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Advocacy

Would you rather have $50,000 or $25,000? Explaining the impact of full-day kindergarten

Lots of interest, all of a sudden, in full-day kindergarten … I’ve had several questions about that scheme during the past few days. I’m not sure why, but it is well worth discussing yet again.

Too good to be true? Treatments and therapies for LD

Parents of kids who struggle in school want to help their child in any way they can. This is especially true for parents of kids with learning disabilities. I've sat through many conferences with parents of a child with LD who are eager to find "the thing" — the type of instruction, the experience, or the treatment that will help their child struggle less and succeed in school.

Resources for parents of kids with special needs: Back-to-school edition

Parents of kids with special needs, whether a child has learning or physical differences, often have additional considerations and worries to contend with during back to school time. I've gathered a few resources that may smooth over a bump or two and get you started on your advocacy efforts for the year.

An important message: no bullying allowed!

Everyone has been there in real time or vicariously. It sometimes feels like its reached epidemic proportions. There are all kinds of reasons, none of them good. Each incident has numerous victims who come in all sizes and ages.

I'm talking about bullying, of course. And because bullying is so prevalent, October has been designated as National Bullying Prevention Month sponsored by PACER.

Access to summer reading

As we head into summer, we're all being reminded about the importance of summer reading. Children who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect.

Some advice for those about to start kindergarten

Well, really this advice is for FAMILIES whose first-born child is about to start kindergarten. Two of my close friends fall into this category, and have been talking to me about their transitions. It's a big one! Some of the advice I've shared is below:

What is the parents' role in teacher assignment?

"What teacher do you want this year?"

That's the question heard over and over again in my neighborhood. Moms asking Moms, Moms asking kids, and even kids asking kids: Who do you hope you get this year?

At the core of parent requests, of course, are parent hopes that their child spends the year with a teacher who helps their child thrive cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Parents whose kids have spent a year in a less than optimal environment can tell you that a school year can be a VERY long time when the teacher-child match was bad.

Same thing next year? Grade retention.

We're approaching the fourth grading period at our school, which leads some teachers and parents to think about whether a struggling child should be retained. It's never an easy conversation to have.

I bet she'll catch on by then

Rebecca commented on my last post:

How should the parent respond if the teacher says this: "Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Let's watch and see how she does through the holidays. I'm betting she'll catch on by then."

Great question, Rebecca. Thank you for commenting!

In some cases, that teacher might be right. The student might catch up and do just fine. In other cases, the teacher might be wrong, and a whole bunch of valuable time will have been lost.

Is it ever too early to worry?

We get lots of questions through our Ask the Expert service. Occasionally I'll post a question here in hopes of reaching a wider audience. Feel free to chime in with your own additions to my answer! If you're like me, you'll find yourself wanting to write a dissertation for each one.

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." — Lemony Snicket