So much emphasis is often placed on special education students to succeed academically in school. This is certainly important because good grades are a huge part of getting into college and succeeding in life as an adult. However, this emphasis can put much undue stress upon the student. In addition, consistently passing grades do not show the whole picture of the child’s progress in school. Emotional progress and social progress are also vital to present and future success.
A couple of years ago, the national Department of Education made a note to school districts that they needed to be sure to be providing appropriate services to those with emotional disabilities. Many of these children do quite well in their school work, showing great academic progress with great grades. However, they struggle with common emotional concerns, which often translate into social problems, such as difficulty making friends, controlling the temper and feeling isolated from others.
Keep in mind that each of these three pieces – academic, emotional and social success – are vital to a well-rounded individual heading from school into adult life. It is important for you to continue to note failing grades as they may show that your child is not receiving the special education services that he or she needs for complete success. However, know that the IEP and the special services should also focus on emotional and social success to create a well-rounded student and person.