8. Children with special needs benefit from collaborative efforts among school personnel and parents that support the children’s unique learning abilities and needs
Collaboration among parents, teachers, and administrators is essential for children with special needs to achieve academic and behavioral success. School personnel and family members can share valuable information about early reading skills, teaching strategies, co-teaching possibilities, and school/home coordination. The personnel involved may include the speech-language pathologist, school nurse, counselor, vision impairment teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and/or behavioral specialist. Collaborative activities that can enhance successful early reading instruction include:
- Discussion of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) reading goals and objectives among the parents and all professionals who work with the child.
- Identification by professionals and parents of appropriate adaptations to promote success with reading, such as assistive technology tools, multiple practice opportunities, use of specialized materials and family support.
- Discussion of the children’s progress on a frequent basis to ensure that reading skills and strategies are being learned, maintained, and generalized across materials, people and settings.
- Identification of and shared responsibility for gathering resources.
- Coordination of schedules to ensure that reading instruction occurs during optimal learning time, to support co-teaching opportunities, or to provide the children with multiple times to participate in reading instruction.