Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press

 Home > Doing Your Homework > My Child is Not Learning to Read - What Can I Ask the School to Do?


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Program

Aug 2 - Birmingham, AL

Aug 3-8 - Wmsburg, VA

Aug 21 - Norfolk, VA

Oct 23 - Wilton, CT

Oct 25 - Olympia, WA

Oct 30 - Phoenix, AZ

Nov 6 - McAllen, TX

Nov 21 - Temecula, CA

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Candle in window
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergies
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

Print this page

My Child is Not Learning - What Can I Ask the School to Do?
by Sue Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

"My son is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. Last fall, the school evaluated him, found that he has a learning disability, and placed him in a resource class for reading.

"He isn't learning to read in the resource class. He is failing math and barely passing his other subjects. His teacher is talking about retaining him. Because he was not learning at school, I took him for an outside evaluation. The evaluator diagnosed him with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

"I made a written request for a IEP review meeting. I sent copies of this evaluation to all members of his his IEP group. What can I suggest at this meeting? The process of getting help from the school is incredibly slow. I want to be prepared so I can make good decisions for my child."

From Sue

You need to thorougly understand the test results in your son's evaluations.

Read "What You Should Know About Evaluations" by parent attorney Bob Crabtree.

Next, read "Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney by Pete and Pam Wright. Use a highlighter and make margin notes. Read it again.

Look at the recommendations made by the evaluator - these recommendations should describe the educational program and services he needs.

Present Levels of Academic Achievement in the IEP

Your child's IEP is based on evaluations. The evaluation you had done includes the most current information about your son's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd EditionWrightslaw: All About IEPs

Present Levels

Chapter 4, page 29

Add to Cart
Print Book
Add to Cart
Kindle (Mobi)
Add to Cart
E-Pub


The IEP team should use current information about your son's levels of performance as the basis of his IEP.

Your son is eight, almost nine years old. He does not have any more time to waste. Your goals are:

* to get the IEP updated so it is based on accurate, current information about his academic performance and reflects his needs, and

* to get an appropriate research-based reading program in place for the rest of this year and next year.

Your son hasn't learned to read. He doesn't have any more time to waste. Ask your evaluator to recommend an academic therapist or reading tutor who can begin working with him right away.

Children with learning disabilities who receive adequate reading instruction at an early age become fluent readers. Children who do not get adequate reading instruction at an early age do not become fluent readers.

Say "No" to Retention

The school should be using an appropriate research-based reading method to teach your child to read. Retention is not a research-based reading method and will not help him learn to read. Do NOT let the school retain him. Say "no".

Prepare for the IEP Meeting

IEP meetings are stressful. Consider hiring an advocate to help you negotiate a good IEP for your child.

To prepare for the meeting, you need to understand your child's evaluations and how to to measure progress. You also need to be knowledgeable about research-based reading programs, retention, IEPs, advocacy, letter-writing, and your child's right to a free appropriate education (FAPE).

If you have Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, read the chapters about organizing the child's file, evaluations, tests and measurements (2 chapters), SMART IEPs, letter-writing (2 chapters), and preparing for school meetings (2 chapters). Be sure to read the sample letters at the end of the letter writing chapters - they will help you think about how to frame your child's problems.

You need to become an expert in these areas. While this feels overwhelming now, you can do it if you take it one step at a time, one day at a time.

Resources

Advocacy

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started - Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If you have a child with special needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.

Parent Advocacy: What You Should Do - and Not Do - Good advice from attorney Leslie Margolis about steps parents can take to get quality educational services for their children with disabilities.

Understanding the Playing Field - Pat Howey, Indiana advocate, talks to parents about trust, expectations, power struggles between parents and schools and how to avoid them, the parental role, and the need to understand different perspectives.

More about advocacy

Evaluations & Measuring Progress

"What You Should Know About Evaluations" - Parent attorney Bob Crabtree writes, "As a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed as quickly as possible. While some parents would rather not allow their school system to evaluate their child, a refusal to cooperate at this stage of the process can backfire . . . "

Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate & Attorney by Pete and Pam Wright. To successfully negotiate for special ed services that provide educational benefit, you need to know how to interpret test scores - standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents.

Learn more about evaluations and how to measure progress.

IEPs

Guide to the Individualized Education Program published by the U. S. Department of Education.
Learn how to write IEPs that improve teaching, learning, and educational results.

How to Write IEP Goals and Objectives. How can you get good goals and objectives in your child's IEP? What can you do if the school wants to use subjective "teacher observations," not objective testing in the IEP? How can parents avoid "methodology disputes?"

Writing IEPs for Success by Dr. Barbara Bateman. Dr. Bateman will teach you how to write IEPs that are educationally useful and legally correct. This article includes a discussion of transition and transition plans.

Learn more about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Dyslexia / Language Learning Disabilities

What Every Parent Should Know about Dyslexia

Dyslexia Basics

Decoding Dyslexia

Learning to Read

How to Catch Children Before they Fail at Reading

Why Children Succeed or Fail at Reading, Research from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Program in Learning Disabilities

Reading Disabilities: Why Do Some Children Have Difficulty Learning to Read? What Can Be Done About It? by G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D.

Learn more about reading

Research-Based Reading Programs

Because less than 35 percent of fourth graders are proficient readers, No Child Left Behind requires schools to use research-based reading programs.

How to Find and Select an Academic Therapist

National Reading Panel Reports

Briefs for Families on Evidence-Based Practices - Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

Learn more about research-based reading programs from the International Dyslexia Association in Matrix of Multi Sensory Stuctured Language Programs.

Retention

Grade Retention - Achievement and Mental Health Outcomes (National Association of School Psychologists) 6th grade students rated grade retention as the single most stressful life event. Retained students are less likely to receive a high school diploma, receive poorer educational competence ratings, and are less likely to attend any educational program after high school. Retained students receive lower educational and employment ratings and are paid less per hour.

Position Statement on Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion (National Association of School Psychologists) "Through many years of research, the practice of retaining children in grade has been shown to be ineffective in meeting the needs of children who are academically delayed."

Learn more about retention

Letter-Writing

When you advocate for a child, you use logs, calendars, and journals to create paper trails. You write letters to clarify events and what you were told. When you train yourself to write things down, you are taking steps to protect your child's interests. Learn more about letter-writing and paper trails.

Find an Advocate

Education-A-Must

National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates

Directory of Legal and Advocacy Resources

Rev. 03/31/14


Meet Sue Whitney

Sue Whitney of Merrimack, New Hampshire, is the research editor for Wrightslaw.

Sue is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 978-1-892320-12-4) that is published by Harbor House Law Press.

In Doing Your Homework, she writes about reading, research based instruction, No Child Left Behind, and creative strategies for using federal education standards to advocate for children and to improve public schools. Her articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys. Sue Whitney's bio.

Sue has served on New Hampshire's Special Education State Advisory Committee on the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities (SAC) and has been a volunteer educational surrogate parent. She currently works with families as a special education advocate.


Copyright © 2002-2014 by Suzanne Whitney.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright © 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

.
New Book!

Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95