What Can I Do If I Suspect My Child Has a Learning Disability?
With early recognition and targeted intervention, children with learning disabilities can be helped so that they can achieve as well as other youngsters do. If you suspect that your child has a learning disability, don’t despair. The following steps recommend some of the important things that parents can do to help. After finishing this article and reading the other sections of this web site, you will be on the way to helping your child, and educating yourself in the process.
Collect information about your child’s performance
Gathering and organizing information about your child’s academic and social development will help you to effectively monitor progress over time. Meet with your child’s teachers and other school personnel and develop a keen awareness of your child’s ability to study, do homework and finish the tasks that are assigned by teachers as well as those that are part of routines at home. In addition to keeping your own informal notes, be sure to maintain a file of all school-generated materials, including any standardized test results, report cards, progress reports and any descriptive summaries or notes from teachers. Also keep a record of your impressions at different points in your child’s school career as well as what kinds of discussions you have had with school personnel and other professionals. (Hint: making sure to date this information can be very valuable in planning for your child.)
Talk with your child's teacher
Share your concerns with your child's teacher and ask about her observations of your child's performance, interactions with his peers, etc. Together you may come up with strategies to try in the classroom and at home to support your child's learning and behavioral needs. Honest and open communication, together with some creative thinking and flexibility in planning, can go a long way toward discovering how best to address your child’s unique needs. Working hand in hand with you, your child's teacher can help you identify available school resources and, if needed, provide much-valued information should you choose to have your child undergo a comprehensive educational evaluation.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. © 1999-2009 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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