The important role of parents
Students with learning difficulties or learning disabilities often find the day-to-day challenges of the classroom quite daunting. This may result in parents playing a multitude of roles in their efforts to support their child (or children) effectively.
Parents are often the student’s main advocate and may find they are talking quite regularly to teachers, principals, tutors, psychologists, speech pathologists and, of course, the students themselves, about appropriate remediation and accommodation strategies. They are sometimes the student’s tutor which takes a considerable amount of time – researching, preparing and delivering the selected program – and can lead to arguments and additional stress.
Education is a lengthy process and students spend a great deal of both their childhood and their adolescence in the classroom. If they are not making progress and are feeling unhappy and frustrated, it can feel like a very long journey.
Most parents indicate that they simply want the school and classroom teachers to acknowledge the difficulties their child is experiencing and to look at ways these difficulties can be addressed. They consider it to be vitally important that students with learning disabilities are given the opportunity to achieve in line with their potential and they are ensured access to the curriculum at all times.
The AUSPELD resource ‘Understanding Learning Difficulties – A practical guide’ has been designed for Australian teachers, principals and others working in the school system. It contains a wealth of information for classroom teachers and outlines a wide range of effective, evidence-based strategies that are known to assist students with learning disabilities. Parents may wish to refer schools to the resource for guidance.