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Education

Learning Disabilities

Collaborating with Teachers

at cubbiesBeing the parent of a child with a learning disability can be an emotionally charged experience. Frustration and confusion can complicate the conversations between parents and teachers about what to do. Respect for each other and open communication can reduce tension and enable parents and teachers to benefit from each other’s expertise and knowledge of the child. Working together, either informally or during formal evaluation, parents, teachers, and children can inform one another about how best to address a child’s needs.

  • Share observations.
  • Discuss your child’s successes and struggles in school and identify where breakdowns are occurring. What worries or concerns do you and your child’s teacher share?

  • Identify and discuss the child’s strengths and interests.
  • How can they be used to enhance his or her ability to learn? Can reading a book, writing a report, or creating a drawing on a topic of interest help a child sustain attention?

  • Clarify the instructional program.
  • If the child is struggling in reading or math, for example, discuss with the teacher how the instructional program or text being used is working for the child. Examine and evaluate accommodations and interventions, such as extra time or individualized instruction.

  • Acknowledge emotional reactions to the situation.
  • Discuss how children who experience frustration because of learning difficulties at school may become so anxious that they give up or turn their energy to acting out. Share strategies that have worked in the classroom and at home to help the child cope.

  • Strategize together.
  • Discuss possible strategies, including those you have tried that were successful and ask about strategies that might work both at school and at home. Establish a plan for ongoing discussion and problem solving.

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