The following are ideas to help guide you. If at any time you are unsure what to do, ask for help. Meadowlark Tutorials is a resource available to you.
Become involved with the local learning disabilities centres. In the Ottawa Carleton area, the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa Carleton can be found on our Links page. The LDAO/C has a library, resource centre, community guide of learning professionals in your area, workshops, and much more.
Read about your child's difficulties. You will be able to help yourself know more and you will be able to answer your child's questions with facts and knowledge. There are many books about learning disabilities in general and about specific disabilities. Your local library and book store will be able to guide you to available titles.
In your schedule, build in time to help your child with learning and homework. Take your time explaining information. If your are not sure how to do something or how to explain something, say so, don't pretend you know. Your child needs facts. Ask a learning specialist, educator, or teacher for help if you need to understand something more clearly.
Keep a journal of events, times, and places if you suspect or know your child's teacher to be aggressive, mean, or bullying. A written record of events will help you give accurate detailed information if you are ever asked to support your suspicions. No teacher has the right to bully or abuse anyone.
For your children
Know who your child's teachers are. Send a letter of introduction to the teachers explaining what difficulties your child has and what your have done and are doing to help them (testing, medication, remedial help). Keep regular contact with all the teachers. Write a note or letter, place phone calls, and use e-mail to maintain weekly or bi-weekly contact. By doing so, you will avoid unwanted surprises and disappointments.
Explain to your child what their learning difficulty is and that they are very lucky to know what it is. School would have been extremely challenging if their difficulty had not been found. Now you can work together to make learning enjoyable.
IPRC and IEP are two very important agreement tools between the school and your child in your child's education. The Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) is made up of the professionals in school and with the board of education. They will assess your child and identify the resources available to help with the specific learning difficulty. You are a member of this team too. Become actively involved in the planning of resources and availability of help for your child. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is the actual plan for your child's education. The IEP will identify the goals, how they will be taught, and how they will be graded or measured. You are involved here too. Add or remove goals that are needed or unnecessary. Help is available from Meadowlark Tutorials for the IPRC and IEP and can be found at this page. [link]
Develop a routine with your child to help guide them through their day. Plan the day from wake-up to bed-time. Include all responsibilities and chores. Below is an example.
7:00am: Wake-up, get washed and dressed for school, eat breakfast, make and pack your lunch, wash dishes, brush teeth.
8:00am: Leave for school.
3:30pm: Home from school. Have a snack.
4:00pm: Do chores and play time.
5:00pm: Begin homework.
6:00pm: Eat supper with family.
7:00pm: Finish homework, review, practice, study.
9:00pm: Get ready for bed. Brush your teeth, wash.
9:30pm: Lights off. Goodnight.
Groups that provide support to parents:
Parents' Lifelines: 613-321-3211, 1-855-775-7005 and Twitter
Crossroads: 613-723-1623 and Twitter
Ottawa Distress Line: 613-238-3311
Distress Center Ottawa: 1-866-996-0991 and Twitter
Mental Health Crisis Line (Ages 16 and up) 613-722-6914
The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre: 613-722-6521 and Twitter
Youth Services Bureau: 613-729-1000 and Twitter
Youth and Family Crisis Line for Eastern Ontario 1-877-377-7775
Meadowlark Tutorials is a member of The Canadian Safe School Network and provides a safe environment for students to learn free from ridicule, bullying, and mistrust. We welcome all students from all walks of life.
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