Middle school special education options
Middle school can be a challenge for the “typically developing” child and her family. Suddenly the school population can go from 300 in elementary school to 1000 students in a middle school. Students lose the support of their circle of primary school friends and the security of being known by teachers and administrators. In a way, they lose their identity and have to start over. Further, academic expectations accelerate. Classes move more quickly and there is more content. There are many different teachers now, each with a unique personality and expectations. Time management and project management skills become a requirement for scholastic success. Even the most capable and developmentally mature students find this challenging.
For special needs students, middle school can be a watershed. This may be the time when it becomes clear that despite all best efforts, your special needs student will not be able to thrive in her current scholastic setting. Parents may begin their search for a special education middle school.
A middle school special education search is often difficult. Families may consider relocating their entire family for the right school or leaving a child in a boarding school setting. Families may need to source local therapists. Understanding the goals, classroom experience and different educational approaches can help make the most informed choice. A special education middle school that accommodates the student’s needs best will improve the student’s chances for a better life.
First, understand federal, state, and local laws regarding students with special needs. Remember that these laws are not only about the student’s rights. They also recognize that the entire community benefits when every student is given a chance to learn. Secondly, parents should understand the goals of the special education middle school. Some are preparing students for college. Others work toward the goal of independent living. Make sure that your goals match the school’s goals. Agreement not only on the curriculum, but also the long-term goals should be covered even before the first meeting with a school.
A key benefit of a special education middle school is that programs and educational strategies are tailored to address a particular learning deficit. Schools exist specifically to teach students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, low vision, hearing impairment, dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Finding the best fit sometimes means sourcing other academic help such as after school programs, or medical help such as targeted therapies. A special needs middle schoolfor such issues as Autism Spectrum Disorder or similar conditions often incorporate several of these practitioners into a student’s day.
Some key areas of focus for special needs middle school
Work with students who have good cognitive aptitude but are defeated by learning differences. Goal to maximize learning abilities within three to four years, and school reintegrate them back into a regular classroom.
Offer an environment with individualized education plans and an emphasis on social development and building self-confidence.
Dyslexic students are educated in all subjects, including areas such as fine arts and physical education, and receive remediation for their learning disabilities through reconstructive language, a specialized phonics-based program.
An inclusive school is a regular school that has made a commitment to gearing part of its resources and curriculum to students with special needs.
Geared toward students with ADHD, learning disabilities, head injuries, weaknesses in reading, writing and math, and difficulties problem solving, organizing, setting priorities and managing time.Dedicated staff, small group instruction and personalized education programs help students progress to university and career.