4 Must-Dos When Your Child Is Diagnosed With a Learning Disorder
Here are the next steps to take if your child is diagnosed with a learning disorder.
- Save everything: Make a folder of all relevant letters and e-mails, evaluations, and other tests your child has had. Include any work that shows your child's weaknesses as well as his strengths. Note names and numbers of everyone with whom you speak, as well as what you discussed. Follow up regularly.
- Request an IEP from the school principal in writing. Once a diagnosis is made, your school will form a committee of specialists — that includes you — to map out a specific educational package tailored to your child's learning needs. Be sure to discuss any electronic services — books on tape, electronic organizers, computers, etc. — that will be provided. The first meeting of this committee must take place within 30 days of diagnosis.
- Be an advocate: If at any time you don't agree with the school's decisions, you can appeal it, first to the school, then an impartial third party and, if you're still not satisfied, in court. Don't be afraid to ask questions or challenge school decisions if you don't think they're in your child's best interest.
- Seek support: Talk to other parents of youngsters with learning problems. They can be an invaluable source of information, ideas, and strategies.