Are you the father of a child with autism, and you would like to be more involved in your child’s education? Would you like a few simple things that you can do to benefit your child’s education? Fathers can bring a unique perspective to the special education process. This article will discuss 3 things that you can do to be more involved in your child’s special education program.
A study report that was released on July 14,2006 from the University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill found that: Children with disabilities are more likely than other youngsters to live with single mothers or other female caretakers. Children with special needs can benefit greatly, if their fathers are involved with their life and education; so jump in for the benefit of your child!
Below are a few things that you can do:
1. Learn about the federal law that governs special education; The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). My book Disability Deception is filled with information.
2. Attend an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meeting for your child. These meetings must be held at least once a school year. Fathers are often treated with more respect than mothers, so your attendance could greatly benefit your child. Bring a list of your concerns, as well as a list of services that you believe your child needs.
3. Check and see if your child’s school has any Special Olympics available, or any other sports or recreation for children receiving special education services. You could help your child learn skills, or offer to coach a team. Recreation can greatly benefit a child’s ability to learn, especially if they are hyperactive. Activity often helps child with a disability focus more.
4. Take a short time off work and go and observe your child’s classroom. Talk to his teacher if time permits.
5. Talk to other fathers, and perhaps start a group that will address your needs in the special education system. Talking to other fathers, will give you the chance to share ideas, and encourage each other in this journey.
As an advocate for over 15 years, I found that children with disabilities that had their fathers involved in their educations, were often more motivated to do well. As I stated earlier, fathers are often given more respect than mothers so this should be a motivation to be more involved. You are the only father that your child has; and they are depending on you.