A Visual Guide to the Special Education Process
When a child is failing academically, even though the proper interventions have been enacted, this can be a sign that something is wrong. The next step is to suggest that the child be tested to see if they qualify for special education. You are assessing whether or not the child has learning, behavioral, or physical disabilities or deficits that are causing their academic underachievement. For a student to best tested, you will need permission from their parents or guardians. If the child is tested and qualifies for special education, then the special education continuum proceeds until the end of the process.
When I discuss the topic, I speak from the heart. This is because I was a special education teacher for three years, working with students who had mild to moderate disabilities. The one misconception that I layman and educators hold about special education is that it is a service that students will need for the rest of their K-12 careers. While this may be true in some cases, it is not in them all.
The purpose of special education is to help students who are functioning below grade to perform at grade level eventually. Once this happens, they can be transitioned out of special education, and participate entirely in the regular education program. As a caveat, we all know that for some students, this may not be possible. This includes students with severe intellectual disabilities, behavioral disabilities, physical disabilities, or traumatic brain injuries. Because of the severity of their conditions, special education would be a long-term placement for them
To further explain the special education process, I am sharing the graphic below. I hope it helps.