Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

By L. Anne Babb; Rita Laws | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 9 Working with Educators and Schools

Better build schoolrooms for the boy, than cells and gibbets for the man.

-- Eliza Cook

Dealing with schools and school systems can be one of the most rewarding or frustrating experiences parents encounter, depending on how well equipped the school system is to deal with kids who have special needs. Like much of the population, school administrators and teachers generally know little about adoption issues, and even less about special needs adoption. Teachers are usually not given preparation during teacher training to deal with the unique needs of foster and adopted students.

Adoptive parents often must educate the educators about special needs adoption, while at the same time advocating for their children within a system that is often unresponsive to the needs of adoptees. The good news is that it can be done. Most people who work in education genuinely love children. Once educators understand that a child's needs are not being adequately met, they are usually anxious to improve the situation. Many adoptive parents find that advocating for their special needs children in the schools becomes easier and easier each year.


ADVOCATING IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Advocacy for the newly adopted school-age child begins with enrollment. When to enroll the child is up to the parents, who should decide based on the child's needs. If the child is anxious to enroll, great. If the child wants bonding

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