For parents and teachers, it can be difficult to identify a child who needs an alternative learning environment.
Here are a few ways you can handle the gap between getting a diagnosis for your child and getting the support they need at school.
The path to diagnosis
Getting a diagnosis can be a complex process. While some children may only need a couple of appointments, others may need to see a few different specialists to determine the nature of their disability.
When you are seeking support for your child with special needs, you should maintain a journal of the symptoms as you notice them. You may want to include their teacher in recording behaviors, such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Falling behind on developmental milestones
- Challenges with grade-level tasks and social skills
- Disciplinary issues
When you work with your child’s teacher, you can get a more complete picture of your child’s needs. Your detailed records make it easier to describe why you believe your child needs additional support.
What happens after my child has a diagnosis?
While getting a diagnosis can be a challenge, it can be an essential step toward getting your child the support they need at school. After you get a diagnosis, you can get an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Keep in mind there are situations where you may not need a diagnosis to get an IEP. Alternatively, you may have a diagnosis, and the school will still consider your child ineligible. Often, when the school determines your child is ineligible for an IEP (and the support that comes with it), it is because there is no record of your child’s disability impacting your child’s performance at school.
If you are in a situation where your child needs support but is not receiving what they need, you may need to talk to a skilled professional who can help you advocate for your child’s needs.