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Learning Rx & IEP Tips


September 14, 2012

If you have one or if you think you may need one

By: Learning Rx
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Back to School with an IEP

Schools often use an IEP (individual Education Plan) to help struggling students.  These plans are usually developed with the administration, teachers and the student’s family.  These plans are important to help your child succeed.
With the return of the new school year, many Richmond area families are returning to the difficulties of years past.  Our children are working hard in their studies, but they often have little to show for it.
There are three options for the struggling learner:
1.  ACCOMODATION simply accepts the learning limits as permanent.  Special programs that isolate underperforming students, or require long-term medication to control behavior , are examples of this approach.  It is a common alternative, and is often justified in the name of preserving self-esteem.  Examples include more time on tests, fewer problems or less work.
2.  COMPENSATION works around learning weaknesses.  Typically it includes altering a student’s environment or selecting challenges to fit individual strengths while ignoring the weaknesses.  It trades the present appearance of success for future frustration and failure.  Examples include reading everything to your child, using manipulatives, or teaching through art & drama.
3.  IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING the source of struggle is the logical choice.  If cognitive weakness is the root of a particular student’s learning or reading struggles, then cognitive testing and training is clearly the most promising approach to provide both immediate and long term answers.   This targets and strengthens the cause/weaknesses.  
Most of our schools focus on the first two options.  Most families feel they are the only answer.   If you are involved in a meeting discussing a struggling child, ask all involved “How is this plan going to address this child’s weakness?”  If the answers continue to be accommodation or compensation ask the same question again.  
Please feel free to call LearningRx in Richmond (804-612-9959) gain a better understanding of how cognitive skills impact our learning.

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