Children with Disabilities or Diverse Abilities: Starting School

Starting school is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for children with disabilities or diverse abilities. There are some things that can help the transition to school for you and your child.

Contact the Inclusive Education Staff in the district where your child will attend school well in advance of the time your child will enter. This will give school staff time to work with you to plan for your child's educational program.

When you contact your school district, you will probably want to:

  • Share information about your child’s disability and specific learning needs
  • Ask about support options for your child
  • Be a link between school staff and the professionals who may have been working with your child

Once your child has started school, be sure to participate with school staff in developing an Individual Education Plan (IEP). An IEP identifies your child’s strengths, needs, goals, and what supports and services will be required to achieve those goals. While you are encouraged to consult with school staff on the IEP development, school staff are ultimately responsible for the decisions about provision of supports and services to students with or without an IEP.

What to Expect

Depending on the needs of your child, the school-based team (including teachers, assistants and school staff) work together to build a plan to support your child. The school principal is responsible to identify a case manager to coordinate this work and will be the best person for you to talk with about your child's needs.

In B.C., all students have equal access to learning, opportunities for achievement and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their education. Parents can make sure that their child maximizes the educational support available to them by working with the school district, and their child’s school-based team.