Do you have a child who is struggling in school? Maybe they pass all their test but don’t turn in homework or get failing grades on the work they turn in. As a parent of four children with learning difficulties as well as working with people with non-apparent disabilities for the last six years I have come to realize the difficulties parents have when their student starts to struggle in school. This article will provide knowledge and resources I wish I would have had when my own children started declining academically.
Put everything in writing- When you suspect there is a problem; submit your request for evaluation in writing to the teacher, counselor, and principle. Include specific concerns, samples of work, and assessment records if possible. If it’s not in writing they are not obligated to respond to your request within a specific period of time.
Keep specific records – Having documentation regarding remarks from teachers, progress reports, evaluations, and struggles expressed by your child readily available will be of tremendous benefit if you ever need to submit your concerns to the school.
Know your resources – There are a large amount of resources available to parents who have concerns that their child might have a learning disability. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (ncld.org) has many articles that further explain the process of having your child evaluated. They also provide some great tools like a Checklist of Signs and Symptoms and Types of Records a Parent Should Keep to help make the process smoother for parents. Additionally, the Learning Disabilities Association of America (ldaamerica.org) also provides articles and information beneficial to parents.
Remember you are the best advocate for your child. Often the process of getting the help your child needs is long and tiring but worth it in the end. Children learn differently and process information at different rates. When our kids struggle in school it can show in behavior, depression, and lack of self- confidence. By advocating for them and teaching them how to advocate for themselves in the future we are preparing them to be able to show their true potential and live a fulfilling life.