As if there wasn’t enough to consider when making a school placement decision, unwelcome COVID certainly created further complications!
Nevertheless, at the end of summer break families used the information they had at the time to make placement decisions for their children who are blind or visually impaired and now the school year is upon us. If every passing day is giving you cause to reconsider your decision—this blog is for you.
Despite helping your child manage classwork and homework, perhaps you’re realizing something’s not conducive to a successful academic year. Or maybe the school has transitioned to a virtual platform and it isn’t working for your child.
What needs to change?
Given a bumpy start we may be tempted to jump to the conclusion that we didn’t make the right school placement decision. Before doing so, consider the following:
- More time may be needed. Remember the transition from summer to school takes time, and maybe this year the transition will be extended due to increased stress, face masks, social distancing, illness, family job loss, virtual learning, and the like.
- IEP goals may need to be adjusted. There could be regression in skills (totally normal) or a shift in Expanded Core Curriculum priorities from the previous year. That’s okay.
- Additional resources may need to be considered. Stress and/or anxiety may need to be addressed with a counselor, or additional assistive technology may be necessary for remote learning.
If you’ve addressed the above possibilities and are still finding the school year is wrought with stress, lack of accessibility, illness, or simply isn’t an environment favorable to your child’s educational priorities, it may be worth considering a change of school placement.
Perhaps the least restrictive academic environment is different this season. Reconsider the following school choice options:
- Residential/ State School for the Blind
- Resource Room
- Neighborhood School with an Itinerant Teacher for Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
- Mandatory or Optional Distance Learning (due to the COVID season)
- Homeschooling with the support of organizations helping blind children and their families
It’s never too late to reassess your child’s educational placement and advocate for their unique needs.