Checklist for Home-School Communications
- Keep communications open with your child's teacher, and listen carefully if she describes problems with aspects of your child's learning. If you think the problems are serious enough to require special attention, ask the teacher if alternate instructional approaches might help address the problem and ask if any have been tried.
- Keep track of the instructional practices used to help address your child's problems and record how well they assisted your child’s learning.
- Ask about the availability of research findings that show the effectiveness of the instructional practices or behavioral programs being used.
- Discuss whether there are cultural factors that might make a difference. If so, explain your child's background so the teacher and other educators can understand your child's behavior and actions. The information provided by parents and family members can be crucial to understanding a child's learning difficulties.
- Try to understand the way your child learns and be able to communicate what you think will help the teacher better understand your child's specific learning style. Observe and provide all the information you can to help the educators develop a better understanding of it.
- Find out if supplementary educational services such as tutoring are available at your child's school and investigate the programs to see if any would benefit your child.
From NCLD's IDEA Parent Guide, Chapter 1: Pre-Referral Services
Candace Cortiella is Director of The Advocacy Institute, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of people with disabilities through public policy and other initiatives. The mother of a young adult with learning disabilities, she lives in the Washington, D.C., area.