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Working With Parents Of Exceptional Students

1062 words - 4 pages

Learners with exceptionalities are students who have special educational needs in relation to societal or school norms. An inability to perform appropriate academic tasks for any reason inherent in the learner makes that learner exceptional. (Slavin 2000) About ten percent of students in the United States receive special education and there are many different types of learners with exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, mental retardation and gifted students. A handicap is defined as a condition or barrier imposed by the environment or the self and a disability is a functional limitation that interferes with a person's mental, physical or sensory abilities. (Slavin 2000) All of these students have parents of some type, and it is their teacher's job to involve their parents in the education process. Some parents will be very easy to work with while others will impose challenges.Suggestions for doing something for the gifted child generally fall along one of three lines: acceleration, enrichment, and grouping. Acceleration allows the gifted to combine two or three years into one, or to enter the first grade a little earlier. Studies have shown that students entered into first grade earlier than normal did as well as their older classmates and suffered no ill effect from early admission. The acceleration of gifted students does not harm them personally, socially or academically. (Mouly 1968) Parents sometimes must be convinced of this though, and are concerned about how their child is progressing. They may want you to send them grade reports more frequently or even want you to send their child home with extra home work. Others may not really know what to do to help their child (more than likely the gifted child is more intelligent than the parents) and you will need to contact them to make sure they are encouraging the child.Parents play an important role in an exceptional child's life and must inform teachers of their special conditions since no two children are alike. "Teachers can be very helpful in supporting a child's treatment ...once parents inform them about the disorder." (Child & Adolescent OCD) Parents can provide information to the teachers and school personnel about their child's medication or other special needs. From here, teachers can provide parents with occasional progress reports. "Even if a child ...is not active at school, teachers should be informed that ...treatment can improve the child's ability to learn." (Child & Adolescent OCD)Working with parents of exceptional children can be both rewarding and challenging in different ways. It is rewarding working with them in the fact that the parents are able to give you some insight into their child that you may not have known before, but it can be challenging to get in contact with the parents or to get the child to listen while their parent is in the room. It depends a lot on the child and parent relationship and how...

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