When you think of your child’s Individualized Education Plan, commonly called an IEP, you most likely think of the academic goals listed on it. While school is certainly the ideal place to be working on academic knowledge and skills, your children should be learning much more there. They need to learn how to get along with others, take tests, talk to teachers, and manage their emotions. These adjunct needs are particularly important for special education students who often struggle with the academic portion of school if ancillary goals are not met first.
The good news is that your child’s IEP can and should contain emotional goals. If the current year’s plan has no emotional goals on it, you should definitely request an IEP meeting with the school district. If you are having trouble finding these goals on your child’s IEP, try looking for them under the social/emotional section of the document.
These and other emotional and social needs can be addressed in several ways. Your child may benefit from certain accommodations that allow him to remain in the general classroom with peers. Others require direct instruction from adjunct professionals who can help them move past certain concerns.
Some of the types of professionals who you may see listed on your child’s IEP include psychiatrists, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists. These professionals work one-on-one with your child weekly or perhaps several times per week. They can help your child learn to talk to and interact with others. They can also teach special needs children certain conflict resolution solutions that will help them respond positively even during negative times.