Top 10 Things Parents of Children with Special Needs Want Teachers to Know

#10 Please know some of our children’s strengths and take some time to focus on the positives.

#9 Our children are capable of learning – each with their own capacity – but they need extra assistance. They are not lazy, or unwilling to try.

#8 We understand that you have many responsibilities and that you may not know about our child’s specific mental illness but, please take the time to learn about it. It can make all the difference for my child. You can even ask us for help – we usually know a lot about their condition.

#7 When struggling with mental illness, our children’s status changes often and quickly. Open communication is the best way for us to stay on top of this. Please talk to us often – don’t wait for a scheduled meeting to keep us informed.

#6 Our children deserve the opportunity to rise to your expectations. Don’t feel sorry for them – keep your goals for them high. They just might reach them!

#5 As parents, we are the only permanent members of our children’s TEAMS. You are the experts in your field, but we are the experts on our children. We need to work together as equals.

#4 It is normal and expected that our children behave differently at home than at school. Their behavior is real in both places and the fault of their mental illness – not the family.

#3 It is impossible for us to be impartial and unemotional about issues involving our children. They are your job, but they are our lives.

#2 Mental illness is just that: an illness. Its signs and symptoms are not caused by bad parenting or poor parenting skills.

#1 As parents of children with emotional and behavioral difficulties, we already feel judged and live with a constant sense of failure. Please do your utmost to show your support by judging us less and helping us more.