When you're the parent of a school-aged child who has special needs, you can frequently find yourself dealing with any number of difficult situations between the child and the school. One issue that you may have to deal with is your child being suspended or otherwise disciplined because of a reason that relates to his or her disability or health issue. It's a good idea to speak to a special education attorney. He or she can advise you about your legal options moving forward. Here are some reasons that your special-needs child could end up facing a suspension.
Not Following Directions
A minor instance of not following directions in the classroom can lead to your child facing minor discipline, but he or she could also end up looking at a suspension in the event of a serious incident of not following directions. Unfortunately, many children with special needs can struggle to follow directions, especially when they're agitated for any reason. For example, a child with autism might sit in the corner covering his or her ears and refuse the teacher's directions to get up and sit properly. If the teacher and the school administrators don't fully understand your child's disability, they may decide that a short suspension is in order.
Children who are loud can disrupt the classroom making it difficult for their peers to learn. Teachers are often impatient with children who are loud and disruptive and they may not be sensitive to your child's needs as they relate to his or her disability. For example, autistic children can often become agitated due to a variety of factors, and may respond by yelling. If this has happened several times, your child's school may feel that a suspension is an effective solution, but you and your special education attorney will likely disagree.
Not Cooperating In A Group
Group work is common at all levels of schooling given the importance of students learning how to work cooperatively with their peers. Some children with special needs struggle in a group setting and may act out. For example, if a child has been bullied, he or she may not want to cooperate with certain students. A child who has ADHD may be disruptive to the group because of an inability to focus. It's not fair for your child to get suspended for a reason that relates to his or her health issue, and a special education attorney will be a valuable advocate for your family.