Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Learning Disability? 3 Resources That Could Help Your Child At School

Helping a child with a learning disability can be a significant challenge for many parents. If your child has or may have a learning disability, it is important to stay on top of their educational plan and help them achieve success. Having the right resources and knowledge is critical.

Understand the IEP Process and Get an Advocate

An IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, is the most common tool used to help manage students with disabilities. The IEP creates a guideline for teachers and allows a child access to specialists who may be able to help them. It also gives parents a formal avenue to affect what happens to their child at school and hold the school accountable for a student’s learning goals.

Most students diagnosed with a learning disability of any kind can be given an IEP. This may require testing provided by the school to determine the child’s needs and qualifications for services. Parents will then attend annual or semiannual meetings to discuss goals and progress.

If school testing does not identify a learning disability, then it can be helpful to seek outside testing. A school may still accept a diagnosis from a third party if it is professionally done. An outside organization, like NeuroHealth Arlington Heights, may be another testing resource for parents to utilize should they feel the need to.

Due to difficulties parents sometimes face when trying to change an IEP, it is important to get a professional advocate to help. Advocates are often provided for free through healthcare services outside the school. They are vital in helping the parent better understand their rights and what changes to an IEP are possible.

Seek Outside Tutoring

Going outside the school system for help is something most parents with struggling children will need to do. There are many private tutors and tutoring organizations available, and many of them are reasonably affordable. It is important to seek a tutor with a good reputation and strong client list. Tutors should also have teaching experience and qualifications of some kind. There are many private tutors who choose to work outside the school system who are fully trained and able to accommodate students with special needs. Avoid tutors that seem unprofessional or have no educational background in teaching.

Formal outside tutoring is often what makes the difference for students in terms of building their confidence and helping them deal with schoolwork they may be overwhelming for them and the parent. Private tutoring also provides the one-on-one instruction that is vital to many students with learning disabilities and is often not provided much at school.

Learn About Learning Styles and Educational Advocacy

One of the best ways a parent can help their child who has a learning disability is to understand how that child may learn and how best to support them. There is a great deal of information offered online and through books about learning styles and helping children with special needs. Often these children struggle simply because they don’t perform well in the traditional school setting. A parent who understands learning styles and alternatives may be able to help their child with school work and homework or find a better school option for them altogether.

A parent is always a child’s first best advocate and role model. Dealing with school and learning issues can be intimidating and overwhelming, and parents often get conflicting messages about what works and what’s important. The goal should always remain to help the child continue to love learning, not be intimidated by hard work and learn the life skills that will help them be successful regardless of what happens at school.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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