Our Blog

  • Learning Associates

“Now that I have the evaluation results, how do I make sure that the teacher and school will work with me to meet my child’s needs?”


Parents often need guidance in navigating the possible special services programs and processes once a child’s learning challenges have been identified. At Learning Associates, we recognize that effective educational advocacy is just as important as the evaluation itself. As a Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant and former teacher, Holly is uniquely qualified to partner with families on behalf of their children. In meetings with child study teams and teachers, Holly explains the results of testing, discusses the implications of those results, and advocates for our educational recommendations. She can attend 504 Committee and Child Study Team meetings along with parents to secure appropriate programs and services. This collaboration increases effectiveness.


Some situations require legal advocacy. When an education attorney is required, Holly can make recommendations and work alongside counsel.


For more information on special education advocacy, see https://u.org/2E4u8I0.

When children have learning disabilities, the impact can extend far beyond the classroom. Often these students and their families also experience significant amounts of stress and anxiety due to the academic struggles. As a result, the family dynamic can suffer. However, most of the research and remediation focuses only on the learning challenges.


After seeing at least half of her clients get upset when receiving feedback from their child’s learning evaluation, Dr. Deborah Waber, neuropsychologist and Learning Disabilities program director at Boston Children’s Hospital, realized that the impact on families is not fully appreciated or addressed. She and her colleagues developed a survey to screen for quality of life problems stemming from learning disabilities. Questions address anxiety, frustration, and the effect on family activity. For more information on their findings, see https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180628120039.htm.


At Learning Associates, we look at more than academic records in our evaluations. We ask clients to share information about their child’s self-image, attitude toward school, and relationships with peers. Families are given Conners rating scales to screen for attention, behavioral, social, and emotional issues. This holistic approach allows us to truly understand each child and make appropriate recommendations. We also make referrals to other professionals when necessary. Our advocacy work is designed to reduce the stress on the family by getting the proper support services in school.

0 views0 comments
  • Learning Associates

When students participate in the formulation and modification of their special education programs, they are empowered. Of course, this wouldn’t be appropriate for very young children, but older children can add valuable input to these discussions while also learning important skills.


At Learning Associates, we encourage older children to attend the post-evaluation conference along with their parents. In doing so, we promote self-advocacy by teaching the students about their individual strengths and needs. Hearing this information directly from the professionals who assessed them makes the student a stakeholder in this process and also allows them to ask questions and provide feedback. It also empowers these students once they return to the classroom. They have a better understanding of what they need and are better able to communicate these needs. These valuable skills transcend the classroom and will also benefit them in the workforce and life in general.


In a report on fostering self-advocacy and self-determination, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) offers specific steps that educators, policy makers, and communities can take to empower students with learning challenges. For more information, please go to: https://www.edutopia.org/article/prioritizing-agency-students-disabilities.

0 views0 comments