Does your child take an extraordinary amount of time to complete homework? Do they struggle every night? Do they get frustrated and overwhelmed every time they sit down to do school work?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it may be time to ask for help!
There is a natural learning curve in life. Some kids will pick things up quickly while others may take several tries. Some kids will excel in Math while others will be amazing at Art or Science. Each child has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but that is what makes them special! What is important, however, is to notice if that unique weakness is nothing more than just that, a small weakness that can be improved with everyday practice and repetition.
Parents, you know what I am talking about. Your child has been working forever on their multiplication facts but for some reason they just cannot get it. One day they know it, then the next day they don’t. You use flash cards, number lines, manipulatives, pretty much anything you can google but still no progress! Now what? If your child continues to struggle with a skill, no matter what that skill is, it is important to speak with your teacher. Not every child that struggles has a disability, but it is important to at least rule it out.
For some kids, it is just maturity, while for others, it may be as simple as getting them glasses, but for others, this struggle may persist throughout their academic career. By identifying his/her difficulties early, you and the school can provide remediation and individualized assistance to help improve these areas of weakness. Children can also be provided with skills to help them compensate for areas that are not a strength for them.
“So how do I ask for help?”
Your gut is telling you that your child needs help, so now what? The first step is always to reach out to your child’s teacher. Sometimes your child may be struggling at home but not in school. If that is the case, then you know something else is going on such as your child is looking for attention or maybe they are burnt out when they get home and require a snack or break.
If your teacher agrees with your observation and sees a struggle at school too, then it is time to have a meeting. Start with a meeting with the teacher who can offer suggestions to help your child at home. If after a few weeks (or more), you are not seeing ANY improvements then reach out to your child’s teacher again. There are several options available to your child depending on your school district. Some have after school tutoring while others offer small group instruction during the school day. It is VERY important as a parent to know and understand ALL your options!
If you and the teacher agree that a learning issue may be present, your child’s case can be referred to the Intervention and Referral Services Committee at your child’s school. This is a committee consisting of teachers, counselors, child study team members and other school staff that work together to come up with modifications and accommodations that can be used in the classroom to assist your child. The interventions developed are implemented in the classroom and monitored for success.
If your child continues to struggle after this process is completed, then he/she may be referred to the Child Study Team. Your child can be referred to the Child Study Team by writing a letter and requesting evaluations or through the I&RS team. Please do not be afraid or worried about this process! It can be very scary to realize that your child may have a learning disability, but it also wonderful to know that there is a team of people who are there to help you and your child succeed!
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Mommy University at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us on Facebook. Stay tuned for an article that will explain the Child Study Team process in detail!