This post is contributed.
Did you know that 1 in 16 public school children in America struggle with learning disabilities? Disability comes in all shapes and sizes, and while some people have obvious disabilities from birth, and others acquire them through accident or injury, it’s not as obvious that a learning disability is present until a child can walk and talk.
If you ever have your gut tell you that your child has a learning disability, there’s no need to despair! There are plenty of things that you can do for your child and your family to make life run as smoothly as possible for all. Below, you’ll find all the information that you need if you suspect that your child has a disability and needs that extra help.
Get Your Facts Straight
Organizing as much information as you can about your child is going to help you to monitor their progress and learn about what’s different in their life. Meet with their school teachers and their pediatric doctor to understand the support and the steps that you can take together to make necessary adjustments for their educational progress. When you’re at home and reading or crafting together, watch the way that they do things and their ability to concentrate, and keep a record of any struggles or learning issues that they may be having. Whenever you notice anything that needs discussion, keep it recorded. All of this is going to be valuable in planning for your child.
Think About Testing
You can speak to the school about their comprehensive educational evaluation and whether they feel it’s important for your child. It includes interviews, observation and a record of your child’s educational and medical history. Your doctor can provide information to support any of your concerns and your school can request the testing. Measuring your child’s educational strengths and weaknesses can better help you to pinpoint where your child needs support.
If you get results back that shows that your gut instinct was right and your child does have a learning disability, you will need to work as a team with your child’s school to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This document can summarize your child’s educational performance. You are a big part of their education so don’t be afraid to speak up about anything you think is right or wrong with the plan. Regardless of whether this plan is something that your child qualifies for, you need to work closely with your doctor and your school. Their education shouldn’t suffer because they need a little more time with their work.
Changes in the classroom and at home can be made to adapt to your child’s learning disability. If you talk to your child’s teachers about the changes, the learning is consistent between home and school.
The most important thing is to reassure your child that having a learning disability just means that their mind ticks a different way. Different doesn’t mean bad: and your child should know that right away.