December 1, 2011

RE: Research on Children with Special Needs in your School District
Dear School District Officials:
I am a student at Collin College in Frisco, TX, and I am conducting research regarding children
with special needs. The research is being conducted by myself, as well as peers of mine, and it
extends to various school districts throughout the country. Your school district was chosen due to
the fact that one of the families interviewed has a child that attends a school within your district.
The purpose of my research is to discover whether or not your school district offers adequate
means to ensure that the children are having their needs met. Through the course of my research,
I interviewed parents of special needs children in an attempt to gain their perspective on the
issue. Based on my research, it has been discovered that your district is quite efficient in parentteacher communication. The parents have expressed appreciation about the flow of
communication between the school and the parents. However, there are issues that were brought
to light, that the parents were concerned impeded the development of their child with special
needs. The issues are as follows:
1. Parents are concerned about the education their child is receiving. The child (eleven years
old) has not learned how to read or write in school, yet the parents of the child have
noticed that she is learning how to write and read in Spanish at home. It is the reasoning
of the parents that if their child can learn to read and write in another language at home,
then she should be able to learn how to write and read in English at school.
2. This particular child has a physical disability, not a learning disability, and yet she is put
in a classroom with children that she cannot communicate with because the classroom
has children with every sort of disability. The classroom that she is in is restricting her
from forming any social skills. She cannot communicate with any of her peers, including
both, those with special needs (due to their disabilities) and those in regular classes,
because she does not have the opportunity to associate with them.
3. The teacher’s assistant leaves early in the day. The child is instructed to go to the
restroom before the assistant leaves whether it is needed or not. When the assistant
leaves, there is no one that can assist the child going to the restroom because the teacher
is left to handle the classroom on her own.

4. The parents feel as though their child is not receiving positive reinforcement from the
school. For example, each time a child in a standard class within the school district has an
accomplishment, they are rewarded with praise and recognition by the school newspaper
and other social media. This is not the case for special needs children, as they have never
been recognized for their achievements in a similar fashion.
5. ARD meetings are held once a year. Although these meetings are positive and important
to have, the fact that they are only held once a year presents an issue for the following
reason: If new practices are implemented, and do not end up working, parents must wait
an entire year to inform the officials that a particular practice needs to be improved or
These issues can be addressed and I offer various solutions to these problems. The curriculum for
special needs children should be up to pair with the child’s abilities. Not every special needs
child has the same capacity to learn, and the curriculum should be shaped around a child’s
specific needs. Also, it is important that children with special needs be taught to associate and
communicate with their peers as opposed to keeping them separated from the rest of the school.
Also, the teacher, as well as the rest of the school, should constantly encourage the child to
succeed. When the child has an accomplishment, it is important that they are recognized and
congratulated for their achievement. Finally, it is important that the ARD meetings, as well as
other related meetings, be held more than once a year. By having the meeting every quarter, for
instance, the district and parents can work together to ensure that the child is having their needs
met at all times.
I urge you to take this research into consideration when making decisions regarding special
needs children in your district, as I know that the well-being of these children is a top priority for
you as it is for the rest of the community. Thank you for your time and understanding.
Ruth Hernandez
Collin College ‘12