Students with exceptionalities
We all want the students to develop to their full potential and become the best that they can be. Parents and educators can work together to help children achieve this goal by ensuring that all children receive an education program that meets their needs as individuals.
For students with exceptionalities, disabilities, or diverse abilities it is particularly important that parents and teachers understand and respond to each child’s unique talents and challenges. One or more of the following characteristics may be present:
- Differences in intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional, or behavioral functioning or performance,
- Specific types of learning difficulties, and/or
- Unique gifts or talents.
The fact that a child has exceptionalities does not reflect any fault – not on the part of the student, parent, community, or school. Children have diverse needs for all kinds of reasons – some of them existing since birth. The focus of everyone involved should always be on understanding what can be done to ensure that all children succeed – in school, at home, in their community, and throughout their lives.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are an important part of understanding and responding to each child’s exceptional needs. They are, simply put, plans that summarize and record a student’s specific education programs and services.
If your child has been identified as having a special need, your teacher and/or principal will contact you about the creation of an IEP. It will be developed by a group of people who will combine their expertise, with your input, for the benefit of your child.
The IEP will identify any additions, changes, or adaptations to the regular school program that should be made so that your child has every opportunity for success – both within and outside the school. Your child’s goals will be outlined in the IEP. The goals should be based on information about your child’s strengths, skills, challenges and performance, all of which can evolve over time. Using the IEP, you and the KCS staff can continue to combine your knowledge, experience, and commitment to work together in the best interest of your child.
SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPY
Speech, language, and communication are essential for nearly every activity of daily life. They also allow students to access the curriculum in meaningful ways. Listening and speaking skills are important in the classroom and provide the foundation for reading and writing. Language also helps students interact with others and build relationships with peers.
Speech and language difficulties can occur on their own or in combination with other challenges. The nature of speech and language difficulties varies from child to child but may affect a child’s ability to understand, talk, read, and/or write, providing interventions early can lessen or eliminate the need for speech and language support later in life. Students with speech and language difficulties benefit from assistance from family and/or community members. In order to participate fully at school, it is critical that students are fully supported if they have any speech and language challenges.
Your child’s classroom teacher may request a speech language pathology assessment because SLP services may be beneficial in supporting your child in their educational goals. Participation in this program is strictly voluntary and consent by parents is needed first.
Occupational therapists (OTs) are registered medical professionals trained to assess a person’s ability to function in their activities of daily living. Based on their assessment findings, occupational therapists provide recommendations to improve or enhance existing function.
Occupational therapy works to ensure that your child can participate in all activities during school and home. This includes understanding more about how your child move, how they use their hands, and how your child prints and writes. Also, occupational therapy looks at understanding how your child learns in class, and focuses on materials.
Occupational therapy assessment services may help support your child in their educational goals. An assessment will help the OT make recommendations for school personnel to work on meeting participation or learning goals with your child. Again, participation in this program is strictly voluntary and consent by parents is needed.