Experts offer answers and help for parents and educators
Does your child struggle in school?
If your child has difficulties in school or struggles to learn new ideas or concepts, despite receiving special help from the school, he or she may have a learning disability. Your first step is to contact your child’s teacher to find out what kind of difficulties your child is experiencing. Often, teachers identify problems early and take the necessary steps to help a child who struggles. But if your child still has difficulty, there are steps you can take to help your child.
You can apply for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to receive special education services at school. It is every child’s right by law to have access to special education at school. This legal document spells out your child’s learning needs, the services the school will provide and how progress will be measured.
Is it a learning disability?
If special education efforts at school do not help your child perform at grade level, an evaluation by an experienced pediatric neuropsychologist is the best place to start. Some children have a learning disability that is the result of their brain being “wired” differently than other children. If this is the case, the cause is not because of a visual or hearing handicap, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or due to environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. Some learning disabilities include:
- Hearing and visual processing disorders
- Nonverbal learning disabilities (imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or perform math calculations)
Neuropsychological evaluation for learning disability
At Henry Ford, our pediatric neuropsychologists look at all of the potential issues that affect your child’s ability to learn. Our evaluations cover the following:
- Mental ability
- Academic achievement
- Input from parents and teachers
Evaluation results are reviewed with parents, and recommendations are made for next steps. If requested, our pediatric neuropsychologists will work with your child’s school and will attend Individualized Education Plan meetings to serve as your child’s advocate.
We also provide evaluations to determine if your child:
- Is able to drive or work
- Needs special accommodations at college
- Has the capacity to make medical decisions
- Needs a guardian
Check with your health insurance provider to learn if neuropsychological services are a covered benefit under your health plan.