Schools have changed the way they handle students with disabilities in the classroom since we were young. Years ago, all students with disabilities may have been gathered into a single classroom with a single teacher whose job it was to attempt to teach students with a variety of different learning needs. Today, a child with special plans would have an individualized education plan (or IEP) created by a panel of teachers, administrators, aides, and experts in order to meet his or her needs. Here's more about IEPs.

If you have a child with a disability, it is mandatory in Canada, the USA, and the UK that your child's school board develops an individual education plan in conjunction with you. The goal of an IEP is to understand how the child learns and what his or her specific needs are, whether it's a special bus to pick them up from their home or a wheelchair accessible washroom. Once it is understood how the disability would affect learning, teachers can then plan around the disability so that the student can accomplish the same curriculum goals as non-disabled students.

One of the goals of the IEP is to determine what the least restrictive environment for the student's learning needs would be. For many, this means being in a regular classroom with their friends, where the teacher allows special devices or an aide to be present and educates the other children in the student's disability. For other students, this may mean being placed in a resource room where a special curriculum is taught to them by their own personal aid.

The IEP is not a static report. The first IEP should be generated upon diagnosis of the disability or upon the disabled child's entering the school system. From there, you child's IEP should grow up with him or her, being regularly evaluated to make sure it's still meeting the child's needs all the way through elementary, middle, and high school. Once the child graduates and decides to work at with warehouse safety equipment or to do psychological testing in Boise, or work as a food truck caterer; the post secondary school they attend will have their abilities department take over.

Only students who have a federally recognized and medically diagnosed disability qualify for IED plans. So if you think your child may have ADHD, that is not enough to convince the school board. A doctor must confirm.

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