Parenting Information

Understanding The Report

"No thank you.  Don't bother to send me the report about the testing results.  I won't understand it anyway.  I'll just listen at the meeting."

Those were the words of more than one parent I spoke with whose children had been tested to see if they  needed special education services. I could always hear the  discouragement in their voices as they spoke.

I heard the same tone of voice in a person a little closer to home just recently.  A relative of mine has a son  who has just been evaluated, and the parents had been given  a copy of the report.  He and his wife both have college  educations, and they still had difficulty understanding what  was being said.  He looked totally helpless as he showed me  the paperwork.

It's important to realize that every occupation in life has it's own terms, and special education is no different.   Unless you work in that occupation on a daily basis, you can't  be expected to know what those terms mean  -  not much  consolation when it's your child's education and success that  are at stake.

The good news is that there is help out there.

Here are some suggestions for how you can become an informed, active participant in the meeting:
 1)  Contact the special education office in your school district.  Either  someone there can explain  it to you, or they can tell you who to talk with to  help you understand the report.

 2)  Set up an appointment to speak with the special education person in your child's school.

If you can't get the information you want through the special education office for some reason, call and  decide on a mutually convenient time when you can meet  with the special education teacher and discuss the results.   Perhaps you can even discuss what the recommendations might  be regarding the best placement and the best program for  your child.

This way, when you go into the meeting, you will be more prepared.

 3)  Take notes as you discuss the report. If you take notes from the discussion, then you will have ready  information to take into the meeting, and you won't  be bogged down having to find the information in  the report.

 4)  If you still have trouble understanding, you can contact your state Learning Disabilities Association.  They will have answers for you and they may be able to  suggest someone to go to the meeting with you to help  you understand what is going on.

 5)  Know that it's okay to take someone into the meeting with you for support. Facing a group of  professionals can be scary, whether you have a  college degree or not. Having support with you can be  very comforting, and if that support is someone who  understands the process better than you, that's  a bonus!

Remember, you are NOT alone in this process.  You have a team of people who are there to help your child be successful.  And working together as a team is the best way to make that  happen.  But, you have to play an active role in that team in  order for your child to get the best services possible, and  that may mean searching out people who can help you understand  and take charge.

For more plain talk about learning disabilities, please visit us at

About the Author
Sandy Gauvin is a retired educator who has seen learning disabilities from many perspectives - as the parent of a  daughter with learning disabilities, as the teacher of  children with learning disabilities, and as an advocate  for others who have diagnosed and unrecognized learning  disabilities. Sandy shares her wisdom and her resources  at




'Free-range' flap in Maryland fans flames of national debate on parenting
Washington Post
Long before the Meitivs of Silver Spring clashed with Montgomery County over their young children's walk home alone from a park, other parents across the country were at odds with authorities over similar questions: How much supervision do children ...
Why are we parenting as if our kids are in constant danger?Quartz
Albom: Free-range children vs. close-minded parentingDetroit Free Press
Why we fear free-range parentingArkansas Online
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -Tribune-Review -American Thinker (blog)
all 70 news articles »

The Seattle Times

In 'Children's Crusade,' parenting becomes a blur
The Seattle Times
In 'Children's Crusade,' parenting becomes a blur. Originally published April 19, 2015 at 5:01 am. Family dynamics are skillfully rendered in Ann Packer's latest, about a mother of four and the kind of parents those children grow up to be. By Moira ...

Yahoo Parenting

Praise for Heather Locklear's Co-Parenting Vacation With Ex Richie Sambora
Yahoo Parenting
Ava Sambora's parents Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora have this divorced parenting thing down. Experts tell Yahoo Parenting why all co-parents could take a page from their playbook. (Photo: Coleman-Rayner). The scene couldn't have been more ...

and more »

Perspective on Parenting: Getting an education is a privilege
The Reporter
Come on, you can admit that your home is bursting with at least one child anxious for the school year to grind to a screeching halt. My children and their friends are leaving books at school required for their homework assignments and talking more ...

and more »

Huffington Post

Free Range Parenting Will Take Guts, Groups
Huffington Post
Not many years ago, I wrote in protest of bringing snacks to kids' soccer games. I said that making cookies for halftime was ruining my weekend, as was being expected to sit on the sidelines during every practice. I can think of 101 things I'd rather ...

Dr. Randy Cale's Terrific Parenting: Part III On consistency: Keeping emotions ...
The Saratogian
In our last two articles, we have addressed the critical importance of consistency in routines and in setting limits. Today, we will address the third part of the consistency triad: Parental emotions and the role of reactivity.

See 19 of the best inspirational parenting tips to brighten your day
It's always nice to learn practical solutions for parenting dilemmas. Kid won't take yucky medicine? Give him a couple of chocolate chips to melt in his mouth and disguise the taste. Boom! Medicine down the hatch. But sometimes, parenting challenges ...

and more »

Huffington Post

Funniest Parenting Tweets: What Moms And Dads Said On Twitter This Week
Huffington Post
Our guest curator this week is Kate Hall, co-editor (with Science of Parenthood's Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler) of The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets available today on Amazon. Kate also blogs at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine? and ...
Funniest Parenting Tweets: What Moms And Dads Explained On Twitter This WeekStandard Bulletin

all 5 news articles »

Jamaica Observer

National Parenting Support Commission targets St Thomas
Jamaica Observer
"Volunteers will be trained by the commission for a six-week period as parenting mentors. They will aid in risk assessment, as well as hosting community forums and workshops aimed at helping to address the issues that have arisen out of the risk ...

Huffington Post

The Importance of Not Parenting Perfectly
Huffington Post
You may be assuming that I am some attachment parenting maven who created this family bed tradition in order to foster a safe haven for open communication. That could not be farther from the truth. It comes from this, pure and simple: I am exhausted ...

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.