Touring a School for a Child with Special Needs
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Related service rooms, the gym, and the lunchroom also fall under this category. Be sure to check them all out. You will want the related service rooms to be a place where your child will be able to stay focused during a therapy session. You will want lots of padding in the gym, and as for the lunchroom, cross your fingers that it looks clean.
Have they been answering all of your questions? Have they shown you everything you have asked to see? There should be nothing to hide. What type of interactions have you observed between the staff and the students? Do they seem like people you can picture working with your child and regularly communicating with you? And how will that communication take place--email, phone calls, a notebook? And how often?
5. Teaching Methods
You will find that some schools have a specific teaching method. Those schools will tell you exactly what it is and how it works. Some other schools will not be able to give you a definitive answer for this question. Over the years I have heard things like, "We teach however necessary" or, "It depends on the child" or, "We have a few different ways." It is up to you to know what is best for your child and to decide what answer you feel comfortable with. Different methods work for different children, but whatever you’re looking for, this should be a question on your list.
Additionally, a school should also have a full time nurse and an adaptive physical education teacher for special needs children.
These are some of the things that I have come up with during my many years of touring both public and private school programs for my son. It is always important to ask all questions and make a list of pros and cons. Once you figure out which things are most important for your child, you will be able to make the best decision that you possibly can.