Study Document

Role of Parents and Students in Special Education Systems Essay

Pages:6 (1774 words)



Topic:Special Education

Document Type:Essay


IDEA LAW IEP Special Education


Since the majority of parents of disabled students struggle with navigating special education systems, advocacy training provides a means of helping parents secure the right educational service for their disabled child. In this paper, parents' need for advocates for asserting special education rights as well as advocate training in the areas of special education advocacy and legislation will be addressed. Additionally, the impacts of advocacy training for disability-linked special education will be discussed.


Parental engagement in child education is a raging topic these last twenty-five years. Before the 80s, school-family partnerships were not the norm but an exception. But ever since, a growing research pool indicates that parental engagement positively influences both child learning and academic performance. The subject of parental engagement is accorded, even greater focus when it comes to special education. Before the 80s, several parents depended on professionals to receive emotional aid and training. But on account of recent federal law reforms like NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), parents are being regarded as equal partners, in children's education, with school faculty (Sapungan & Sapungan 42).

Parental engagement leads to positive academic outcomes for the disabled/special needs student population; this includes sustained treatment gains, improved generalization, increased parental satisfaction, better issue resolution approaches, and improved continuity in interventions. Several special needs children's parents don't wholly take part in the education planning process of their child. Prior research works indicate that though parents did attend the IEP (Individual Education Program) meetings of their child, they failed to wholeheartedly engage in planning goals, programs, and assessments (Dameh 31).

Under IDEA, an IEP has been considered the key mechanism to undertake decisions for special education pupils. It is mandatory by law that teachers include children as well as their parents in all IEP meetings, which must be conducted no less than once, annually, though it may be conducted more frequently should the teacher or parent so desire. By 16 years of age, meaningful services and objectives are compulsory for transitioning from the high school level to subsequent levels or life after high school (Rehm et al. 7).

How to Approach IEP issue in Classrooms

Classroom educators are, at times, made members of IEP design teams. At other times, they simply receive an IEP student in their class. Either way, a key point to bear in mind is that educators belong to the team that is in charge of plan implementation. Using collaboration, a well-timed, polished-up approach to the integration of specific evaluation and instructional strategies may be accomplished within everyday classroom practice. IEP students, akin to their son-IEP counterparts, can be found in all educational settings. Though there are numerous differences between pupils, including differences in learning, an educator must perceive his/her classroom students as belonging to a diverse population. In some instances, a few pupils will require particular accommodations, which will, besides IEPs, be put in place for several reasons (The University of Kansas para 3).

Educators consider IEP results and objectives while planning activities for their class and performing assessments. They also need to take into account the IEP when ascertaining how to obtain and assess students' academic progress. Evaluation aids in gauging whether or not teaching approaches adopted are proving effective, and in modifying or tweaking approaches if needed. A wholly-collaborative, thoroughly-researched IEP will aid disabled learners in developing their capabilities and succeeding academically while benefiting the overall classroom through modeling and cultivation of a more differentiated, rich, and holistic learning experience for every child (The University of Kansas para 4).

IEP requisites outlined by IDEA Part B stress the significance of the following key aspects: the engagement and success of all disabled children within the mainstream curriculum, including dealing with unique disability-related demands; child and parental participation with special and mainstream educational faculty in individual decision-making for supporting individual pupils' academic success, and preparation of disabled learners for post-school life, including employment. Parents form the main safeguard for all special needs children; consequently, the former are written into almost all special education system facets (Thatcher 4).

Confidence in and a grasp of special education procedures and legislation (cultural capital) doesn't form the sole factor impacting parental engagement. Social capital level, or the capacity of forging professional bonds for accomplishing positive academic outcomes, is also impacted by societal, economic, and racial/ethnic factors. Teachers solicit and apply parents' knowledge as parents alone best understand and know their children. Unfortunately, in several instances, parents lack confidence in procedural and legal knowledge for asserting their participation…

Sample Source(s) Used

Works Cited

Arnini, Sarah, "Parents as Partners: An Analysis of the Barriers to Parental Involvement in Special Education" (2007). Social Work Theses. 12.

Burke, Meghan M. "Improving parental involvement: Training special education advocates." Journal of Disability Policy Studies 23.4 (2013): 225-234. DOI: 10.1177/1044207311424910

Dameh, Bilal A., "The Impact of Parent Involvement Practices in Special Education Programs" (2015). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 11.

Hornby, Garry, and Rayleen Lafaele. "Barriers to parental involvement in education: An explanatory model." Educational review 63.1 (2011): 37-52.

Rehm, Roberta S et al. "Parental advocacy styles for special education students during the transition to adulthood." Qualitative health research vol. 23,10 (2013): 1377-87. DOI:10.1177/1049732313505915

Sapungan, Gina Madrigal, and Ronel Mondragon Sapungan. "Parental involvement in child's education: Importance, barriers, and benefits." Asian Journal of Management Sciences & Education 3.2 (2014): 23-43.

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network. "Questions and Answers about IDEA: Parent Participation." Center for Parent Information and Resources, 3 Jan. 2019,

Thatcher, Steven Brown, "Increasing Parental Involvement of Special Education Students: The Creation of Smartphone-Friendly, Web-Based Legal and Procedural Resources" (2012). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 147.

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