Are you wondering if learning and attention issues are causing your child’s challenges in school or at home? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. One in five kids have learning and attention issues. But it can be hard to know where to begin in order to find out. Here are steps you can take to determine if your child has learning and attention issues, and where to go from there.
Know the skills learning and attention issues can affect.
The term “learning and attention issues” covers a wide range of challenges kids may face in school, at home and in the community. These lifelong, brain-based difficulties can cause trouble with reading, writing, math, organization, concentration, listening comprehension, social skills or motor skills.
They’re not just “kids being lazy.” And having these issues doesn’t mean a child isn’t intelligent. Read about what learning and attention issues are and what they aren’t.
Learn about typical developmental milestones.
Take note of your concerns.
Find out what’s been happening at school.
Speak with your child’s teacher to see what she has noticed. Is your child having trouble with recognizing letters or with rhyming? Is reading, writing or math a challenge? Is your child more distractible or less focused than other kids his age? Does he have trouble making friends?
If your child is older, ask him how school is going. You may also want to see if he’s having trouble keeping up with multiple teachers, classes and expectations.
Talk to your child’s doctor.
Set up an appointment to discuss your concerns. You may want to find a time to speak when your child isn’t there. Before the appointment, learn about different terms you may hear from doctors. Bring your notes to the appointment, and be sure to mention the teacher’s concerns as well.
Discuss a free evaluation through school or early intervention.
Consider consulting with a specialist.
Meet with the school or early intervention agency.
Get next steps based on your child’s specific learning and attention issues.
Hear from and connect with other parents.