For School Counselors
Resources developed in partnership with: The American School Counselor Association
Self-esteem and reading difficulties
The effects of falling behind in reading and feeling like a failure can take a large toll on kids.
Helping kids with disabilities
School counselors can take the lead in creating positive school experiences for kids with disabilities.
Helping minority students with special needs
Find out how you can be a more effective advocate for students who need special education services.
School counselors and reading achievement
Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children can achieve academic success. (From The American School Counselor Association)
School counselors play a critical role in the lives of young readers — especially children who are struggling to learn — in the following ways:
- Helping teachers and parents identify and evaluate a child's talents, difficulties, or special needs by observing children's play and learning activities
- Developing individualized education programs (IEPs) with parents, teachers, and other support staff
- Collaborating with school administrators on school climate and school-wide needs assessments
- Working directly with students through one-on-one counseling and peer support groups
The following articles provide basic background information on risk factors for reading difficulties, reading disabilities, and learning disabilities, including risk factors and signs.
- Who Are the Children Who Have Reading Difficulties?
- About Reading Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Reading Difficulties
- Dyslexia Basics
- Clues to Dyslexia from Second Grade On
How to help struggling learners
The following articles suggest effective ways to support the struggling learners in your school.
- Self-Esteem and Reading Difficulties
- Catch Them Before They Fall: Identification and Assessment to Prevent Reading Failure in Young Children
- Counseling Needs of Academically Talented Students with Learning Disabilities
- Creating Positive School Experiences for Students with Disabilities
- School Counselors and School Psychologists: Collaborating to Ensure Minority Students Receive Appropriate Consideration for Special Educational Programs
- Understanding the Concerns of Parents of Students with Disabilities: Challenges and Roles for School Counselors
- A Group Counseling Intervention for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Helping Children with Communication Disorders in the Schools
- How to Support Refugee Students in the ELL Classroom
Put downs & comebacks: how to respond to a discouraged kid
When children struggle in school, they can easily get discouraged. They might say or think "I'll never learn how to read" or "I'm just dumb." To turn these self-defeating thoughts around, kids need the help of caring adults. Discover what a child's "put downs" may mean and what "comebacks" you can say or do to encourage a child to keep trying.
See Put Downs & Comebacks tool >
To share with parents
- Who's Who in Your Child's School
- New school year = rough transitions for some
- New Year's Resolution: Help Your Kids Do Well in School
- Seeking Help for a Struggling Reader: 8 Steps for Parents
- Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs
- Taking a Closer Look: My Child's Academic Success
To share with teachers
- Back-to-School Night and Beyond
- Creating a Welcoming Classroom
- Reflections on a New School Year
- Family Stories