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When Your Little One Struggles in School (part 3)

When your child is having difficulty is school, it is easy to feel powerless and discouraged. Let me be the first to remind you, You are you child’s primary educator. You have the last word in your youngster’s education and journey.

In this final part of this series, we’ll assume you have already begun the evaluation process and will highlight some final points for you as you take the reins of your child’s future.

  • Learn about the process and what you can expect based on your school’s policies. While many are satisfied by their findings and feel equipped to move forward, there are always exceptions. Know what information you are entitled to as a parent during evaluations.
  • In many states, it is legal for the attending psychologist to omit information from an evaluation. When schools acknowledge a particular learning difficulty, they are required by law to provide services specifically for that difficulty. If you to suspect that your child’s evaluation didn’t address their needs, move on to the next step.
  • Out-of-pocket professional evaluations in my state start at $2500. Always check with your employer about benefits that may help with the cost. Unfortunately, this type of evaluation is the only way that you will be able to attain a full assessment with full disclosure. Completing this step may reveal that you don’t need as much in-depth assistance as initially suspected or it may lead you to seek even further assistance. Additionally, a professional evaluation can sometimes be submitted to your health insurance company or even make you eligible for tuition assistance at accredited private schools. That said, you can imagine why this information is so valuable. Discouraged by the cost? Click this link and thank me later.

Take full control of your child’s educational experience. Be your child’s wildest and warmest advocate right in their face. By third grade, my son was devastated by the contrasts between his schoolwork and that of his peers. When I finally explained to him that I suspected he had the same learning style of Muhammad Ali and Albert Einstein, he giggled. Moments later, I watched him stare at the ceiling and exhale. He knew it may or may not be the answer, but he understood we were working fiercely to understand him. He knew that we saw his struggles, but they weren’t how we defined him. We actively shrunk the weightiness of grades and set our sights on his strengths, talents, and all that he was capable of achieving.

These steps are based on my experience from working in and with local public schools. They are not perfect for every parent, but I hope they are a beginning for anyone as anxious as I was before I learned the beautiful truth that my child learned differently. He is not invincible and he doesn’t make straight A’s. He does his best and loves his successes. Sometimes he works twice as hard as other kids and other times school is just no fun. But school is also not the center of his world and it doesn’t have the final say on his purpose or destiny—and he knows it.

Also note that for all the dark corners of social media, there is often equally as much light. I found a wealth of support and information by searching Facebook pages with keywords that included my location along with words like ‘special needs’ or ‘education’. I was surprised by the warm and quick response of so many other parents who were also advocating for their children and just wanted to help someone else.  Take advantage of every possible resource.

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About Kristen Hector

Kristin is a Christ-loving wife, working mom, friend and wannabe crafter. She is a passionate advocate for intentional parenting, purpose centered marriages and families, and lifelong education.

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