Assist Teachers to Include Students with Special Needs

Assisting teachers to include students with special needs can be done by creating a team of individuals who have a high interest in the education of the student. The parent is the expert on the child and a very important part of the team, the regular education teacher, the special education teacher, and the student are also on the team.


  1. Be precise in knowing exactly how you want the student included.
  2. Don't bring up grievances of what has happened in the past except as examples of the problem. Be specific and to the point.
  3. Learn about the teacher. What is her/his case load, experience with children with special needs, educational level, years of teaching, and interests in the educational field?
  4. Contact the teacher and ask for a meeting. Be polite. Explain that you would like some information about special education inclusion in her/his school at the meeting (not over the phone). Give the teacher a chance to do some research if she/he does not have the answer at her/his fingertips.
  5. Go to the meeting with a cooperative attitude, specific requests, and a helping attitude. The purpose of the meeting is to help the child, not to blame any party of past behaviors. Most teachers are not on the opposite side of the fence. They are teachers because they care about children. Certainly not in it for the money!
  6. Have your thoughts written down and make a copy for each team member. Try to follow an agenda so that you can accomplish what you need. If you are not achieving your goal, ask the team to consider your issues and reconvene at a date in the near future.
  7. Thank them for their time. Be gracious. You will get a better attitude from teachers when they see that you are sincere in helping your student, not just coming to bash them for what you think is a job poorly done.
  8. Reconvene and listen with an open mind. If you are asked to compromise, where can you comply and where can you not comply? What is appropriate for your child?
  9. Express your sincere feelings about the importance of inclusion for your child. Include issues of social skills, behavior modeling, life experiences, teacher expertise, your dreams for your child and your helpfulness in any way.
  10. Follow through on your part and give encouragement and thanks for teachers who do their part. Be patient but persist with your follow through.
  11. Remember that while your child is the world to you, all the class members are the world to the teacher.


  • Attitude
  • Follow through
  • Listening
  • Cooperation
  • Realism
  • Preparation


  • Don't go to a meeting with a teacher assuming that your child is the only one in the class, that the teacher should spend significantly more time with your child than any other, and don't go in with an aggressive attitude.

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