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My Child Has LD. What’s Next?

Now that your child has been identified as having a learning disability, you’re probably wondering what steps to take next. If your child attends a public school, it’s important that you partner with teachers and other school personnel to keep the process moving. It’s also important that you understand how special education works according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Identified with LD-Stage 2

Accommodations, Techniques and Aids for Learning

Accommodations for Students-Students with Disabilities While the majority of a student's program should be as closely aligned with the general education curriculum as possible, some accommodations and modifications may be necessary. Listed below are some suggested ways to aid students with specific learning disabilities learn more effectively at home or at school. Selection from these and other possibilities must be based on the individual needs of each child.

Are You Overwhelmed by Your Child’s IEP?

IEP Scenarios - Overwhelmed ParentsGiven the complexity of the IEP and IEP process—and its importance to a child’s education—it’s understandable that parents often feel overwhelmed. In fact, the whole IEP process can be an emotional roller coaster, as we learned from a survey we conducted in 2012. We asked parents what feelings they have ever experienced during the IEP process. The results were eye-opening, with over half of respondents saying they felt overwhelmed, confused, powerless, and/or intimidated. On a more positive note, many of those surveyed said they felt (or had at some time felt) hopeful, confident, thankful, and trusting.

Choosing a Tutor for Your Child

Child Tutor-Child TutoringYour child with learning disabilities may benefit greatly from the one-on-one attention provided by a qualified tutor. Tutors, working closely with parents and teachers, can help children in various ways: reinforcing specific subject matter, helping with homework, suggesting improvements in organization and other study skills, and serving to bolster a child’s self-confidence.

Communicating With Your Child's School

relationship-with-teacher-mother-on-phone If you have a child who is receiving special education services, you're more than likely to be very involved with your child's school and teacher—including planning, reviewing, and assessing your child's educational program. Over time, you will learn a lot about the special education process and how to communicate and negotiate on your child's behalf. While your knowledge, skill, and confidence will naturally increase, there are some specific communication skills that can help you be most successful in developing and maintaining a strong partnership with your child's school. We hope these "Steps to Success" will be particularly helpful to parents who are new to the special education process.

Developmental Assets and What They Mean to Your Child

Development of A Child - Developmental MilestoneThe dictionary defines the word asset as “a useful and desirable thing or quality.” For a child, “assets” are their areas of strength. Over the last 20 years a number of research studies have been conducted that have identified 40 qualities or characteristics in youth that reduce the risk of becoming involved with drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, school failure, criminal activity and suicide.

Dyslexia Toolkit

Dyslexia Toolkit - Learning DisabilitiesOften undiagnosed in children and teens, dyslexia impacts an estimated 15% of people and is a lifelong challenge for the individual diagnosed and for his or her parents, siblings and teachers. NCLD is here to help navigate what can be a confusing time for both you and your child. We’ve got just the tips and tools you need—whether your child is 5, 15, or 25.

Essential Skills for Becoming Your Child’s Advocate

Child Advocate - How To Be A Child AdvocateLearning the essential skills to become your child’s advocate and ensure your child receives an appropriate education does not require lots of money or even years of schooling. All it requires is learning five basic skills and consistently implementing them within the school community.

From Angst to Advocacy

Advocacy For Parents – Child With Learning Disability

Good News, Bad News

You take your child to the doctor because he is not feeling well. There are very specific questions and concerns that you would like to have addressed. After repeated examinations (perhaps by a number of different specialists), different kinds of testing and lots of discussion, you learn that your child has a condition that is not going to go away (bad news) but for which there is an effective course of treatment (good news).

Getting Started At Home

What Is Self Advocacy - Student Advocacy

10 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children With Learning Disabilities (LD)

  1. Learn more about learning disabilities

    Information on learning disabilities can help you understand that your child does not learn in the same way as other people do. Find out as much as you can about the problems your child has with learning, what types of learning tasks will be hard for your child, what sources of help are available, and what you can do to make life and learning easier for your child. You can find much of the information you need by reading this web site and following links to outside resources.

How IDEA Can Help You Help Your Child

Disabilities Education - IDEA Laws If a bear cub wanders into your campsite, you know to be extra cautious—because you know somewhere in the underbrush there’s a mama bear ready to protect her young. As a parent, your instinct is to protect your child. When it comes to making sure your child is being afforded every opportunity to succeed in school, it’s best not to come bounding out of the underbrush!

How to Talk to Your Extended Family About Your Child's LD

Family And Disability – Special Needs Families

Coping with a child's learning disability (LD) is stressful for any parent, and the last thing you need is another demand on your time and energy. But avoiding talking about your child's LD can send a message to well-meaning family members that you're hiding something or feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or guilty.

IEP Checklist for Parents

Individualized Education Plan -  IEP Parents

Whether you’re working with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to develop her very first IEP or you’re reviewing her existing IEP, you’ll want to make sure every detail and concern is addressed. Use this comprehensive checklist to determine if your child’s IEP contains all of the components required by IDEA. Remember to provide your input to the school in advance of your child’s IEP meeting.

Is a 504 Plan Right for My Child?

advocacy-for-children-mother-childWhen you are making a decision about how to seek support for your child at school it’s important to know your options to request help under the federal law. There are two laws for K-12 students in public school that may offer supports and services: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Schools that receive federal funding are obligated to serve students under Section 504; however, no federal funds are provided to directly support offering Section 504 services.

Learning to Talk About LD

Advocate for Education - Special Education Advocate  The first step to being an effective LD advocate is understanding the issue and how to talk about it. Your personal experiences may be motivating you, but it is important to educate yourself about the facts and figures and broaden your understanding of LD beyond what you’ve learned through those personal experiences. Knowing some of the “hot button” issues and how to deal with them is also essential. Regardless of whether these issues are of interest to you, one or more is likely to come up in discussions with policymakers and the media.

Learning “Disabilities:” No Shame In the Name

Learning Disabilities Stigma - Facts about Learning DisabilitiesLet’s get a few things on the table right up front. There is no shame in having a learning disability (LD). Learning disabilities are not the result of laziness or inadequate instruction. They are not the same as hearing or vision impairments and are not a mild form of intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation). Learning disabilities do not go away and are not the same as learning “differences.”  And learning “preferences” are a universal phenomenon—not unique to any one group of individuals—and do not contribute meaningfully to the issue of LD.

My Child Has LD—Isn’t He Automatically Eligible for Services?

Special Education Services EligibilityOnce you learn that your child has a learning disability (LD), you’re undoubtedly wondering how to get your child the services he needs to be successful in school. But services are not automatically given to students when they are identified as having LD. A diagnosis of LD does not mean your child is automatically eligible for services. Determining eligibility for special education services is separate process in which parents play a crucial role. Being informed and prepared will help ensure your child gets the help he needs.

Out-of-the-Box Advocacy

LD Advocacy - Mom Blogger
     Lyn Pollard & her two kids

As the parent of a child with a learning disability or other learning difficulty, you’ve probably done your homework. You’ve read up on your child’s special needs, learned about what services he or she needs, and maybe even have a 504 plan or an IEP in place. You’re off to a great start.

Parents and Physicians Working Together

Children's Health - Children With Learning DisabilitiesFrom annual school check-ups to coughs and fevers, scraped knees, mysterious rashes, swollen glands and a host of other common (and not-so-common) symptoms, physicians and parents are partners in providing the best medical care possible to children and adolescents. Together with parents, medical providers are in the unique position of interacting with children throughout their school years, watching them grow not only physically but also in terms of their language, social-emotional and academic development. This perspective makes them ideal partners for both identifying potential learning problems and helping parents make wise decisions about the kinds of help that, if provided early and with precision, could truly be “prescriptions for success.”

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.

Six Reasons Your Child’s LD Might Stress You Out

Reasons for Stress | Learning DisabilitiesThere's no way around it. Parenting can be inherently stressful and challenging. For every decision you'll make regarding your child, you'll often have lingering doubts about whether you made the right choice. From the time children are infants (should I let him cry in the night until he falls asleep, or should I comfort him?) to their teenage years (do I need to limit the amount of time she’s on the internet?) parents are confronted with quandaries about what’s best for a child's well-being and development. A little bit of stress can be a good thing, but when it grabs you and doesn't let you go, it's time to step back, reflect upon what's going on and take steps to regain your emotional footing.

Social and Emotional Challenges of Learning Disabilities

Social and Emotional Skills - Social Learning Disability Are you:

  • Having difficulty adapting to new social situations;
  • Not being sure how to ask for help (and from whom);
  • Looking to peers for how to respond (rather than forming an independent opinion), and,
  • Missing social cues or having trouble reading nonverbal cues (for example, standing too close to someone during conversation even when they pull away, or laughing inappropriately at jokes or telling jokes at inappropriate times)

Strategies for Addressing LD Identification Issues

Learning Disabilities - Identification IssuesIf the school informs you that they are using Response to Intervention (RTI), you should go ahead and request an evaluation in writing as soon as you think your child may have a disability. Making this request is critical because your written consent puts a 60-day timeframe on both the completion of the RTI process and the evaluation. The process of determining whether your child has a disability such as a learning disability and needs special education cannot go on indefinitely.

The Natural Emotional Cycle for Parents of Children With LD

Parents Coping with Learning DisabilitiesWhen we think about grief and loss, the first things that come to mind are illness and death — very tangible, linear events that have a beginning, a middle, and an end which result in significant, emotional impact. But, what about the events in our lives that are not so black and white; the ones that continue to impact us throughout our lives and spur varying emotions over time?

Types of Accommodations to Include in an IEP or 504 Plan

Accommodations - IEP or 504Students with learning disabilities (LD)—such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia—often need accommodations in order to complete the same assignments as other students. Accommodations do not alter the content of assignments, give students an unfair advantage, or change what a test measures. They do make it possible for students with LD to show what they know without being impeded by their disability.

Understanding the Standards-Based IEP

Special Education Standards - IEP Standards  Many states and local school districts are embracing a new approach to developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students receiving special education. This approach—most often referred to as “standards-based IEPs”—is driven by changes to both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). However, the use of standards-based IEPs is an emerging practice and one NCLD believes is the right approach for students with LD. States vary as to implementation of this approach.

What Is an IEP?

What is an IEP-Individualized Education Program Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

What Is FAPE, and What Can It Mean to My Child?

What Is Fape - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act FAPE is the acronym for a Free and Appropriate Public Education. It is one of the most misunderstood concepts of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). And it often causes the greatest conflict between parents and schools. A required component of IDEA, FAPE mandates that school districts provide access to general education and specialized educational services. It also requires that children with disabilities receive support free of charge as is provided to non-disabled students. It also provides access to general education services for children with disabilities by encouraging that support and related services be provided to children in their general education settings as much as possible.

Worksheet: Questions to Ask about Your Child’s Eligibility Determination

Special Education Eligibility - Eligibility Determination

After your child’s public school identifies her learning disability, they’ll determine whether or not she’s eligible for special education services. Before a determination meeting takes place, you’ll want to know what to expect, such the school district’s criteria for eligibility and the opportunities available for parent input.