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1: “I need help with directions.”
The situation: The teacher doesn’t say all of the directions out loud, and your child is having a hard time making sense of the written ones.
Your child can go up to the teacher and say: “Can I talk to you about what we should be doing? I need to talk through the directions.”
Your child can later say to you or the IEP team: “I can do the assignments once I understand the directions. It’s hard when they’re all in writing, though.”
2: “It’s part of my learning plan.”
The situation: A substitute teacher doesn’t realize your child listens to audiobooks during reading time. The substitute tells your child to leave the listening station and sit somewhere else to do the reading.
Your child can go up to the substitute and say: “Using audiobooks is part of my learning plan. I have dyslexia and audiobooks makes it easier for me to follow along.”
Your child can talk to the regular teacher later and say: “The substitute didn’t know that I go to the listening station for reading. I’m worried it will happen again. Can you help?”
"Just being lazy"
It’s a myth that kids with learning and attention issues are “just being lazy.” While learning and attention issues may not be as visible as other health issues, they’re just as real.
Learn more about the one in five children who has a learning or attention issue from The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5.
3: “Can you help me with a problem?”
The situation: A classmate asks your child, “Why do you always leave the room during reading class?”
Your child can say to the teacher after class: “Kids are asking why I leave for reading class. I don’t know what to say to them. Can you help me?”
4: “I don’t want to stand out.”
The situation: Your child is upset that other kids are reading chapter books and she’s reading “baby books.”
Your child can say to the teacher after class: “I don’t want to stand out from my classmates. Can you help me find books I can read that don’t seem so babyish? I like learning about dinosaurs. Are there books about dinosaurs I could read?”
5: “I need help staying on track.”
The situation: Your child can’t find the right place in the text during read-aloud time.
Your child can raise her hand and say: “I’m sorry, I lost my place. Which page and paragraph are we on?”
Your child can say to you or the IEP team: “I need a way to keep my place during read-aloud time. I need help staying on track.”
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This special edition of Growing Readers was created by Understood, a free online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues. This article originally appeared on Understood.org.