How to choose the best school for children with special needs

The schooling of the youngest is an important decision, as it will mark the child's social and intellectual future, especially when it comes to children with special needs.

With these guidelines you canChoose the best school for your child with special needs.

The center we choose will mark the child's development as a person and his life, both intellectually and socially. The first dilemma parents face is assessing what is best: a special education school, or a regular school with supports for inclusion.

When choosing keep these aspects in mind:

1- Prioritize the needs of your child. You better than anyone should know what supports you need and in what areas. Be realistic and don't choose schools with architectural barriers if you have motor limitations; or don't choose a very demanding school if it is unable to adapt to the rules. Select the school according to the child's personality rather than the values ​​and educational project.

2- Do not be prejudiced regarding special education schools. These types of schools offer individualized attention, with many specialists and, increasingly, carry out activities in the community.

3- Listen to the professionals. The professionals who can guide you, they know the schools that exist in your area and they know how they really work.

4- Visit as many schools as you want. The opinions that the people who bring their children to each center can give you are valuable, but remember that their priorities do not have to be the same as yours.

5- If you want to know how it really works, visit the school during school hours better than on the day of open doors. Make sure that these sessions are not too commercially oriented and that they show the school's operation well.

6- Do not be left with any doubt about the center. Your questions will surely be different than the rest.

7- Take into account the schedules. It is interesting to assess what it means for family members that a child goes to one school or another, so that it is possible to reconcile with the schedules of parents or siblings, and this fact may be too stressful for the family.

8- What school do the brothers go to? Perhaps it is good that the siblings share a patio, or not, and the comfort that it supposes to you as parents to organize yourselves.

9- Proximity to home facilitates contact and access to the school; which can promote autonomy for children to go alone and strengthens the relationship with children who live in the neighborhood.

10- The educational project of the center: how the students are grouped, how the areas are worked on, if they are studied by competencies, what is the role of homework in the didactic dynamics ...

11- The involvement of families. It is essential to work together, and maintain open communication, between families and the school.

12- How the school attends to diversity. Find out if they have the center's own support staff and if they have access to specialists outside of it. If they are willing and experienced to adapt the school curriculum based on the abilities and needs of the students.

13- The opinion of other families with children with special needs. They will surely share their experience with you sincerely.

The best school for a child with a disability is “the one that suits his character, the one that meets his needs and enhances his abilities. The one that helps him to grow and develop as a person, that makes him feel like one of the group, that values ​​and respects him as he is ”.

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