded during the 1960s for students who have a disability (Smith et al., 2011). Several programs were created and funded by the federal government to help students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE) (Smith et al., 2011). During the 1960s additional finance support was provided for universities to prepare teachers to service students with exceptional needs (Smith et al., 2011). Projects in the 1960s were developed to establish a research base to better service a student with a disability in a public setting (Hardman et al., 2014).
During the 1950s and 1960s, people involved in the civil rights movement increased awareness of issues associated with discrimination in public education (Jones, 2015). Federal laws along with various statutes were established that prohibited discrimination against individuals that include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2015). The case of Brown v. Topeka Kansas Board of Education (1954) stated that everyone has a right to receive an education.