Never , Never Ask this Question
Should you ask this question at a parent teacher conference ? As your child goes through their school years, there may be times when your child is just not progressing as you would like. At each grade level your child receives extra support, and is placed in every remediation and intervention group available. However, the results are still the same. Your child makes little progress. Therefore, you are thinking, it is time to make a change. At the next parent-teacher conference you will ask an important question, does your child need special education? You want your child to do better.
In theory, you are taking a pro-active stance for your child at the parent teacher conference. You want the best and if the best means smaller classes and more specialized instruction, you are in. However, asking your child’s teacher this question is not an option. Most likely you will not get an answer to your question , you will be referred to the school psychologist.
Truthfully, your child’s teacher is prohibited from making any determination about a child’s learning ability. Here is the reason why, they are not licensed to make such determinations. If they do, some school districts may be inclined to discipline the teacher or at best give the teacher a serious slap on the hand. Therefore, the bottom line is that an educator without a psychologists license cannot make any determination of a child’s ability to learn. Therefore a teacher will and should refer you to the school psychologist with a written request.
The School Psychologist
A trained school psychologist will take it from there. To determine whether a child needs special education there are many factors to consider. The school psychologist considers factors such as a child’s IQ, past test grades, and behavior and will analyze these factors before any decisions are made.
So, If you believe that your child is just not achieving and you want to explore the special education route put your request in writing . Make sure that your request is addressed either to the school principal or the school psychologist.