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My Child Is Being Tested? Labeled?

My child is being tested

When your child is failing in school, it is a stressful time for both student and parent. If your school  communicates that they want to test your child, it just adds to the fear that there is something wrong. Take a deep breath, though, because the school  just wants to help your child learn. Testing is a good way to identify the best way to do that. According to Pamela Wright and Pete Wright, Esq. of WrightsLaw.com, “If school employees know or have reason to suspect that a child has a disability, these school employees have an affirmative duty to act on the child’s behalf” (emphasis in the original).

Laws

Let’s start with two laws you need to know. The laws govern how the school handles children with learning differences and their testing. The first is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of1973 (also called “504”). This law makes public schools provide a “free appropriate public education” to every student with a disability within the school district’s boundaries. That is true, no matter the type or severity of the disability.

The other law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which necessitates that schools have a process in place for assessing disability. This can be early intervention services for children under the age of 2 or special education services for those between the ages of 3 and 21. According to a New York Times blog by Jessica Lahey, “The definitions of what is or is not a disability, and whether those disabilities qualify vary wildly. ‘Qualified’ simply means that your child has been determined to have a disability that is covered under the law.”

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Next Steps

Communicate with the school to find out what, specifically, they are concerned about. This can help you figure out what kind of testing will be done. Testing may be more intelligence or academic ability-related or behaviorally-related. There is no way to tell initially whether the testing will determine if your child will have a permanent label or whether there are some regular classroom-based interventions.  These interventions might suffice to help your child succeed outside of more in-depth special education services.

If testing has identified that your child has a disability, the school will create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP process is one in which you, as the parent, should participate. You must have a clear understanding of what the interventions child will receive. You must understand what goals your child is trying to reach based on the IEP. The end goal is to help your child learn in the way that is most meaningful to them. Advocating for your child and participating in discussions along the way with the school is vital to your child’s success.

Parent Rights

You may choose to have your child evaluated privately by a professional you choose. This is called an Independent Educational Evaluation. You can also refuse testing. Even if your child is in private school, the state still has some responsibilities toward your child. They are different in each state, however, understand your state’s laws by contacting your state’s Parent Center. When you know your rights as a parent, you’ll be better prepared to advocate and assist your child in getting the right support to help them succeed. You can also visit the Center for Parent Information and Resources page for more information about how you can help your child through the special education identification process.

EDUCATION STAFF WRITER

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IEP- Function and Purpose

When your child is identified with a disability, the school will bring together several people, including you, to help write an IEP.   This is a tool designed to help your child succeed in school.  It ensures that appropriate help, as well as academic and social goals, are set.

Definition

An IEP is defined as an Individualized Education Program. It is a document designed for your child that lays out a tailored educational program. Its purpose is to identify academic and social goals. It also states what help and services  the school will provide to help your child  to succeed .  

Law

A special education law, called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), requires that schools have a process in place to identify disabilities.  The process can be early intervention services for children under the age of 2 or special education services for those between the ages of 3 and 21.

IEP Components

This law states that the IEP must contain statements about “present levels of academic achievement and functional performance”.  This means that the document must present “annual goals,” “special education and related services provided,” and “participation with children without disabilities. ”  

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Documentation

The “present levels of academic achievement and functional performance” document stipulates how the disability act will affect your child’s progress.  Goals are set to establish what the school team thinks your child can accomplish in a year.  These goals also identify any needs that relate to your child’s disability.  Goals map out how your child can take part in the general education curriculum.

Any services provided under the IEP should include tools and arrangements.  For example, services could provide a communication device or different seating arrangement.  In addition, it  must document  what personnel will provide  special education services at the school and how much of the day your child will spend educated away from the general population.

IEPs include a variety of other components, such as dates and location of services, participation in tests, transition services, and how progress will be measured. Read the Parent Center Hub site for more information about all IEP components.

Who Creates an IEP?

IEPs are created by the following;  one regular education teacher, a special education provider or teacher, a representative of the school system, someone who can interpret evaluation results, those who are invited, parents, and their child, when appropriate.

If at all possible, attend your child’s school IEP meetings.  Consequently,  you will be able  to understand the plan that could help your child to succeed.  Advocate for your child when necessary. The meetings can be done without parent participation, but try to attend, if you can. You can still get records of the meeting if you’re just not able to  attend.

In the end, an IEP is designed to help your child succeed. It is updated annually, and it reflects the school’s desire  to see your child do well in all aspects of life. Don’t be afraid of the IEP.  Embrace it as a tool to support your child.

EDUCATION STAFF WRITER

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Autistic Child – Difficult Teacher – What Should A Parent Do?

autistic child difficult teacher

What Is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder generally referred to as ASD is a developmental disability which is usually caused by an abnormality in the brain of the child. An autistic child, i.e. a child with ASD, usually find it difficult to communicate or associate with the rest of his peers.

The fact that a child is suffering from autism doesn’t mean such a child should be deprived of their childhood. Medical experts usually advise against keeping them locked indoor. Nothing stops you from enrolling them into a school. However, this is where the actual problem lies.

You know your child well. You are also aware of his brain abnormality, but the child’s teacher may not be. This makes the relationship between an autistic child and their teacher a difficult one. In this article, we will be offering parents tips on how to handle a difficult relationship between an autistic child and their teacher.

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Make the Teacher Aware

The main reason both the teacher and the autistic child are finding it hard to get along is probably because the teacher is not aware of the child’s condition. As the parent, try as much as possible to make the teacher aware of your child’s condition. Explain to the teacher that things will not work out well if the child is treated like the rest of the kids.

Reward good behavior

For a better relationship, ask the teacher to reward your child for doing something good, no matter how small. Encourage the teacher to praise your child when he or she learns a new skill or act appropriately. The teacher can reward the child by allowing him or her play with a favorite toy. Even when the child does something not so good, the teacher should not scold.

Make use of nonverbal cues

Nonverbal cues offer the teacher an incredible way to relate with the autistic child. As the parent, you can teach the teacher some nonverbal cues you use in communicating with your child at home. Make the teacher knows  your child’s facial expressions, and gestures when he or she is hungry, tired, or in need of something. Once the teacher is able to understand it, you can always expect a smooth relationship.

There you have it! The above are a couple of tips for parents on how to handle a difficult relationship between an autistic child and their teacher. As a teacher, do not see an autistic child as a problem of disappointment, consider it as your duty to show them love, care, and affection.

EDUCATION STAFF WRITER

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Is Your Child Really Getting Anything Out Of What They Read?

Reading comprehension

One of the stressful duties of parenting is offering reading help to your children. As children begin to read longer texts, it is vital that they develop their reading comprehension skills along with their ability to decode.

Reading help doesn’t have to be offered at school alone. At home, you can help your child improve their reading skills. The following are a couple reading comprehension strategies that can come in handy anytime you offer reading help to your children.

Marking Up Text with Post-It Notes

When your child has a question about something that they are reading, encourage them to write the question down on a Post-It note and then put it next to the text that was confusing. At the end of a section of reading, they can go back and re-read, think about their question some more, or ask you for more information.

If your child doesn’t write much yet, you can also have them draw pictures of their questions. However, if your child doesn’t have questions about the text, they can mark the parts that they found interesting or surprising.  All this encourages them to connect to the text and to think about it more critically.

Personal Connections

Education is more than learning to read or write. The personal connection between subject matters is also an important aspect. Before, during, and after reading a text, have your child think about any personal connections they can make with its subject matter.

For example, if your child is about to read about a kid who is made fun of in school, ask them if they have ever been laughed at, how it made them feel, what the circumstances are, etc. This can help your child make a personal connection with what they read. In the long run, their comprehension will gradually improve.

Background Knowledge

Sometimes children have background knowledge on the subject of a text, and sometimes they do not. If they do, it might be incomplete. Therefore, before your child starts reading something new, spend some time talking about the subject matter. Watch a short video on the Internet about the subject, or look at some pictures of it. Not only will this help improve your child’s reading comprehension ability, it also helps you bond while parenting.

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Ask Questions

As your child reads through a text, encourage them to ask questions. Sometimes stopping every few sentences to ask a question can impede comprehension, so it might be a good idea to make a list of questions to ask at the end of each section of the book. Encourage your child to do some research to find answers to some of their own questions. This will help in their education, reading comprehension, and learning ability. It will also help them perform better in school.

Visualizations

Utilizing your parenting skills, you should be able to help your child visualize. Talk about what a particular scene or action in the book might look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like with your child. Even though your aim is to offer reading help, however, it shouldn’t be about reading only.

Have them draw pictures of different parts of the book. These visualization exercises help them to better understand what they are reading. You could also have them draw pictures of different parts and then put the pictures in order. This will reinforce understanding of sequential events in the story.

There you have it! All the above are various ways you can help your children improve their reading comprehension ability. If you haven’t been offering reading help, guess it’s high time you fire up your parenting tools. Start offering reading help to your child from now on. Within a short period, you will definitely notice drastic improvement in his or her education, and performance at school.

EDUCATION STAFF WRITER