Your child may be identified as having special needs prior to entering school. Many children by age five have had an assessment done at BC’s Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre or may have been in an integrated preschool. Contact the school well in advance so that they may begin planning for your child.

A report from the pediatrician, GP, or hospital, that states your child’s diagnosis will be needed to procure funding for an educational assistant or the school’s resource room (if needed). If a medical and psychological assessment has not been done, there can be a six to eight month wait, so you should contact your GP one year before school entry. Parents must advocate for their child by phoning the GP, to start the referral process. This is not the responsibility of the school.

Sometimes special needs are not identified until a child has entered school and the teacher has had a chance to work with him or her. Teachers and specialist personnel at the school may conduct an assessment to better understand  your child’s strengths and needs. An assessment report may be written and would be shared with you (parent or guardian), teachers and the student, if older. Then, if appropriate, the school will develop an IEP for your child in consultation with you.

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