Watching your child struggle with his or her academics can be heartbreaking. What’s worse is feeling powerless in the process. When a child is struggling with his or her learning, it could be attributed to a myriad of factors: the curriculum, the pace, the child’s learning environment, attention or retention problems, or an underlying learning challenge.
If you think your child has a learning disability, there are many options for diagnosing, assessing, and seeking help. Here are some steps to help you find comfort and strength through the process:
1. Observe your child in and out of the classroom
If you think your child has a learning disability, the first and most important step is to observe him or her in all of the possible learning environments. Reach out to your child’s teacher and see if there is a time you can observe. For online learning this is much easier; simply find a time where you can be attentive in the same room as your child without being a distraction.
Observe how your child attends to the lesson. Is he/she fidgeting or distracted? Losing interest? Unable to attend at all? Seem lost or unfocused? These questions are triggers that your child may have an underlying issue inhibiting him/her from tracking with peers.
It’s also good to observe your child is a preferred environment as well. Even though this new setting isn’t academic, it can help you draw comparisons in behavior, speech, and even processing.
2. Try to eliminate other outside factors
When trying to understand your child’s learning challenges, a great rule of thumb is to try to remove anything that may distract your child or get in the way of his/her learning. For example, try to limit caffeine consumption, distracting toys or fidgets, or assignments with a heavy cognitive load. If possible at home, try to set up your child in a quiet learning space away from others.
When you remove these outside factors, it can help you focus on what is really causing your child’s challenges—distractions, too challenging of material, the physical environment—or something else.
3. Talk with your child’s teacher(s)
As you gather your own data, be sure to consult with your child’s teacher(s) to learn about what they see in their classrooms. Sometimes there will be a mismatch which can help you identify changes that can be made at both home and school. Sometimes you will report the same information, which may help you understand your child’s learning needs a bit more.
Your teacher may also have insight, recommendations, and ideas that will help set your child up for success,
4. Get a diagnostic assessment
If you think your child has a learning disability, and after observing him/her recognized behaviors and signs, it’s time to get an assessment of his/her learning needs.
At Banyan Tree Educational Services, we offer diagnostic assessments to help discover underlying problems that may be inhibiting your child’s learning. We will take your child through different tests to understand his/her cognition, processing, memory, retention, attention, and levels in all subject areas. From this test, you will understand where your child struggles, what he/she struggles with, and the steps to overcoming these barriers in the classroom.
5. Start remediating and strengthening foundational skills to build success
Regardless of whether or not your child has a learning disability and regardless of the type or “severity” of your child’s learning disability, he or she has the potential to grow and find success—both in and out of the classroom.
After identifying where your child needs help, the remediation begins. At BTES, we offer several options for learning: non-public school, private school, flexible learning (best for students who are homeschooled and need additional support), and 1:1 Educational Therapy.
Based on your child’s assessment results and levels, we will build a Personal Learning Plan for his/her goals and focus areas. As you pursue learning with our team, we will remediate any learning gaps, build foundational skills, and help your child learn to overcome his/her learning challenges with strategies and confidence.
To learn more about our process, your next steps, and how to inquire more information about assessments and/or enrollment, head over to our contact page and drop us a line! We look forward to connecting with you and helping your child.