Advocacy: WHERE DO I START?

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jmg: I have a child that is 6yrs. After being in Head Start and Kinder and home summer school she is still struggling with learning her ABC and simple numbers. Sometimes she has problems remembering her name. What do I do? Where do I start?

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2 Comments on "Advocacy: WHERE DO I START?"

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You can request this at any time, if you think your child may have a disability impacting her education (no previous diagnosis is needed). It’s best to request in writing. Here’s a sample letter: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/evaluation-2/.

Usually the request goes to the school principal, but your school may have other procedures. If in doubt, you can CC the district’s special education office. Deliver the request in person, if possible.

While waiting for the school to respond, find your local parent center: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/. Their website likely has helpful info about your state’s special education process and time lines. They may also offer workshops, resources, referral, or other supports.

Your child’s pediatrician is a good place to start. Ask for an appointment to discuss your concerns about your child’s development. They should be able to listen to your concerns, tell you whether it’s something to be worried about, and refer you to a specialist for follow up if needed (such as a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, or neurologist).

Also speak to your child’s teacher. They should be able to tell you where your daughter stands in comparisons to other kids her age.

Based on the pediatrician’s and teacher’s feedback (or simply your own gut feeling – you know your kid best), you may consider requesting an evaluation for special education eligibility.

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