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If your child is struggling in school, you may wonder whether or not he has a “learning disability.” Learning disabilities cover a wide range of learning difficulties and children with learning disabilities make up the majority of children who receive special education services. The first thing you should do if your child is having difficulty in school is discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher. Be sure to prepare for this discussion, bringing with you samples of his work and examples of how you see him struggling (e.g. time spent on homework, level of assistance needed, his frustrations, etc.) The teacher may refer your child to a Student Study Team or other general education group of school staff who can discuss possible changes or accommodations your child may need in the classroom.
If your child continues to struggle even with adjustments that have been made by the teacher, you may want to have your child assessed to determine if, among other difficulties, your child has a learning disability. The information in this packet will provide you with introductory information on this very broad topic including an overview of learning disabilities, evaluations to determine if a child has a learning disability, eligibility for special education including the definition of special education “specific learning disability” eligibility, the kinds of evaluations used, information on social and emotional issues that come into play as well as possible interventions. Additionally you will find a variety of print and internet resources to help you learn about this topic and how you can help your child. Read More