Create a Master Plan
Every special needs child is unique, and every child's diagnosis is equally complex and unique. The formal diagnosis of autism, for example, is Autism Spectrum Disorder. That's a fancy way of saying there are many and varied levels of severity within the autism spectrum. The same holds true for virtually all learning and behavioral disorders, their severity fllows a continuum. As a special needs parent, with the help of your team, you are going to have to develop a Master Plan that will take your child through the special education maze and on towards adulthood.
What are your long-term dreams and visions? What is possible? What is realistic? Also, think through a Master Plan for your son or daughter with respect to all areas of their development, not just academics. What extracurricular activities are they interested in and capable of joining? Will sports be part of the equation, or is it music, drama, or something else? What about social and behavioral skills? Many special needs children have huge issues with understanding social boundaries and picking up social cues, so improvements in these areas could be part of the Master Plan.
Update the Master Plan Based on Progress
Being the parent of a child with learning disabilities or other special needs requires a constant evaluation of progress made. You will be continually updating and revising the Master Plan based upon progress observed and new information learned. Special education is not “one size fits all” and progress will need to be constantly monitored and plans recalibrated.