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San Diego Education Law Blog

What if my gifted child has a disability?

With an individualized education plan (IEP), a student with an intellectual, cognitive or behavioral disability receives an education made for his or her special needs. Sometimes the IEP has the student in the classroom with other students. Sometimes it takes the student out to a specialized classroom. But how do IEPs address disabled students with gifted academic talents?

Gifted children with disabilities – often called twice exceptional, or 2e – make up about 6% of all disabled students. These children excel in certain academic areas but struggle with a disability that may prevent them from learning in a regular classroom.

Should your child have an IEP?

All children have a right to education. You want your child to learn necessary life skills, become familiar with social interaction and hopefully enjoy learning. Depending on your child’s needs, he or she may qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

You can request an evaluation of your child’s learning needs or the school can request one. If your child’s school has recommended an assessment, you need to follow-up. A school staff member can make a recommendation based on:

Study rejects claims over Rapid Prompting Method for autism

A new study finds no basis for the controversial Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) that some claim helps autistic people communicate. Proponents say RPM aids communication with autistic people or others with special needs through pointing, typing or writing.

Critics say it resembles another discredited technique, called facilitated communication, where an autistic person shares their thoughts using a board or tablet after another person applies pressure to their hand or arm. Studies conclude the results are controlled by the facilitator, sometimes with harmful consequences.

What can I do if I suspect my child has special needs?

If your child is struggling in school, you are probably exploring all your options to help your child find success. If your child’s challenges could be caused by a mental or physical disability, he or she may benefit from special education services.

Professionals who work with your child, such as a teacher, school psychologist or physician, can request an assessment. However, if you are noticing signs that your child may have special needs, you yourself can request the assessment to see if your child is eligible for special education services. Requesting an assessment is the first step you can take toward acquiring these services.

Should children in special needs programs be taught separately?

Some parents don’t know if they should put their child into a special education program because they’re worried it may separate their child socially.

If you’re noticing disability symptoms in your child, you should consider whether special needs education might help. In some cases, that may mean a separate learning environment.

Does my child have dyslexia?

Reading is an essential skill for navigating life. At this point, you probably don’t think about how often you use reading. Your child is beginning to understand this now that they’re getting further into their education. Yet, not every child learns to read at the same pace and conditions like dyslexia make learning to read more difficult.

Did you know that up to one-eighth of the U.S. population lives with dyslexia? These are people who don’t lack intelligence or the motivation to do well. Their brains simply have difficulty processing words in print.

Should students with a disability attend public or private school?

You want the best care and education for your child just like any other parent. So, you may be wondering whether choosing public or private school will impact their education for the better or worse.

Here are a few of things that are and are not so different between the two.

When a child’s disability leads to behavioral problems in school

All children act out at one point or another. However, children who are coping with a disability may experience more behavioral issues in school because of the disability itself or as a reaction to their disability.

As a parent, it can be difficult to be informed of these struggles without being offered a resolution. It’s important to know that your child has a right to their education, despite the challenges their disability may present.

Should I put my child in special needs education?

Many of us consider special education as a program used to help children with intellectual disabilities learn and grow at a different pace than other children.

However, special education is a right for any child with a qualifying disability under the IDEA. If you’re seeing disability symptoms in your child and he or she is struggling at school, it’s important to consider how special needs education might help.

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