How to Choose the Best School for a Child with Special Educational Needs

If you have a child with special educational needs, you may have doubts when it comes to the best school. We'll tell you everything you need to take into account.
How to Choose the Best School for a Child with Special Educational Needs

Last update: 23 September, 2021

Choosing the best school for a child with special educational needs (SEN) is a complex task. We know that this is a very important decision and that you can’t take it lightly. For this reason, we’re going to offer you a series of tips to help you choose wisely. Don’t miss them!

The best school for your child with special educational needs

First of all, you must bear in mind that the school you choose will mark the development and learning of your child for their entire life, both socially and intellectually.

Regardless of whether you opt for a special education institution or a regular one, you must make sure that it’s inclusive. In this way, you help your child to function in a more pleasant environment, to grow happier and more securely, and to better develop their full potential.

A teacher helping a young girl read braille.

In addition to this aspect, there are other issues to consider when it comes to choosing the best school for your child and we’ll explain them below:

Think about your child’s needs

In order to choose the best school for your child, you need that you take into account their real needs. What are the supports or aids that they need in order to learn? Each child is different and you know yours better than anyone else does.

On the other hand, nobody benefits by masking the truth. So, if your child has a physical disability, don’t choose a school with architectural barriers, just because they’ve spoken well of their educational methodology.

In the same way, if your child has serious behavior problems, don’t choose a school where discipline is the fundamental pillar.

It’s always better to choose an appropriate educational center for each personality type. Everything adds up and everything counts.

Put aside prejudices

It’s no use holding up your prejudices towards special education schools. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, they’re the best option for a child with SEN, especially when previous experiences in ordinary institutions have failed.

In general, all the professionals who work in these institutions are specialized in special education and know very well how to take care of your child.

Visit all the schools that interest you

It’s not enough for you to base your decision regarding the best school solely on the opinion of others or the critiques that you’ve read on the internet. If you really want to know how a school works, you have to go to see it for yourself.

Many institutions offer the possibility of attending an open house, but it’s important that you also go on a random day. This way, you can see how they work in the institution in a real context.

If possible, ask for an interview with the authorities to resolve all your doubts, even those that sound ridiculous to you. No question’s a bad question.

Make sure it’s close to your home

A fundamental aspect is that the school not be too far from home. That way, you can bring and pick up your child without wasting too much time.

In addition, if your other children attend the same school or another close to it, they can go and come back alone. This makes it much more comfortable for everyone and allows you to better organize your day-to-day.

A child in a wheelchair going into school.

Evaluate the school’s educational project

Knowing the educational project of the institution is one of the most important things when it comes to choosing the best school. This includes the following:

  • The work methodology in the institution
  • Their pedagogy
  • The values they uphold and instill
  • The type of didactics that’s applied in the classrooms
  • How diversity is dealt with (if you have support staff or specialists)
  • If the focus is on the needs or abilities of the student

In addition to the above, it’s also very important that the institution maintains an open dialogue with the families.

Now you can choose the best school!

With these tips in mind, you can now choose the best school for your child with special educational needs in a more conscious and simple way.

Think carefully about all the variables before making the decision and don’t get carried away by the opinions of other people, even if they don’t align with yours.

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  • Bautista, R. (2009) Necesidades Educativas Especiales. Editorial: EIA
  • Fernández Batanero, José María. (2008). Educación especial: Una aproximación a la investigación en el contexto español. Revista mexicana de investigación educativa, 13(38), 945-968. Recuperado en 26 de agosto de 2021, de http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1405-66662008000300012