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Grades 3 to 8

During grades three through eight, children are no longer learning how to read, but rather are reading to learn. This is a major turning point in education—one that has big implications for children with reading-related learning disabilities, like dyslexia. Throughout this time, children are figuring out how they learn, and parents are figuring out how to support their child’s learning.

Early Childhood Education - Disabilities in Children

13 (Better) Questions to Ask Your Child About School

13 Questions to Ask Your Child About School | Conversation StartersWhen your child comes home on the first few days of school—or throughout the school year—there will be lots of information you want from him or her. Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re talking to your child about school.

A Parent's Perspective — Why My Son Attended His Own IEP Meetings (audio)

about learning disabilities–students with disabilities

In this Parent Perspective, Ilise, the mother of student with multiple learning disabilities discusses why she felt that her son Jay needed to attend every IEP meeting. She felt that If he was going to understand what was happening in his education, he had to be part of the process, and couldn't imagine a successful IEP without his buy-in.

A Parent’s Guide to Progress Monitoring at Home

special-needs-stories-mother-and-son-looking-at-computerWith increasing frequency, schools across the country are using a Response-to-Intervention (RTI) or multi-tiered system of instructional support. These instructional approaches rely on the use of progress monitoring tools to determine whether children are making adequate progress. Progress monitoring allows us to determine much sooner which children are at risk for not meeting grade-level targets, allows us to determine whether children receiving intervention support are making adequate progress, and allows us to more closely match the instructional support to the needs of the individual child based on his response.

A Parent’s Perspective—Why My Son Attended His Own IEP Meetings

IEP Meeting - Individualized Education Program

My son Jay was identified with multiple learning disabilities when he was just a toddler. When he was admitted to a school in New York for special education students, no one knew whether he could ever learn to read. I do not know where in his soul he found the drive and motivation, but he learned to do what many people said could not be done—he learned to read at age nine.

A Special Educator Shares Her Perspective on the Common Core State Standards

A Special Educator Shares Her Perpective on the Common Core State Standards The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) creates high expectations for student success by outlining the set of skills that students need to master at each grade level. At the end of the day, students are supposed to be equipped with critical thinking, problem solving and other career-oriented skills for college and 21st century jobs. Although the implementation of the Standards will have a big impact on students with disabilities, the authors of the Standards have provided only limited guidance in this area.

Advocating for Your School-Aged Child

Special Needs Child - Child Advocacy Your child has the right to a free and appropriate public school education. Getting involved in his or her education is among the most important things you can do as your child’s advocate. As you’ll see below, you have a right to be a part of every decision regarding your child’s education, including the process of finding out if your child needs special services. You know your child best, and your input should be considered at every opportunity.

Children With Reading Problems in Middle and High School

Reading Comprehension Skills-Reading Comprehension Strategies Recently, there’s been a lot of research and discussion about early intervention and teaching basic reading skills to kids before the age of nine. But what happens to kids with delayed reading skills when they enter middle and high school? Are accommodations in the classroom enough? Is it too late to teach reading? In this article, Kevin Feldman, EdD, addresses these questions.

Common Warning Signs of Dyscalculia in Children in Grades 3–8

Math Learning Disability - Dyscalculia Warning SignsDyscalculia refers to a range of learning disabilities involving math. Dyscalculia affects people in different ways and may even vary over a person’s lifetime. Are you concerned that your child is struggling with math and math concepts? If so, the following list of common warning signs of dyscalculia in children in Grades 3–8 may help clarify your concerns.

Common Warning Signs of Dysgraphia in Children in Grades 3–8

Dysgraphia Warning Signs Dysgraphiais a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Is your child is having trouble with the physical act of writing or putting thoughts down on paper? If so, the following list of common warning signs of dysgraphia in children in grades 3–8 may help you to more clearly identify the specific areas of concern and seek help to address these problems.

Common Warning Signs of Dyslexia in Children in Grades 3–8

Dyslexia Symptoms and Warning SignsDyslexia is a language-based processing disorder that can hinder reading, writing, spelling and speaking, as well as social interactions and self-esteem. Are you concerned that your child isn’t learning, communicating or relating to others as successfully as his or her peers? Does your child especially struggle with reading? Is it affecting your child’s confidence and motivation? If so, the following list of common warning signs of dyslexia in children in Grades 3–8 may help clarify your concerns.

Common Warning Signs of Dyspraxia in Children in Grades 3–8

Dypraxia Warning Signs in StudentsDyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development and coordination. Most children experience occasional signs of dyspraxia as they grow and develop muscle strength, coordination and skills needed for daily living and independence, but such symptoms in children with dyspraxia persist over time. Dyspraxia is not a learning disability (LD), but many children with LD may at times show signs of dyspraxia.

Executive Function: Highlights from Our LD Chat

Last week’s #LDchat-ers shared their experiences, concerns and thoughts on executive function issues. Here is some of what they had to say and resources they shared.

Want to join the conversation? Every Wednesday at 12 pm ET, NCLD hosts a discussion on Twitter called #LDchat. People from all over the country and around the world log on each week to discuss a new topic, and you can, too! Here’s how:

Finding a Mentor: Highlights From Our LD Chat

Last week’s #LDchat-ers shared their experiences, concerns and thoughts on how to find a mentor or be a mentor for kids with learning and attention issues. This #LDchat featured guest expert Katie Long from Eye to Eye, a national organization committed to pairing middle schoolers with learning and attention issues with college students who also have learning and attention issues. Here is some of what they had to say and resources Katie and others shared.

Want to join the conversation? Every Wednesday at 12 pm ET, NCLD hosts a discussion on Twitter called #LDchat. People from all over the country and around the world log on each week to discuss a new topic, and you can, too! Here’s how:

Fun Activities to Help Your Elementary School-Age Child Build Math Skills

mom-daughterMost parents are aware that reading with their early elementary school-age children at home reinforces emerging reading skills. But many parents may not know that playing number games and engaging in math activities at home can provide similar reinforcement when it comes to early math learning.

Helping Your Young Child Build Self-Esteem

Develop Self Esteem - Self Esteem Skills For many children, both with and without learning disabilities (LD), self-esteem is a powerful predictor of success. Social or emotional problems are not the cause but rather the consequence of academic frustration and failure. Not all students with an LD like dyslexia have problems with social competence and self-esteem, but many do. Daily struggles with the challenges posed by a learning disability can erode the enthusiasm and confidence that make learning, at all ages, fun.

How Teachers and Parents Can Help Elementary Students With Math LD

math learning disabilities - dyscalculia helpAs I explained in an earlier post, elementary schoolstudents who are at risk for mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) often have trouble with even the most basic number processing skills. The good news is that researchers are developing remedial approaches to helping these children early on, and some relatively simple strategies are available for parents to assist their children in developing and practicing fundamental math skills.

How to Help Kids With Tricky Math Homework

How to Help With Difficult Math Homework | Parent-Child Study TipsAt some point in our children’s education it happens to all of us: “Sorry, but I can’t really help you with that assignment because I don’t know how to do it myself.” For many parents, this “uh-oh moment” happens first with math—but you don’t have to panic. Just because you don’t know how to do the math doesn’t mean you can’t help your child figure it out and get a lot out of the process along the way.

Learning New Reading Skills Beyond the 3rd Grade

Reading Comprehension Skills-Reading Comprehension Strategies As a parent of a 12-year-old who’s behaving very much like a teenager, I can personally relate. I started my teaching career working with junior high school kids who had emotional and behavioral reading difficulties. Parents can help in all kinds of ways.

May Questions from Our Community & Our Responses

Every day at NCLD, our team receives questions from parents, educators, policy officials and people who have learning and attention issues from all over the country. Each month, we share some of the questions and the NCLD team's responses to them. We hope these can be helpful to other members of our community who are experiencing some of the same issues.

Does my son need more testing?

Messy Backpack? How to Help Your Child Get Organized

Child Brings Home Miscellaneous Stuff | Tips to Organize Child’s Book BagFor most students, the backpack is the key to getting things home from school. Eventually, everything needs to get to the backpack, or it’s not likely to make it home. For some children, what they want to and think they should take home doesn’t always match what the teacher needs them to take home. And for you, the parent, it’s frustrating. There are, however, some simple and effective strategies you can use to help your kids get the “right stuff” into the backpack and home from school where it belongs.

Practice Language for Kids Nervous About Social Life

Practice Questions for Kids Nervous About Social Life | Tips for Making FriendsBeing nervous about the start of school is normal for a child, but there are a few things you can do as a parent to make the transition easier. The first is to decide whether it’s more likely that your child will be most nervous about the academic or social aspects of school. If it’s social aspects, read the tips below.

School Success: So Much More Than ABC’s and 123’s

Self Esteem In Children - Chlidren With Learning DisabilitiesResearch tells us that kids who struggle with learning worry a lot about whether they are “not as smart” as other kids, and are more likely to attribute their successes to luck than to well-deserved grades that result from hard work.

Stress in Children and Adolescents: Tips for Parents

Stress in Children - Tips for ParentsWhat Is Stress?Everyone is affected by stress and reacts to it in different ways. Stress is a way that our body responds to the demands made upon us by the environment, our relationships and our perceptions and interpretations of those demands. We all experience both “good stress” and “bad stress.” Good stress is that optimal amount of stress that results in our feeling energized and motivated to do our best work.

Summer Learning Tips for Elementary School Students

Summer Learning-Children with Learning Disabilities Have you ever stopped to think about ways to help your child get better prepared for the start of the new school year—by practicing the skills that he or she has learned during the summer months? Well, now is the time! You've already got a list of summer reading books from your child's teacher to keep the juices flowing. But what about all those other subjects your child will have to jump back into come back-to-school time—science, math, history and social studies?

Tales of Stress and ADHD: Elementary School

Stress and AD/HD - Students with LDjerryClinical neuropsychologist Dr. Jerome Schultz is the author of Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It and is an expert on stress, learning disabilities, and ADHD. In the following three scenarios, he takes you inside the brains of a parent, an elementary school student, and a teacher as they attempt to cope with ADHD- and stress-related challenges. At the end of each scenario, he offers his expert take on the situation and follows up with tangible (and at times out-of-the-box) tips that parents and teachers can apply.

Tips for Helping Your Child Build Social Skills

Building Confidence - Social Skills For ChildrenAs young children, we develop what are known as “scripts,” or abstract descriptions of a series of actions or events that are necessary to achieve an objective. Typical scripts a child may have include:

  • The format for a birthday party (i.e., you arrive, play games with others, eat cake and/or ice cream)
  • Going shopping (i.e., you arrive at store, pick out items to buy, pay at the cash register)
  • Eating at a restaurant (i.e., you order from menu, eat, pay)

What Are Common Core State Standards?

What Are Common Core State StandardsAs the debate over education reform continues in the United States, you’ve probably heard about the Common Core State Standards initiative. What is it exactly, and how will it affect your child’s education? In this introduction to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), we’ll cover the basics of the initiative—including which states have adopted CCSS, how it will be implemented in your child’s school, why we’re in favor of CCSS, and what we still don’t know about CCSS—as well as its possible implications for students who receive special education services.

Your School-Age Child’s Behavior: What to Expect and When to Be Concerned

School Age Children - When to Be ConcernedYour nine-year-old just can’t seem to deal with frustration. When he struggles with a homework assignment or doesn’t get his preferred cuisine for dinner, he breaks down into a tantrum. And he sure does get into a lot of arguments with his little sister. It’s certainly frustrating for you as a parent, and you ask yourself: Is he just being a nine-year-old, or is this something I need to be concerned about?