1. Special needs parents want teachers to help our children reach their potential
Even though our children have special needs, we want them to achieve as much as possible in school.  We appreciate that this may mean extra work for teachers if they have to adapt or differentiate their instructions. Don‘t dismiss our children’s abilities because of their disabilities.
2. Learn about our children and their special needs
Every child is different, including those with special needs. Take time to read about our children’s conditions. Ask us for information, and if we give you reading material about our children and their special needs, please read it. Even though you taught other children with special needs before, you do not know how our children's special needs affect them.
3. Accept that your teaching style may have to change
You may need to adapt your regular teaching style to help our children learn.  Many children with special needs are visual learners, and you might need to increase your use of visual aids. 
Children with special needs often have difficulties with handwriting. Help these children by providing outlines of your lessons. This method helps students to get important information written down and keep their notes organised.
4. Be mindful of our children’s sensory sensitivities
If you raise your voice a lot or shout in the classroom, this noise is extremely upsetting to children with sensory issues. You need to get children’s attention another way.
Children with sensory issues are sensitive to smells, lights and noises. Sometimes, sensory issues cause meltdowns. In addition, they make it difficult for children to pay attention in class.
5. Keep special needs parents informed
We do not need to hear from you every day, but if anything significant happens in school, let us know. We will work with you to resolve any issues or problems.
Tell us about any non-academic issues you observe. For example, if a child stops eating lunch for several days, let the parents know so they can investigate the reason. Do not wait until a parent/teacher meeting to tell us your concerns.
6. Make it easy for us to communicate with you
We need an easy way to communicate with you whether in writing, by phone or email. We can tell you if something happened that will affect our children’s schoolwork or behaviour.
7. Accept that special needs parents are experts on their children
Since our children’s diagnoses, we read extensively about their disorders. We network with other parents and keep up to date on any developments. We spend the most time with our children and see them in all kinds of situations. We are the experts on our children. If we give you advice about our children, take it.
8. Recognise that you need to be flexible about our children’s homework
School is hard work for children with special needs, as they struggle to behave and act 'normal' all day. This takes a lot of concentration and is very tiring. Our children are exhausted when they get home from school. It is difficult to get them to do some or all of their homework. In addition, we often have physical or occupational therapy to do with our children in the evenings. Recognise that our children probably will not get all their homework done.
9. Tell us about homework and school announcements
Organisation is a big problem for children with special needs. They forget to bring home what they need for homework or even forget what their homework is. The same applies to class and school announcements. Find a way to get this information to us directly.
10. Ask us for help
If you are unsure about an issue relating to our children, ask us.  Special needs parents want to work with teachers and will help you in any way we can.
Special Education Advocate



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