When your child has special needs, it can make everything about picking their first preschool a little more challenging than what it is for the average parent. You will be concerned about finding a program that can cater your child's individual needs more because the needs of your child can be so different from every other child in school. There are many great preschool programs out there for children with special needs, both private and public. Here is a look at a few things to do before you pick any preschool for your child with special needs:
Have your child evaluated by the board of education.
To determine exactly what type of educational environment your child needs, it is a good idea to have them first evaluated by the board of education in your area. The board of education is connected with all of the schools that are in your location, and they often work with special needs instructors to perform this evaluation. During this meeting, the evaluation team, which may include people like social workers and psychologists, will be discussing with you things like:
- Your child's specific medical needs and their medical history
- Your child's physical and emotional development
- Your child's educational needs
Once this evaluation has taken place, you will be given an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP gives you a kind of roadmap for your child with special needs for their educational goals and the environment they will need.
Visit different preschool programs to discuss your child's needs.
The easiest way to get a feel for what a preschool has to offer your child is by visiting them. During your visit, you can look at things like class size and student-to-teacher ratios. You can also discuss the IEP with the school's teachers and employees to find out how they would be able to cater to your child's needs in the classroom.
Most schools will even give you a look at their curriculum plans for preschool children with special needs, which gives you an inside look at the learning environment your child will be exposed to if enrolled. The more schools you visit, the easier it will become to dissect the most qualified and most fitting schools for your child. Plus, the more you know about what is available at certain educational institutions, the better you will be in a position to negotiate exactly what your child will need in the classroom.
Contact a company like Advantage Learning Center for more information and assistance.