Thursday, December 16, 2010

Learning Differences

Parental instinct is the strongest instinct there is. No one knows a child better than his parents. If you ever suspect your child has developmental delays or differences, trust your gut. Maybe your child isn’t hitting developmental milestones that his peers or siblings did. Or maybe he is struggling with learning in school. Maybe, you notice behavioral issues that don’t seem to add up. Trust your “gut”! Speak up and say something to your pediatrician and, as appropriate, your child’s teacher.

Parents have the right to request that their children be tested once they enter the school environment. If you put that request in writing, the school system is legally obligated to comply with your wishes within 45 days of the request. (There is all sorts of information on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website regarding parental rights.) The sooner your child receives intervention services the better he will learn.

If your child is diagnosed with a learning difference, take action. Parents are children’s best advocates. Speak to your local Special Education Advisory Committee in your town. If there isn’t one near you, join support groups, chat with other parents and professionals through social networking groups and get involved with your school district’s special educational department. Every child deserves a quality education, even if he has learning differences and your school district is required to provide them. Ensuring a proper education for your child is priceless—for success in school and in life.

How has the educational experience been for you and your child? I'd love to hear about it. Please leave me a comment below.