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Kindergarten Learning Disabilities: How to Get Your Child Evaluated (page 2)

Kindergarten Learning Disabilities: How to Get Your Child Evaluated

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Updated on Feb 27, 2009

When a child is suspected of having a learning disability, the general approach is to start with a "SST", or Student Study Team meeting. This group consists of your child’s teacher, administrator, the school physiologist, and a special education teacher. This meeting is used to go over the child’s strengths and weakness in school and begin a plan of action. The SST can be a very useful tool in helping to determine what will work best for your child. Unfortunately, it can also be a hindrance to getting your child the services they need quickly. Feldman says you don’t have to wait. If you feel that your child needs an evaluation and special services write a simple letter to the school stating your request for an evaluation. The school district then has 15 days to respond to your letter. Once you write the letter the federal deadlines for action kick in, so this will get the district to speed up the process.

What You Can Do

Both Feldman and Marquardt agree that parents need to be informed advocates for their child. So how exactly do you advocate for your child? Here are some useful tips and direct action you can take to be better prepared in helping your child.

  • Trust your own judgment and don’t get caught up with professional jargon. You know how your child struggles, so trust your convictions.
  • Keep a note book and document everything, especially when meetings and conversations occur, to keep a record of all interaction with the school district.
  • Get support. Take someone with you so that you don’t go to meetings by yourself. District personnel can seem intimidating.
  • Don’t make enemies. Always maintain a reasonable demeanor and listen to what the district is telling you carefully and respectfully.
  • Know who the decision maker is in the meeting.
  • Take documents home. You don’t need to sign them at the meeting, so get someone to review it, make a copy, and read it!
  • Do your research. Know your rights, understand the laws, ask the school district for their special education policy, and join a parent groups for support.

Keep in mind that this is a lifelong journey for you and your child, but armed with support and good information your child can receive the education that best suits her needs from the very beginning.

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