By now, parent-teacher conferences are over and the gloves have come off in the classroom. You’re wondering what questions you should ask the teacher. Your child may be a rock star student or perhaps they have been identified as having learning, attention or behavioral difficulties. Of course, you want what is best for your child, but if they have been identified as having problems at school, it can be an overwhelming task to make sure they have the right testing, services, and accommodations to help them be successful.
These are five questions you should ask that can get you started:
1. Is my child’s performance/behavior an issue of effort or ability?
Identifying whether your child is struggling with a lack of ability or acting out as a result of a lack of effort is one of the most crucial differentiation you need to make. A lack of ability to engage, pay attention to what is being said, or perform a task will point to neurological attention or learning problems.
A lack of effort on their part may mean they are not being challenged in the classroom or are simply forgetting to turn in assignments they have already done. How you approach a lack of ability will vary dramatically from how you approach a lack of effort.
2. When can my child be tested for ___?
Many school districts will not offer accommodations to students until they are tested for a neurological, behavioral or learning difficulty by a doctor or school psychologist. You are entitled to have your child tested for these conditions by your school district, even if they are not “failing” in class.
Prepare a request in writing and submit it to your teacher, the principal, and the district special education office. Include your reasons for having them tested as well as any insight your child’s teacher gave you in the parent-teacher conference.
3. What can I do at home to support what is happening at school?
Partnering with educators is becoming a lost art. When you ask your child’s teacher what you can do at home to reinforce what is happening in the classroom, you are creating consistency that can often influence how your child behaves in class. It also gives you an opportunity to work with your child while you are both home during the holidays.
4. What accommodations are available to my child?
Even before your child is tested for neurological or behavioral issues, your child’s teacher may be willing to make some accommodations for them in the classroom. These are likely to be simple things designed to give your child “wins” within the confines of the classroom routine such as writing due dates on the tops of their assignments or communicating through email once a week.
5. Can I spend time with them in the classroom?
Taking a few hours to spend time with your child in the classroom can offer you insight into their attention and behavior problems. Chances are, your child’s teacher will be grateful to have help grading homework, listening to kids read or administering spelling tests.
You can also keep an observant eye on your child in the process so you can see for yourself areas where your child is struggling.
If your child’s teacher has told you that your child is struggling in class, schedule a Brain Map. Let our Neurofeedback specialists shed a little light on how this safe, effective treatment can give your child the tools they need to succeed now and for the rest of their life.