Identify your concerns and talk to your child's teacher

If you feel that your child is struggling in school, the first step is to figure out what your concerns are, and then talk to your child's teacher.

Here's what you can do:

Image of parent with child talking to a teacher.1. Identify your areas of concern. What aspects of the school day is your child having trouble with?

2. Talk to your child's teacher or principal about your concerns.

Image of a checklist with a clipboard.3. It may help to observe your child in the classroom, then meet the teacher. Sometimes simple changes in the daily routine, classroom set-up or the teacher's approach, can make a difference. The school may try these first to see if they work.

4. If these changes do not help, then you should get a referral for an evaluation. We'll tell you more.

Image of Exceptional Lives character Paula with a thought bubble with the text 'Developmental concerns? (doesn’t have the same skills as other kids their age, Social or communication issues?, Emotional or behavioral issues?'


When you ask for a referral, it's a good idea to put it in writing and save a copy.

Keep records of all your communications with the school! 

Image of an envelope and ruled paper.
  • Include emails, letters, phone calls, etc.

  • Make sure there's a date

  • This can prove what you have asked for, and when

  • It may help later on if you have to stick up for your rights

If your child is in a private school, the process might be a bit harder.

Click on the box below to learn more:

Schools that use Federal funds are legally required to offer services to support students with disabilities.

Private schools are not.

That means that public schools and charter schools must give support services for those who qualify. If your child is in one of these, you have the law to protect their rights to an education that works for them.

Some private and faith-based schools will offer this support, but they are not required to do so.

If your child is in a private school, know that you do not have the law to back you up!

Here's what you can do: 

  • Talk to your district's school department anyway. Ask for an evaluation for your child. The school district is still required to evaluate all students who are suspected to have a disability--even if they go to a private school.

  • If the evaluation shows that your child qualifies for special education services, the school system may be able to provide them. You'll have to work with your school, and not all schools are good at cooperating.

  • If your child is not getting the services or accommodations they need, consider moving them to a public or charter school.

  • Look into the School Choice Program. This is a plan to support parents in choosing a school that best fits their child's needs. Some private schools are part of this agreement with the Louisiana public school system. Click the button below to download a 4-page fact sheet and school list.

Source: LA DOE

Source: LA DOE

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