What are some imperative questions to ask regarding special education?
The original question had to be edited because "eccentric" would not be the same idea as "imperative." The questions that educators working in special education need to ask are "imperative." I think that one of the most important questions that has to be asked is whether or not we, as educators and stakeholders, are doing the best we can in meeting the needs of a child receiving special needs services. It is very easy to get caught up or bogged down in labels, bureaucratic red tape, or professional duty. The critical question that has to be asked is whether the child's needs are being met with the services being provided. Perhaps, this involves looking at what is being done and how can it be done better and it might even involve admitting failure at certain points. Yet, it is imperative to ask if a child's needs are being met. If we are not asking this tough question, the entire point of special education is lost.
Another imperative question that has to be asked is what is "the light at the end of the tunnel." Essentially, special educators have to ask what vision do we see for a specific child receiving services. Where should they wind up as a result of intervention? This causes everyone- parents, school officials, teachers, and student- to embrace a long term vision. In the end, all children need this long term vision. Students receiving services require it a bit more because their education is nuanced. What is it we want them to be able to do as a result of intervention? If this question is not asked, children receiving special serves are being done a disservice, as we are viewing their educational interventions as simply stop gap measures that float from year to year. It requires courage and vision to ask a long term question and be willing to engage it. Students receiving special needs services depend on us to ask such tough questions as they entrust their education to us. The question of what we want the student to be able to do as a result of our interventions is an important one that shows we value the trust they place within us.
Each child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education. I frequently reference this when evaluating students' plans in the public school system. Is this plan free and appropriate? Many parents want an elaborate plan, but the school is only responsible for providing a free and appropriate education. Parents can search for resources outside these limits if they want and many times the public educator assists with connecting these parents with resources that may provide the student with more elaborate services. Finding and drawing the line can be difficult.