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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Building Rapport (with Your Child's School) for the Long Haul

From Smart Kids with LD

By Marcia Brown Rubinstein
September 19, 2014

Developing a successful partnership with your child’s school is a rite of fall—especially for parents of children with LD and ADHD. Your child’s success depends on the teachers and administrators in charge of addressing his academic and emotional needs, understanding his strengths and weaknesses, and maintaining an environment that elicits the best he has to offer.

Below are guidelines to help you establish the most productive atmosphere for all involved:
  • Make sure you understand your child’s needs and all required accommodations or remediations.
  • Familiarize yourself with school programs and policies.
  • Know your rights (link to Your Child’s Rights landing page) and the Special Education Guidelines for your state and school system.
  • Monitor your child’s academic and emotional progress continually.
  • Do not wait until report cards are issued to know how he is doing. If your child is relatively uncommunicative, schedule regular short meetings with teachers or arrange for another means of communication (e.g a comments notebook that goes back and forth from school to home; texting, emailing, etc).
  • Support the school actively and consistently in order to show that you endorse its fundamental principles.
  • When interacting with anyone at the school, be respectful; follow the chain of command if you have complaints to register.
  • Recognize that first and foremost you are your child’s primary advocate. Never allow him to suffer if you see that a school policy, faculty member, administrator, or situation is intolerable.
  • Get involved. Attend as many school functions as possible, including open houses, cultural events, and PTA meetings. Volunteer for school activities. Become a room parent, field-trip chaperone, or classroom volunteer. Share your talents with your child’s classmates.
  • Communicate with school personnel when things go well, not only when they go wrong.

All students benefit when parents and teachers build partnerships and work together for stronger, more responsive schools.

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