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Tips for Finding the Right School When Your Child Has a Learning Difference

Mon. 01/28/2019

Parents who have a child with a learning difference often ask an important question – should my child attend a mainstream school or attend one that specializes in teaching students with learning differences?

Finding the right school for your child means considering the whole child – academic, social and emotional.  Parents should consider their child’s personality, strengths, and challenges. The results of diagnostic testing and the recommendations of any specialists working with your child are also important. Undoubtedly, finding a school that is the right fit will help set the tone for your child’s success.

At The Summit School, many of our students come to us after struggling at another school. Often we find that a new student not only fell behind academically, but their confidence took a big hit. The purposeful structure and environment at Summit teaches students that they can learn, make friends, enjoy school and go on to be successful in high school and beyond.

For a child who struggles in school because of a learning difference, parents might consider posing the following questions when attending an Open House or School Tour:

  • How big are the classes? What is the teacher to student ratio? With larger class sizes it’s easier for a student to fade into the background. With smaller class sizes there’s increased opportunity for flexibility with regard to curriculum and teaching strategies.
  • What is the makeup of the student body? In a school where there’s a concentration of children with learning differences, your child may feel less out of place.
  • What are the teachers’ qualifications, training and experience?
  • Is a multi-sensory approach used? Is instruction tailored to your child’s learning profile? And, as each student progresses, are lessons adjusted accordingly?
  • Are expectations openly communicated? What is the homework policy? Are there open lines of communication between teachers and parents? Will you know how your child is progressing?
  • What is the school’s educational focus? Is it attaining passing or good grades or helping students reach their full potential?
  • Does the school have all the resources your child needs?

All of these are important factors when evaluating the best fit for your child. However, if your child is not thriving in their current environment you might strongly consider a different learning environment.

The Summit School serves bright students with dyslexia and other learning differences, grades 1-8. Teachers maximize student strengths and support the areas where there are challenges. Summit empowers students and prepares them for success in high school and beyond. For more information on how The Summit School serves students with dyslexia and other learning differences, visit www.thesummitschool.org.

 

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