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Children With Special Needs In Public Schools

Public schools are given the means to cater for special needs children, depending on the demand at a specific school.

It’s essential to provide full information with regards to any special needs of your child, when you first register them, so in March/April. If the child hasn’t been to nursery school in the same town, you will have to get a report from a pediatrician or psychologist to support the request when they are being registered at a Primary school. Same goes for the transfer from Primary to Secondary Education.

If in a rural area, schools might combine their requests for special needs teachers, thus resulting in them only being available part time at the school of your choice.

Some schools might have the full range of special needs teachers, including speech therapists, depending on the requirements of the existing student population, others might not, if your child is one of very few.

If you enter your child mid-term, the school will do what it can, but most probably with the staff already present.

At some schools, the parents’  association AMPA is active with regards to providing additional support or monitoring the support given by the school.

In short, it ‘pays’ to ask around and to be pro-active when you register your child, as the sooner the school gets information, the better chances of getting the additional support your child needs.

In some areas, there are centres for help and support of families with children with Autism, for example, where you could turn to for additional support.

In Málaga province there’s one. Info in this article.

You could also make enquiries at Social Services of your town about any practical support available.

One of our members wrote on the following on our facebook group.

“The teacher applies for extra support for the child. This is based upon classroom functioning, psychological reports and peadiatrician or other specialised child physician.
You need what they call an “informe” from their Dr – the one who sees them for their specific issue. It’s an outline of their diagnosed condition, treatment and how it affects them.
We were advised to see a psychologist and have them liase with the school for us. We needed to do this privately. But choose the right one – they know the system and schools will listen to them.
We were advised to apply for dependencia for her too, because it gives a grading of disability which is recognised by school and state so can help unlock more support.
So far this is as far as we have got. But we are working to get her the support she needs within the school system.
So far, most advantageous has been the psychologist. The school may have a recommendation of someone they have worked with, we were advised to get one who the school knew as it can sometimes be a stumbling block and they won’t engage with them.
We have been lucky that our child’s teacher is incredibly supportive.”

Last but not least, the quality of the support offered is highly dependent on the individual teacher, as it is with the teachers of regular subjects at all schools.

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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