Working with the school

It is best to regard yourself, the teachers, and the other professionals (such as a speech therapist) involved in your child’s education as a team. Each member of the team plays a part in providing the best education for your child. It is essential that you and the other members of the team communicate regularly.

Some schools have a file for each child which is passed on to their new teacher each year. Do not rely on this, but arrange a meeting with your child’s new teacher at the beginning of each year. At the meeting, explain your child’s difficulties and give the teacher copies of any assessments done in the past.

During the year, keep in regular contact with the teacher to find out how your child is progressing. It is a good idea for your child’s homework diary to be used as a ‘communication book’ in which you and the teacher can exchange information on a regular basis. You should not hesitate to request a special meeting with your child’s teacher if there is something that is causing you concern. Do this as early as possible.

In some places it is possible to apply for funding for special teaching sessions at school for a child with a specific learning difficulty. This may be given in the class, or in a resource room. The child may receive individual help, or be part of a small group of children with similar difficulties. If you think this may be helpful, check with your child’s teacher to see whether it is available. Some schools also have an arrangement whereby parents come to the class and help children with their reading, or other work.

Help from organizations

There are now a number of organizations that provide support to parents of children with specific learning difficulties. Such associations vary in their activities. They generally produce a newsletter, run a library, and sell books of interest to parents. Some have meetings where parents can share experiences. They also lobby governments for better services for children with specific learning difficulties. There is usually an annual membership fee.

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