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A Parent’s Guide to Getting Help for Your Child

This information is to help you to understand how the Student Services Team works to help you with any difficulties your child may be having at school. These difficulties might be academic, behavioral, social, or any combination of these. Here is the procedure we will be following as a school to help you.

This is always the first step. Your child’s teacher will let you know as soon as he/she has noticed that your child is having difficulty in some area. The more quickly you meet with the teacher to come up with suggestions, the more quickly a resolution is possible. This may be a strategy as simple as a homework notebook. Meeting with your child’s teacher also helps the teacher to know if there is something going on at home that may be affecting your child at school, be it a military deployment, death in the family (pets too), or a new addition. If the problem continues to escalate, it may be necessary for the teacher to seek additional assistance.

Yes, even teachers can’t always come up with every possible intervention by themselves. When dealing with academic or behavioral difficulties, your child’s teacher may consult his/her fellow teachers at grade level meetings for additional suggestions. Sometimes another teacher or school support specialist is able to come up with a fresh idea or perspective to help your child. Other options at this stage are school-based remediation programs. You may also decide to seek private help for your child.

When consultation with you and fellow teachers is still not helping as much as you or your child’s teacher would like, the decision may be made to bring your child to SST. You will be invited to attend. This team is composed of the school counselor, parent, assistant principal, and the teacher. Sometimes other school staff such as the school social worker, school psychologist, speech/language therapist, or behavior resource specialist may attend. The purpose of this team is to brainstorm ideas to help your child improve. At this stage, both the teacher and possibly you will be asked to collect data to measure how well an intervention plan is working. It is very important that you as a parent contribute to the development and implementation of this plan. It is, after all, an individualized plan to help your child. Keep in mind, it takes time to change a behavior or boost an academic skill, so please be patient with the school and your child.

Only after every possible school-based intervention has been tried will there be a referral for a psychological evaluation.

Published by Laurie Pender on June 2, 2018