Here is a short outline of the basics.
Everything here is explained in more detail in the other sections in the menu.
What you should know
There are many reasons why some kids have trouble learning:
- Hearing or vision issues
- Home experience with language and books
- Teaching style and quality
- Learning disabilities or developmental disabilities
- Trouble with focus and attention
But there are ways to help:
- Small adjustments to the classroom environment
- Specific teaching strategies in the classroom
- Working with your child at home
- Specialized instruction or therapies, if your child qualifies
You have rights as a parent:
- You always have the right to talk to the teachers and administrators at your child's school, to bring up your concerns, and to understand all the information they share with you.
- All students, even those with a disability, have a right to a free education that meets their needs. This is guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
What you can do
Here are the basic steps you can take to help your child:
- Identify your child's challenges.
- Talk to their teacher and plan some strategies to try in class.
- Learn how to help your child at home.
- Keep track of their progress and keep in touch with the teacher.
- Have your child evaluated to see if they have a learning disability.
- If they qualify, work with the school to set up special education services (IEP).
What the school can do
The school shares your goal of helping your child learn and develop as successfully as possible.
All schools should do these things:
- Provide high quality instruction to all students.
- Identify challenges through regular performance assessments (tests).
- Add educational strategies in the classroom if a child is having trouble.
- Evaluate the child to see if they have a disability if there are concerns.
- Provide specialized instruction and services to all students with disabilities.
- Communicate clearly with parents and caregivers.
To learn more about all of this, see the other sections in the menu on the left (or at the top if you're on a smart phone!)