5 Basics About Appropriate Education for Kids with Special Needs

With school right around the corner Robbie Foundation finds it important to be reminded of what “Appropriate Education” means for all children.

What is “Appropriate”?

An appropriate education meets the unique educational needs of a student. Here are five basics about providing an appropriate education for students with special needs.

1. All Children Are Entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Free Appropriate Publication Education (FAPE) is a term used in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

FAPE provides all kids—regardless of whether or not they have a disability—the right to a free, appropriate education at public expense. This means that school districts must ensure that each student is assigned to an appropriate educational program after the student has been properly tested.

2. Students With Special Needs Should Be Educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

IDEA says that, as much as possible, children with disabilities should be integrated into the same general education classroom as peers without disabilities.

3. Mainstreaming is One Option

Mainstreaming means to selectively place students with mild disabilities into a regular classroom for a part of each school day.

4. Inclusion is Another Option

With inclusion, children with special needs spend most or all of their time in the general education classroom. Those who promote inclusion believe that children with special needs have a right to be exposed to the general education curriculum as much as students who don’t have disabilities.

5. An Alternative Placement Might Be the Most Appropriate Option

For some students, a more restrictive setting might be the best educational environment. Before a school puts a student in an alternative placement (such as an all-day special education class), the school should try to help the student succeed in a general classroom by supplying the student with learning aids and services.