My son's teacher says he has a learning disability. What can I do as a parent? He's enrolled in a parent choice school that's supposed to be the best.
My son is in Kinder, he is 5 years old born May 6. This is his first yr in school, he has no preschool experiance. I'm having trouble with his teacher, I have him enrolled in a charter school that has a 2-3 yr waiting list. When school started i had emailed the teacher about 3 weeks into school and asked her his progress I noticed he was writing his name upside down sometimes, he is my first born so I was unsure if this was normal, she told me it wasn't, she suggested I keep him home another yr and put him in preschool, I told her I wanted him to have a chance 3 wks was too quick to start making changesThen a couple of weeks went by and I asked how he was doing, and she started asking me questions about our family history, I told her my husband was colored blind so then she insisted that my son was also colored blind, I took him to the doctor and the Doctor said that he wasn't did a color test and he knew his colors (teacher had said he knew none)? so I told the teacher what the doctor said, and then I had her ask my son his colors and he knew them, she then insisted that she hadn't done that test on him that her assistant had conducted the test so that was that. Then weeks go by again and I email her to see his progress and now she tells me he has some kind of learning disability, I ask for a conferance with the principal, she directs me to the ed specialist. My son was enrolled late all other kids did a pre-kinder program the year before, I feel like she is picking on him.
Don't panic. I know it's sometimes tough being a parent and finding the right resources for one's child, especially since children develop at their own rates. Since this is your son's first school experience, he may need more time to observe and mimic the other children.
One thing to consider, however, is that boys often don't blossom as quickly as girls of the same age. And, having a May birthday is a late date, which probably makes your son one of the younger students in his class. Plus, the pre-kinder program probably helped the other students to learn a lot of the readiness skills for the Kinder program. In my opinion, Kinder programs today are more like first grade programs were about twenty years ago. A lot of things have changed. But, what you want to do now is to gain a lot of information about your son.
Consider visiting a pre-kinder program to see what goes on there and if your son would fit better there. Also don't be afraid to talk with the ed specialist; this person has a lot of informal assessment tools that could yield some real insight into your child's strengths and his readiness for kindergarten. Consider, too, calling your school district and asking to speak to the person who is in charge of "Child Find." This is a special program which regularly assesses preschool-age children to determine their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their rediness for school; depending on the size of your district, this could be the ed specialist. I've attached a web site, which details "Child Find" programs in general, but each state implements the program a bit differently from another.
Since your son hasn't had any child care or pre-kinder experience, it's time to seek out some resources that can help you to find the best alternative(s) for your son.
Kindergarten can be a tough year for students and parents alike. As parents we want to make sure that our children are getting the best possible education and we tend to worry a lot. The students have to make the hard adjustment between home and school and this can be difficult as well. It sounds as though you are worried that your child is being pegged as a certain type of student and is subsequently being tracked in a certain direction. If you are not sure about the school's recommendation regarding your child's learning style, you can go outside of the school and talk to an educational/child psychologist who specializes in diagnosing learning disabilities. Going this route might help you see if the school's assessments are accurate.
Federal Law... IDEA... Individuals Disability Education Act. The teacher is not the person who is able to tell you that your child is Learning Disabled. Every state has a process. You are entitled to have a child study team evaluate your son. If your charter school does not provide that you can go back to your district to have him evaluated. Writing your name upside down does not indicate you have a learning disability at the age of five. It is a developmental milestone that he may be slow achieving. I would demand a meeting with your principal. You also can find in your community a lawyer who knows the laws of special education or a parent advocate. Even if your son is learning disabled there are ways a teacher can present information so your son can understand the material. Your son has rights. It is good that you are advocating for him.
I have worked with many parents through the years that have encountered situations similar to yours in schools. I want to encourage you to become proactive in your son's educational experience. It is very important that your son receive professional assessments when discussing the possibility of a learning disability. As a parent, you have a right to request a free assessment for possible learning disabilities from your local school district. My first suggestion is that you put a request for an educational assessment for your son IN WRITING and send it to your local school district office. This will start the ball rolling. The district has a legal responsibility to respond to your request. Even if your son is enrolled in a charter school, you still have the right to have him tested through the school district FREE OF CHARGE. After you go through the assessment process you will have credible information to work with regarding your son's academic issues.