- Get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are will help you find better ways to leverage those abilities and support him with those things that he finds challenging.
- Get to know your child’s disability. The more you know about your child’s disability the more insights you will get into the best ways in wich you can help your child and help others understand him. To stay informed, read and research on the Internet, attend conferences and don’t be afraid to ask questions from your child’s doctors and teachers.
- Become familiar with the law. Knowing your child’s rights and becoming familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to your child’s special educational program will help you figure out the best ways to help him.
- Motivate your child to love learning. Take into account your child’s learning style, recognize and praise all efforts and improvements, emphasize strengths and focus on the learning experience instead of focusing on outcomes. There is nothing more important than teaching a child to love learning, especially for children that often have to work harder than their peers.
- Learn to be a good advocate for your child. Establish goals along with a strategy to obtain them, learn to work together with teachers and professionals. You know your child better than anyone else and you should play an active role in planning your child’s education.
- Nurture your child’s interests and passions. Make activities and learning relevant to your child by using their interests and passions as a tool for learning. If your child has difficulty with math but is interested in trains, modify the original problem to include trains. Motivate him to learn something he finds difficult by incorporating something he loves into it. Interests can even be leveraged to become future career opportunities.
- Believe in yourself. If you think there is something wrong, trust your gut. You can sense if something is bothering your child at school. If a medication or a teaching method is not working, and follow those instincts to find solutions.
- Remember that you are part of a team. Get to know the people who work with your child at school, communicate with them often, volunteer at school and request meetings regularly. Keep the lines of communication open. Ask teachers and therapists what is working for your child at school and what is not. Share with them what works for you, what concerns you have and if there is something going on at home that may affect your child at school.
- Join a support group. It’s important to connect with other parents who understand what you are going through. Support groups are a place to share information, ideas and resources. It can also be a place to make new friendships. The best advice I have ever gotten has come from other mothers that have walked the same path I am walking now and at times their advice and support has really been a lifesaver.
- Help your child to advocate for himself. Teach your child to communicate how he learns best, what he needs to help him get the most from his classes, and how he feels when confronted with certain issues such as testing and peer pressure. Give him the power to make his life a success.
Creative commons-licensed photo provided by DrPizza.
Powered by Facebook Comments