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How to speak about learning disorders...

...with teachers (when you are a parent)

The best time to have a conversation about learning disorders is right before or right after the school year begins. If a conference or scheduled meeting is not planned soon, you can ask for a convenient time to meet and make an appointment.

Choose the right moment

Most of the teachers heard about Dys but it might also happen that it’s a first-time situation for them and it is quite likely they lack training on the topic. To make the meeting as efficient as possible, consider printing out information about the DYS of your child and the skills it can affect and bringing it to the meeting.

Have your notes ready

Try to be specific when talking about your child’s learning disorder. Not all Dys kids are the same. Knowing what has worked for the kid in the past—and what hasn’t—will give teachers a head start on providing the best support.

Be explicit

It’s beneficial for the student if the parent – teacher relationship is open and based on trust. It’s not always easy to talk about the challenges you face at home, but they could be a source of information about child behavior in the classroom.

If needed, try to discuss home matters

It’s important for the teacher not only to understand your child’s challenges but also their strengths and interests as well. Such information is helpful to come up with different ways to motivate them in the classroom.

Talk about the strengths

Collaboration with the teacher lets you reinforce students’ different learning strategies. Share what you have done that has helped your child and ask if they had a Dys student in their class before, and whether they used any helpful strategies. Working as a team is also reassuring for the child that they are not left alone and there are efforts to provide them the best support possible.

Ask you can help

Be aware that adapting the way of teaching takes time and results might come later than you expect. Keep the communication open and, at the same time, try not to be pushy or overly critical. You can propose regular meetings every 2-3 months to monitor the progress and discuss new ways of supporting your child’s learning process.

Arrange follow-up meetings