Trust the experts.

Teachers and faculty just want to see your child get the education they need and deserve. Trust the data the experts present you with. They’re not making it up.

“As much as a parent might know their child at home, in the classroom we see a different child. Trust our expertise,” Abbasi says. “We wouldn’t bring families to the table without a valid reason.”


Don’t be in denial.

Time is of the essence; don’t waste another minute denying the evidence. The earlier on children get the help they need, the better. Acceptance is extremely important. “The time you spend being in denial, that’s time your child is losing out on,” Abbasi says.


Educate yourself.

Learn what an Individual Education Program (IEP) is. Read up on the specific disability your child has, and that will help you get a firmer grasp on the situation and not feel so lost. To be forewarned is forearmed.


Know your rights.

As a parent of a special education student, you have rights and so does your child. You have the right to choose alternative therapies for your child, the right to disagree with your child’s teachers or therapists, and even the right to due process. Learn all of your rights at your state’s department of education.


Never be scared to ask questions.

The special education process can be an intimidating. It can also be confusing for a parent with almost zero knowledge of it. Ask experts, your child’s teachers and principal, a lawyer, and other parents of children in an IEP for advice and answers.


Find support.

“Many Muslim communities don’t like to discuss their problems to strangers, but support groups let you meet people who are going through the same thing as you and understand you,” Mirza says.

Support groups allow you to talk to other parents who are in similar situations, which takes a lot of stress and pressure off parents and makes for a healthier environment for both parents and children. You can also learn from each other.


Don’t worry about “the public.”

Many parents fear their family, friends and neighbors will “find out” their child needs help. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of, parents should know that special education programs are extremely confidential; this information is not exposed to the community. It’s not even on the student’s diploma.


Recognize the benefits of a special education for your child.

Oftentimes, parents think that being in a special education program will negatively impact their child’s future. But what it really means is they are getting the assistance needed to ensure the best future for themselves. The student will have the tools, the additional support, time and resources they need to guarantee success in school and in the future.


Republished with permission by Islamic Horizon 

Photo Credit:  Michelle Meiklejohn at 




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