“We have no special needs children. Just children… with special needs.”
~ Uwe Maurer
Each member of your child’s team brings a unique perspective and expertise that contribute to a comprehensive plan designed to meet the child’s needs. Below are the major players, along with descriptions of their roles and responsibilities. Your child, at the age of 16, becomes a legally recognized part of his/her advocacy team and will give input into the development of his/her own plan.
You, the parent are a vital member of the IEP team, with an expertise to contribute like no one else's.
The general education teacher has a great deal to offer, including information on the curriculum in the general education classroom; aids, services, or changes to the educational program that could enhance learning; and strategies to help with behavior, if behavior is an issue. The general ed teacher may also discuss supports that may help the child reach his annual goals, progress in the general curriculum, and participate in non-academic activities.
The special education teacher contributes important information and experience about how to educate children with learning disabilities, including: accommodations and modiﬁcations of the curriculum to help your child learn; supplementary aids and services that the child may need to succeed in the classroom and elsewhere; and other aspects of individualizing instruction to meet your child’s unique needs. Additionally, this person may team teach with the general education teacher; work with your child in the general classroom, in a resource room, or in a support services class devoted to children receiving special education services; and work with other school staff, particularly the general education teacher, to provide expertise about addressing your child’s unique needs.
A school district representative (often the principal) has the power to authorize and approve school resources for your child and is qualiﬁed to provide or supervise special education services.
Other specialists includes Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Assistive Technology Specialists, School Psychologists, and Paraprofessionals.