Thank Parents For Your Parent Advocacy For Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and/or ADHD
Dads make a huge difference and we would like to report next year that more dads are making the difference for their child in tandem with their wife — or ex-wife for your child with dyslexia, learning disabilities and/or ADHD/
This is a link to an NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities) interview with Michael Kaczor, a friend and a Master Advocate on Dads Make the Difference for Children with Learning Disabilities
Michael makes some excellent points, including:
– Homework often takes hours longer than it should for students with dyslexia, learning disabilities and/or ADHD — even though schools often have rules that say a child should only do 10 minutes per grade — dads can often make sure their child does not spend too long
– Make sure both parents, especially dads, make it too all IEP (Individual Education Plan) or other school meetings. It is unfair, but true, that dads can often be listened to when moms are not
– Know your rights — read the procedural safeguards
Additional Comments on Parent Advocacy For Learning Disabilities
As parents, we often try and do too much for our children with learning disabilities. When it comes to homework, parents, including us, often help your child and the teacher never sees exactly what your child does and does not know.
We got the following recommendation from a Florida Department of Education Official — agree with your child’s teacher to not help your child with their homework for two weeks. The school should agree not to hold your child accountable for their struggles, but to use the exercise as an opportunity to see what your child does and does not know
With respect to what homework your child could and should do:
– We do not favor reducing the number of spelling or vocabulary does – – because it is critical to learn this information
– We do favor reducing the number of math problems your child is required to do – we often recommend having your child do the odd problems so one knows what the answers are
– When papers are assignment, one should consider shortening the assignments — for example, to have your child write a 5 page paper rather than a 10 page paper
When attending meetings to qualify your child for Special Education, with a learning disabilities designation, we strongly recommend your getting an independent evaluation of your child’s reading comprehension on passages equal in length and complexity to what your child will be tested on in school.
As far as testing goes, it is vitally important for you to know that RTI, or Response to Intervention, cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation per a letter from Melody Musgrove — the Federal Director of OSEP — the Office of Special Education Programs. The Melody Musgrove Letter clearly says that RTI cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation
It is important to understand that Parent Advocacy is both an art and a science. In many cases, it would be helpful to have a parent advocate who knows the rules, will fight for bold goals and accommodations and who works collaboratively with schools.