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Helping Struggling Students Who Don't Qualify for Special Services

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By Jan Baumel, M.S.

Provide Support for Your Child

It's important to let your child know that you believe in her and recognize her efforts. She needs to see you're "in her corner" - there to listen, provide support and guidance and seek help for her.

Remember that these struggles are only a part of the special and unique person she is. As her parent, you'll want to find ways to reinforce instruction, keep her motivated, lessen the pressure and celebrate her talents.

  • Help her set realistic expectations for herself.
  • Let her know that it's OK to ask for help when she doesn't understand a new concept or directions.
  • Meet with her teacher(s) and make a plan of how you can work together to help her.
  • Help her organize her materials and develop a plan for effective studying.
  • Find ways to help her with her homework.
  • If necessary, provide academic support programs outside of school hours, such as tutoring or peer study groups.
  • If necessary to help her deal with anxiety and unrealistic expectations, seek counseling.
  • Identify her strengths and interests and encourage her to continue building them.

Jan Baumel, M.S., Licensed Educational Psychologist, spent 35 years in education as a teacher, school psychologist, and special education administrator before joining Schwab Learning. Today she is a consultant to local school districts and university field supervisor for student teachers.

Comments from readers

"This is an interesting site and I still visit it even though my student is in a different school district now. I have a high school student that has continuing problems with organization,stress, anxiety and ADD/Hd. It is really hard for the teachers and students to give/get help needed when have special needs all because of the stress put on the TAKS testing. Listen to your child and take time to stay in contact with the school even if it means going against their findings. You know your child best. When they tke away special education assistance ask for a 504 meeting. More than likely no one will tell you that this option is available, which can still give the student help in aeas of concern needed."
"What about the new RTI (response to intervention) model? My understanding is that they don't test students anymore but just give suggestions about how the child should improve. It seems like you have to wait until the child fails before they will do anything. My son has a 'probable' dysgraphia, but no one is willing to call it that and they don't want to service him- only give suggestions for the classroom teacher. They have never even met him (he goes to a private school)! Quite frankly, the classroom teacher better suggestions than the OT or resource teacher do. RTI acutally makes it more difficult for my child to get the help I know he needs!"