Parents are the best judge, initially, on whether or not a child needs help. As a parent, you are the first to see struggles with homework, behavior changes, and attitude changes. If you suspect that your child is having difficulty socially, behaviorally or academically, your first resource is your child's school. Before contacting your school, however, make a list of what you have noticed at home. For example, consider the following:
1. My Child Does Not Want To Go To School
2. Homework Takes Hours To Accomplish
3. My child does not seem to understand what is expected on homework and I have to re-teach concepts to help her.
4. Difficulty following directions (spoken or written).
5. My child strongly dislikes reading.
6. My child has difficulty expressing himself or mispronounces words.
7. My child has a short attention span or is easily frustrated.
While the above list is fairly broad, generally as a parent, you know when something is "off." The first thing to do when you suspect your child is struggling is to contact your school's Department of Special Education and request that your child be evaluated. Schools are required to take your concerns seriously and in almost all cases, they will be very accommodating. Still, the process of special education evaluations, policies and procedures can be very overwhelming to parents. That is why, after having consulted with many parents and school districts, I have put together a Parent's Guide to Assessments and Testing in NY. To read this comprehensive free guide, just click below.