Nine Weeks Down…Three More to go!
It is hard to believe that the first 9 weeks of school is over! Now is a great time to review and really check in to see how your child is doing in their classes. Most kids need the first nine weeks to “warm up” to new routines, teachers, peers, etc…however, if your child seems to be struggling to keep up, is showing a great amount of anxiety, or is exhibiting any other concerning behaviors, I encourage you to look deeper at what school life is truly like for them.
There are so many services, accommodations and programs available for your child, through the public school system, that you may or may not be aware of. More can always be done.
Here are some suggestions if you are concerned about your child’s school performance, social interactions, behavior or overall functioning:
1. Schedule a meeting with an advocate to review your child’s current IEP or 504 plan. If your child does not have an IEP or 504 plan but feel they need additional help, an advocate can lead you in the right direction to get the evaluation process started.
2. If you do have an IEP or 504, call a meeting. You have the right to request an IEP meeting any time, as many times, as you want throughout the year. You may also specify who you would like to attend the meeting.
3. Put your correspondences with the school in writing including minor concerns or questions you may have for teachers.
4. Consider having an outside, licensed therapist come and observe your child at school. A new law has recently been passed that will allow for outside, licensed therapists to observe children at school.
5. Get feedback from your child. Ask them what changes they would make, if they could, to make school easier, better, less stressful? Ask your child to draw a picture about their day. Have your child rate their day on a scale from 1-10. Provide a visual emotion chart for children who are unable to verbalize their feelings when asked about school, a particular class or teacher.
6. Attend a workshop or support group. There are several webinars and local meetings/support groups that address these topics and provide a space to share your concerns about questions with other parents and professionals.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the above information, please feel free to contact Erica DuPont, LCSW Owner of ProTherapyPlus, LLC