SWOT Analysis for the Special Education School Year - An Effective Tool for ParentsJoin me for a FREE Facebook Live!
SWOT Analysis Q&A
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 9 am PST
Join my Special Ed Mom Facebook Group to participate!

It’s FINALLY the end of school year. Was it worth it?

In the early years, my family couldn’t wait for the relief that a summer vacation brought.  Sure we had to plan things carefully and and be the overseer for challenging behavior, but at least our son was with us and we didn’t have to worry about him at school. During the school year, we tended to be anxious as we waited for “unexpected” calls from school or those dreaded IEP meetings.

If that resembles your life, the end of the school year can also be a great time to reflect.  The most helpful way is to do that in a purposeful way. I am proposing that you use a business process to help you determine what did and did not work during the school year. This process is called SWOT Analysis.

  • S = Strengths
  • W = Weaknesses
  • O = Opportunities
  • T = Threats

Businesses use a SWOT Analysis to go back and review events, procedures or even to overhaul a department. It can be a really effective way to get a global picture about what is happening. You can use a SWOT Analysis to determine how the school year went.



Start with Strengths, because it’s always good to reflect on the positive. The PDF download has several questions to help you find all the ways your child flourishes. Strengths are not always obvious, and often they can be used to help improve weaknesses.


For many parents, this seems like the easiest list to make.  Simply because he has an IEP or 504 plan, you know there is room for improvement. Much as with strengths, list the major deficiencies, how these have changed, what therapies were in use to correct these. Don’t linger here.  Move on to the next step without thinking “if only” or “maybe I should have”.


This is often the hardest part, especially the first time you think about it. However, if you take some time to look at any progress made this year, you will have some ideas about what worked and what didn’t. Perhaps there was a service or therapy you considered previously but never pursued. Perhaps there is a change of teachers, principal or other school personnel. With opportunities you are looking for new or better ways for support, therapies or ways for your child to improve.


By the way, I hate this terminology.  I like to think of it as challenges and there are more than usual for our children. Anything that adds stress to you or your child’s life needs to be considered. This could include life events outside of school like moving, death of a loved one or home challenges.


The SWOT Analysis can help with planning

Download the PDF for worksheets to help you complete the SWOT Analysis. This exercise is more than just counting your blessings. If you systematically look at things, it may allow you to see new opportunities as well as realize that your child is likely making some progress.


Join me for a FREE Facebook Live!
Use Your SWOT Analysis to Plan the Next School Year
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 9 am PST
Join my Facebook group (Special Ed Mom Facebook Group) to participate!


Bonnie Landau
Bonnie Landau
Bonnie Landau is a licensed professional clinical counselor and educational consultant in Ventura County, California. Her goal is to help parents of neurodivergent individuals find strategies and solutions to help their children succeed in school and in life. Bonnie is also the author of Special Ed Mom Survival Guide: How to Prevail in the Special Education Process and Find Life-long Strategies for You and Your Child.