Parents’ Involvement in the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Individualized Education Program is a system that is accorded to children with special cases to access quality education and learn effectively without prejudice. IEP ensures that teachers and other associated service providers are conversant with and understand a child’s disability. IEP is developed once it is established that a child has special needs. The involvement of parents in the IEP helps in understanding the needs of the child, the curriculum suitable for their success, and objectives and goals being formed that will assist in the creation of a favorable environment that has few restrictions for the child (La Salle, Roach, & McGrath, 2013).
The involvement of parents in the IEP is important for the children. For instance, their participation in making decisions concerning the education approach is very important as learning is what shapes the children’s destiny. A special child has the same equivalent rights as the normal child only that his/her case demands more attention (La Salle et al., 2013). Adjustments taken to ensure a suitable environment for the child require the participation of the parents. This will enable the parents of children with special needs to be equipped with the knowledge and have ideas of what happens in the school and the quality of education that the children receive.
Once the program has been developed, parents should ensure that its implementation is achieved by following up on the children’s progress. This can be achieved through enhanced participation. A parent’s involvement in a child’s education not only boosts morale, but research has shown increased levels of concentration and excellent improvement of grades. This will impact me as a teacher through the provision of the enthusiasm of ensuring that the individual education program is implemented fully and as expected by the curriculum
Activities and Events
Teachers and parents can strengthen their relationship by involving each other in the children’s education (Turnbull, Turnbull, Erwin, Soodak, & Shogren, 2011). Parents should inquire about the welfare of the children and how they are fairing in terms of education and other extracurricular activities. Strengthening the teacher-parent relationship will give me, as an educator, the impetus to involve the parents more so as to create an ambiance of a home feel for the children with special needs. This works to enhance their confidence in wanting to proceed with their education and parents get to understand the needs of their children.
Inviting parents to have lunch with their children at school is one way of facilitated interaction. Few but steady visits will help both teachers and parents and excite the kids. Having sports day being participated with parents is an excellent idea. Parents as guest readers in the school will enhance their participation and strengthen the parents-children relationship (Booth & Dunn, 2013). In this regard, the parent-child connection helps both in terms of education and knowledge simulation. Inviting parents to participate in classroom activities like the art and craft class increases the interaction of students, teachers, and parents thus strengthening their relationship.
When parents help in arranging materials together with the children, there is a beneficial interaction of parent-child beyond the home. The sharing with the class aids in understanding other parents’ difficulties and the child’s too. As a teacher, I will acquire an understanding of the parents and suitable conditions for the children, which promote the required support from the parents, the school, the community, and the students among other stakeholders. This makes work easier for them, and they are focused on implementing the necessary education programs without obstacles.
Families as Partners in Evaluating a Student
Every child has the right to education. All institutions are required to give quality education to children (Turnbull et al., 2011). Families expect the teachers and/or tutors to be able to administer quality education to students and enable them to understand. Children are required to learn and understand to enrich themselves with knowledge and skills. For the effective learning of children, they require special attention from all stakeholders in the education system. These include the parents or guardians and other concerned members of the family. What can families do to facilitate the needs of the students to be met?
Apart from parents, students have siblings and relatives. The older siblings’ involvement in their younger brothers’ or sisters’ education is important. This could be so due to the relationship the children have between/amongst themselves. A child may be free and comfortable with a sibling more than the mother or father (Booth & Dunn, 2013). This can also happen with uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. This is normal especially for children with special needs. The involvement of the family in the education and care of the children with special needs plays a key role in ensuring their support. Alternation of activities between parents and other family members ensures that everyone gets to experience and understand all the aspects of needs that are required for the children to achieve.
The family evaluation is encouraged to ensure the quality of education a child gets (Booth & Dunn, 2013). A family’s perspective on what the child requires is important and crucial considering how close the family is to the child. The ideas and suggestions of the family can assist me as a teacher while developing the IEP; families have the right to evaluate and get involved in the education the children are receiving. The involvement of the families also helps them to show support to the parents and the children and once this backing is established, a healthy relationship is observed amid parents, families, students, and teachers, which is beneficial to the academic success of the children.
Booth, A., & Dunn, J. F. (2013). Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes? London: Routledge.
La Salle, T. P., Roach, A. T., & McGrath, D. (2013). The relationship of IEP quality to curricular access and academic achievement for students with disabilities. International Journal of Special Education, 28(1), 135-144.
Turnbull, A. A., Turnbull, H. R., Erwin, E. J., Soodak, L. C., & Shogren, K. A. (2011). Families, professionals, and exceptionality: Positive outcomes through partnerships and trust. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States: Pearson.