Special Education questions a parent should ask if you suspect your child may have special needs or special education

Is the child making acceptable grades or progressing in school? 

What explanation does the child have for poor performance? 

What explanation does the teacher have for poor performance? 

Is poor performance limited to certain areas or subjects, such as difficulty with reading, math or any other subject? 

What does the child state is the reason they believe they are not doing well in those certain subjects? 

Does the child seem to have difficulty stating verbally what he has learned? 

Does the child seem to have difficulty expressing what he has learned in writing? 

Does the child seem to have difficulty recalling what he has heard verbally or in writing? 

Does the child seem to have difficulty in memory of other matters? 

Does the child become easily frustrated?  If so, how is that frustration manifested and what about? 

How is that frustration expressed? 

Does the child require frequent breaks?  If so, what subjects or areas are involved when the child requires frequent breaks? 

Does the child become frustrated easily only as to subjects or areas of study?  For example, can he play video games for hours but cannot read for more than a few minutes? 

Does the child have any mannerisms that interfere with concentration or learning such as the inability to sit still, maintain focus on schoolwork or see a task to completion? 

Does the child have any difficulty with physical coordination such as running, throwing a ball, catching a ball? 

Does the child have difficulty with fine motor skills such as using eating utensils, tying his shoes, using video game controllers? 

Is the child frequently angry?  What activities are being performed that elicit anger?  What is his behavior? 

Does the child frequently lose emotional control?

Does the child have difficulty expressing himself?  Does the child not talk or talk too much?  Does the child speak in a more immature manner than other children the same age? 

Does the child cry easily or excessively? 

Has the child experienced any serious injuries or illnesses recently?  Did the child’s behavior change after that injury or illness?  Has the child been treated for that injury or illness?  If so, has the treating physician indicated that the change in behavior may be related?  What medications were prescribed for the child?  What are the side effects of those medications? 

All of these are questions which you may want to ask yourself if you suspect that your child may have a disability which is interfering with his ability to learn.  If you answer yes to some of these questions it does not mean that your child has a disability or is in need of special education services however it should prompt you to explore more deeply how you can assist your child to achieve the best result from public education.