FAQs from Parents
1. As a parent of a child without a disability, will including students with disabilities have a negative impact on my child’s education?
It seems like having children with disabilities in the class may take the teacher’s attention away from your child and his or her education may suffer as a result. This has not been found to be the case. Research has consistently demonstrated that the academic performance of students without disabilities is not compromised by the presence of students with disabilities in their classrooms. In other words, effective instructional practices benefit all learners. In addition, students without disabilities often gain a greater appreciation for diversity and benefit from real world learning experiences that they may not have had in a more traditional classroom setting. Additional information about this topic can be found on the National Institute for Urban School Improvement’s website at: http://www.urbanschools.org/pdf/OP_Kids.pdf?v_document_name=On%20Inclusion.
2. What are the various ways (models of support) that schools can provide inclusive supports for my child?
Schools support students with disabilities in different ways, according to their individual needs. Teachers can support students with diverse learning needs through a variety of effective instructional approaches including, but not limited to, differentiating instruction, providing accommodations and/or modifications, and collaborative teaching. Determinations about how to support your child are made by the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team.
3. What do I do when my child’s school won’t agree to provide my child with more opportunities to be included?
Please contact the Florida Inclusion Network facilitator in your area and ask the Facilitator to send you copies of the Family F.A.C.T. Folios. These publications offer some great ideas for working collaboratively with your school. The advocacy tips mentioned in Family F.A.C.T. Folio Volume 2 are:
- Know your child well and find ways to share what you know.
- Know your child’s rights and what the law requires.
- Know school staff and their responsibilities for your child.
- Know how to communicate effectively and work positively with all school staff.
- Believe that your voice and your child are important!
Click here to view all of the Family F.A.C.T. Folios.
4. What can FIN do for me?
For information about the services FIN provides to parents, please visit the FIN Services section of our website.
5. What is the rationale for including students with disabilities in general education classrooms?
For students with disabilities, inclusion can improve social and communication skills; provide greater access to the general education curriculum and, thus, increase academic achievement; provide a stronger connection to the school community through participation in school activities; and foster the development of relationships with peers without disabilities.
6. What kind of help can you provide my child’s teachers so that they are better able to support my child?
We provide a variety oflearning opportunities for teachers including workshops, on-line training, professional learning communities or study groups, and even one-on-one technical assistance. Please encourage your child’s teacher(s) to contact us directly to discuss these opportunities.
7. Can FIN come to facilitate or speak to a parent group?
Yes, we love the chance to speak with families! We can either prepare a program on a specific topic or just come to chat. (For some possible topics, please visit the Services Provided to Families page on our website.) We encourage you to make your request well in advance as our calendars fill up quickly.
To find contact information for your FIN Facilitator, click on the link to “Meet the FINs” from the navigational menu at the top of any page on the FIN website and either select your FIN office from the drop-down list or click on Find your FIN and use the drop-down menu to select your school district.