It's back to school now that summer is over. That can bring out nerves and jitters for children and parents alike. From a parent's perspective, some common concerns might include:
Will my child do well this year?
Will he/she receive all of the supports that he/she needs?
Will he/she be in the right class?
Will he/she have good teachers?
Will he/she make friends?
What do I do if he/she is struggling?
While we wish you and your child a successful academic year, keep in mind that signs of learning difficulty are not always readily apparent. In such cases, you will want to be closely attuned to your child. An obvious red flag that your child is not progressing in school could be poor academic exam grades or report cards, but grades do not always tell the full story. You should pay attention for the following signals either in school or at home:
- Complaints of boredom
- Tuning out
- Acting out
- Not attending to homework or spending an inordinate amount of time completing homework
- Poor self-image (especially in relation to peers)
- Social difficulties
If your child presents with any of these issues, speak with his teacher immediately to explore whether something deeper might be at play. If you suspect that your child might have a disability but are not sure, you should explore the idea of having a qualified professional conduct a comprehensive psychological assessment to better understand your child’s areas of strength and weakness.
In addition to the above, there are a number of broader policy considerations for the coming school year. Some parents might be wondering, How will the DOE's new push for inclusion affect their children. See:
Others might be wondering, What teachers' union reform can be expected and in what ways will that affect the quality of teaching in New York City's public schools? See:
(For those interested in the movie referenced in the article above, Won't Back Down will be in theaters starting September 28, 2012.)
Best wishes for a successful 2012-2013 school year!