Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Advocating for Children with Learning Differences

Life is so busy & crazy as the new school year approaches.  Yet, I remind myself to slow down and think about being pro-active while advocating for my son with learning differences, instead of re-active.  Now is the time to write an email to your child's teachers, giving them some insight to their new student.  For instance, my son is deaf in his right ear.  I like to inform the teachers of this, let them know about his preferential seating modification, and also let them know 1. He's a loud person 2. If your class is loud, he will be louder, because he cannot hear. 3. If he has his back to you, he cannot hear you (don't mistake this as ignoring you). 
A few years ago, one of his teachers called to tell me that the whole class was loud that day and especially my son.  She went on to tell me that she decided to make an example of him to try to get him to be quieter.  (Keep in mind, I did tell her at the beginning of the school year about his deafness.) So, I listened to her and sympathized that a loud class must be very frustrating but not to make an example of the deaf child ever again.  That teacher and I went on to have a fantastic teacher/parent relationship.
Step into the teacher's shoes for just a minute.  For example, our high school has 2100 students, can I expect all of his teachers to know his modifications the first day of school? No, not realistically.  For this reason, I send the email about the week before school begins. I introduce myself, give all of my and my husband's contact information, and list his modifications.  I stress to the teachers to feel free to contact us any time. 
My husband and I are our son's teachers biggest advocates, as well as our children's biggest advocates. If you don't advocate for your child, who will?
Have a great school year!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.