How to advocate for a child with learning disabilities


It can be daunting when we notice that our child may have a learning disability of some kind after observing them, so here is some advice that may help you moving forward.

As soon as you begin noticing discrepancies at home and school, address your concerns with the teacher, and start taking notes at home. Once the teacher puts extra supports in place, look for improvements in small ways as it takes time to see changes.

If your child continues to struggle over the next 8-12 weeks, ask for an official evaluation to take place. If you are in a public school, there are certain state and federal laws in place, that will protect your rights as a parent. If you are in a private school setting, they are not always bound by some of those laws, even as they should ethically practice them.

Once your child is fully evaluated and it is determined they need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP,) this now becomes your opportunity to give valuable input for the services your child may need, like extra time for taking tests as an example.

Do not sign that document, until you feel everything was addressed, and ask a parent and child advocate to look at it because some of the jargon within may be confusing.

Your child will emerge over time, a more settled student who is getting their educational needs met.

by Andrea Lawful-Sanders