For Special Education, Be Sure To Add “Red-Tape” To The Supply List

Whether your child is entering Kindergarten, moving to a new high school, starting college, or transitioning to a group home, be sure to build in enough time and consider the bureaucracies’ “red tape.”

It is inevitable that during your students’ school-life, he or she will be involved in many activities, assessments, or various educational (and even non-educational) departments reserved for children with a disability. Each time parents will be hammered with form after form after form. In fact, there will most likely be a “form to order more forms.”

There will be documents and files needed, in addition to transcripts and grades. You will be required to produce evaluations and doctors notes…the list goes on and on. I like to refer to this type of documentation, and validation of such, as “red-tape.” Forms, authorizations, approval codes, scheduling, meetings, more forms, doctors’ visits, qualifications, and of course, the ever dreaded, application followed by a denial phone call. It never ends and so much to do–red-tape!

Hurry up and wait

If parents think they will be able to register their child for school and shop for a bag full of school supplies the same day, well, not so fast. After the student is registered, the documents are evaluated, your student is placed, services are added and then we can let the education begin. Oh if it were only that easy.

While it is frustrating and time-consuming, it is important the college or school has all the facts. Most times, the requested paperwork is more than just the bureaucratic mess. It provides the best possible learning environment.

Details about your child are not just reserved for school. Parents will be required to produce documents to qualify for outside services as well; such as therapies, transportation or financial income.

Separate but not equal

Keep a separate file folder for use at the important meetings or conferences. Parents will only need one but it should be “cleaned” out at the beginning of each school year. Last year’s assessments will not do any good after parents have had a conference about next year’s annual goals. Keep the paper though, because there might be at time when you will need to refer to it.

But here is the thing…usually by the time your kidlet is starts high school, the amount of paperwork starts to subside. Keeping the most recent evaluations, SAT scores, and IEP’s in one folder will make it easy for the college transition. Unfortunately, that will not reduce the amount of time spent on the phone or in the “student services” waiting room, but hopefully, will make the transition smoother.

Once the registration process is complete and your kidlet has become one of those independent individuals we like to brag about, you can sit back, relax, and turn that big fat folder over to your student! They’ve earned it!

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