There are a number of young children and school age children who respond to specialized education and are recommended to be exited from special education services. It is important to note that these are team decisions involving both the school staff and the parents. Here are four important discussions for making this exit a smooth transition for the student and families:
Provide the Parent with Information on the Process
When discussing with the parent about the upcoming eligibility meeting be sure and let the parent know that decision will be made to either exit the student from special education services or to continue special education services under the same or different category. Explain to the parent that some students appear capable to attend a regular education setting full time. Other students may attend regular education classes, but are pulled out for other services like speech and language services. Yet, some students may continue in more specialized or self-contained classes. This gives parents a starting point to know that a decision will be made at the upcoming meeting and that a change could happen.
Discuss Possible Changes
Parents may be unaware that exiting a child from special education may mean a change in routine. Parents often forget and get used to the bus service provided for students with special education services. A change in the student’s eligibility may mean a change of schedule as the parent may have to transport the child to school and possibly need to adjust his or her work schedule to arrive later. Another possible change may be that the child will have a different teacher, placed in a different classroom on the same school campus or moved to another campus. These changes may greatly impact family routines and schedules so adjustments may need to be made as the change happened.
Discuss Changes in Level of Support
Some parents may have concerns that it the student is exited from special education services all support will be taken away from the student and then the student may fail or start making bad grades. Sometimes parents will need support and reassurance that this decision is being made after looking at the student’s testing information, school records and current academic performance. Also parent concerns regarding a student’s education can be brought up again and these concerns can be discussed throughout the student’s education if future adjustments need to be made or areas of concern need to be revisited.
Discuss Concerns about Losing Community Services
Parents will sometimes have concerns that this exiting change at school will cause all other community services to be discontinued. For example, if a young student is exited from Speech and Language services in the school, the parent may become concerned the child will lose community services and cannot get out of district or home based speech services. It is important to let the parents know that each community service program has their own guidelines and policies about who receives services or when a child can be provided services.
Finally, many discussions between the parent and school staff can help make the exiting process a smoother transition for students who will need their families support.