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Parenting & Family

Parenting a child with a learning disability can be challenging. We’ve gathered information to help you get organized, understand your rights and responsibilities, and provide support for your child at home and at school.

There are 139 articles in this section.

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Learning Disabilities and Sibling Issues

Siblings of kids with learning disabilities sometimes feel pushed into the background at home. Here's how to balance the needs of your child with LD and your other kids.

Documenting Communication with the School About Special Services

When dealing with a bureaucracy, and school districts are bureaucracies, you need to keep detailed records. Logs, journals, and calendars provide answers and support memories and testimonies. This article provides examples of how to keep a paper trail.

Get Your Child Ready for Work

How can you help your child develop a strong work ethic and job skills? Teach them to take pride in a well-done task. Make them a productive part of your home. Help them remediate their learning disabilities and do well in school. Guide them as they determine and develop their strengths.

Being an Efficient Homework Helper: Turning a Chore into a Challenge

This article will help your child succeed doing homework. Read tips that can help kids with learning disabilities, ADHD, and dyslexia work faster and with focus. Set up a place for your child to work and give them the supplies they need. Teach them strategies, get them organized, and encourage them to succeed.

Goal Setting for Children with Learning Disabilities: Your Role Is Important

The ability to set goals and meet them is essential for success of people with learning disabilities. Learn how to help children set goals, persevere toward those goals, and succeed in making their dreams come true.

Designing a Dossier: An Instruction Book for Your Child

Many of the adults in your child's life are unfamiliar with learning disorders in general, or your child's unique pattern of strengths and limitations. Developing a one- to three-page dossier that provides useful information about your child can help their babysitters, coaches, teachers, bus drivers, school support staff, neighbors, and relatives understand their limitations. This article describes key elements of such a document and provides a sample.

Understanding the Special Education Process

This overview from the PACER Center walks parents through each step of the special education process, describing what happens from the time a child is referred for evaluation through the development of an individualized education program (IEP).

Evaluation: What Does it Mean for Your Child

This PACER Center fact sheet informs parents about evaluation, a process to help determine whether a child has a disability and what the child's educational needs might be. The article discusses the reasons why parents might choose to evaluate their child, types of tests available, factors that should be considered when selecting tests, and questions parents should ask when an evaluation is proposed.

Attending Meetings to Plan Your Child's Individualized Education Program (IEP)

This checklist prepared by the PACER Center will help parents prepare for and get the most out of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings with school staff.

Explaining Learning Disabilities to Your Child

Talking to your child about their learning disabilities is crucial. Rick Lavoie explains how parents can dispel misconceptions, highlight the child's support systems, and provide on going encouragement that will help their child flourish.

What Do You Do If You Suspect That Your Child Has A Learning Disability?

Parents: Learn how to obtain a diagnosis for your child. This article walks you through the process of determining whether your child has a learning disability. Study different types of evaluations that clarify your child's learning difficulties, what that means for your child, and what your next step should be if an LD is found.

Accessible Textbooks: A Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities

If your child cannot read their textbooks, they need digital copies of their books. Schools now can use National Instructional Material Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to get e-text. Learn the details that will help you advocate for your child so they can use NIMAS. And learn where to find the publishers and producers that provide e-text.

Organizational Problems and the Beginning of the School Year

Read techniques from Rick Lavoie to help your child get organized for the new school year. Don't let their bedrooms and backpacks become black holes. They need effective systems and routines. Get them started right so they can remember their homework assignments, stick to deadlines, and develop organizational skills.

Crickets, Books, and Bach: Develop a Summer Listening Program

Put together a summer listening program for your child. Listening is an engaging way to learn, so your child may love listening to books and other written documents. Have them listen to music and stage plays, comedy routines, and other works. Point out background sounds, such as the way the peppy tune on a sound track adds fun and humor to an adventure tale. Learning to listen is particularly helpful to children with learning disabilities.

When the Child with Special Needs Goes Off to Summer Camp

Are your children in summer camp? Are you wondering how to support them while they are away? Rick Lavoie gives advice on how you can help children with learning disabilities have a great time this summer — and enjoy yourself more. For example, did you know it is better to send lots of short letters than a few long ones?

Response to Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parents

Learn what questions to ask about Response to Intervention (RTI), an approach to helping struggling learners that is gaining momentum in schools across the country. This article from the National Association of School Psychologists tells you the most important features of the process, key terms, and RTI's relationship to special education evaluation.

Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia

Here are a dozen simple strategies to help your children keep the academic skills they learned during the school year. Support them as they read. Give them material that is motivating — and some of it should be easy. Help them enjoy books and feel pleasure — not pressure — from reading. The summer should be a relaxed time where their love of learning can flower.

Improving Your Child's Behavior in Public Settings

Help your child behave properly in public settings. Meet the five basic physical needs that keep them calm. Community excursions, such as trips to the mall and your house of worship, are challenging for children with learning disabilities. Learn the steps that will help your child improve their behavior.

Are Learning Disabilities The Only Problem? You Should Know About Other Related Disorders

About half of people with learning disabilities also have other related disorders. Learn about ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and other difficulties. This article, written by Larry B. Silver, a psychiatrist, tells parents about other related disorders, how they can impact your child, and how you can get a diagnosis.

Sample letter: Writing to Discuss a Problem

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