Spring School Struggles...5 Steps To Take
Spring is more than flowers blooming when your child is struggling and school has become a nightmare.
This is the time of year when many children are in "crash & burn mode" and it isn't pretty...for them or for you.
Many kids have simply run out of gas. They've compensated -- actually, over-compensated -- for areas where they may be struggling to the point where they have nothing left.
Maybe it's been difficulty with reading or work completion. Or they're having issues with peers or trouble following directions. No matter the needs, they're done.
If this is your child, there are 5 steps you need to take...now.
1. Have your child evaluated. If there's a diagnosis, you need to know it. Far too many parents fear "the label." The fear should be *not* securing the label because what your child may need are services and supports. Sooner vs. later.
2. Have your child re-evaluated. If your child is already receiving special education services and supports, a re-evaluation may be needed. It isn't a "one and done" scenario. And if it's been three years (or longer) since the last one, write that letter or e-mail requesting one as soon as you finish reading this.
3. Review your child's progress reports. If your child has an IEP, these reports must be presented to you along with his/her report card. And if it says things like, "Jake is doing well in class" or "Brittany met her reading goal," ask for the data. All of it.
4. Reconvene your school team. Don't wait. Ask what's happening in school. Tell them what you're seeing. Review your child's goals, modifications, and accommodations. If new issues or needs have emerged (and yes, this includes behavioral or social), document them. And determine what additional evaluations (e.g. Functional Behavioral Assessment), services (e.g. social skills instruction), or supports (e.g. teacher assistance with partner selection) are needed.
5. Listen to your child. Ask what's happening in school. Ask what's not working for them (and why). Look at their schoolwork and homework. Monitor and document their behavior and changes you may be seeing. Secure outside supports if needed. And tell them that you're "on it" and are working to make things better. You may think they know it, but they need to hear it.
Nothing is worse than seeing your child struggling or in pain. It touches every aspect of your life -- work, family...everything.
Now is the time to figure out what's going on and take steps. There are two months left in this school year. And fall will be here before you know it.