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I think my child may have a learning disability but I'm not sure how to describe to the school exactly what I want assessed.What should I do?

Question: 

I think my child may have a learning disability but I'm not sure how to describe to the school exactly what I want assessed. What should I do?

Answer: 

If it is hard to verbalize your concerns, bring your child's work samples with you to the school to show what is hard to articulate. A full psycho-educational assessment should provide you with more complete answers.

Before going elsewhere, you might want to find out exactly what services the school system could offer you – and when. If the time-frame or suggestions for providing needed services are unacceptable to you, there are independent educational testers that you can go to privately. The following articles will give you an idea of what to expect from the testing process:

There are several national organizations that can help you through this process and provide referrals to local professionals. You can contact the International Dyslexia Association or the Learning Disabilities Association. LD Online has a Yellow Pages service, Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy has a useful nationwide search tool. Use it to locate psychologists, educational diagnosticians, consultants, therapists, tutors, and advocates in your area. Browse their comprehensive directory of parent training and information centers for more resources, or to find educational consultants and advocates to help you through the process locally.

You can also contact the Parent Educational Advocacy Resource Center in your state, or look in your local phone book for “educational testing” or “psycho-educational testing” for someone close to you.

Be a good consumer in this process. Ask potential testers, tutors, and consultants about their experiences and specialization before you choose a provider. You want to make sure that the person you choose is a good match for your child.

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