It’s natural for children to be challenged in academics or to have certain struggles in various subjects. Some people are more inclined to do better at math than others, for example. But what if a child has a learning disability that is affecting them academically? As a parent, you know your child best and can sense if there might be something more going on than just a disinterest in school or a challenge in a particular subject.
If you feel that your child may have a learning disability, you should contact the child’s school and request an evaluation. “Under federal law, public schools must look for, find, and evaluate kids who need special education.”
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes a program called Child Find, which states that public schools in each state must have policies and procedures in place for identifying children with special needs. Child Find covers children from birth through the age of 21 years. Based on this type of evaluation, you can then find resources to help your child with his or her needs. Even if your child is homeschooled or attends a private school, all public schools are required to perform a free evaluation at the request of a parent.
In Arizona, children with learning disabilities or other special needs qualify for the Empowerment Scholarship Account program. This program, commonly referred to as ESA, is administered by the Arizona Department of Education and provides eligible families with public funding to pursue flexible options to customize their child’s education. This can include therapies, special accommodations, and other customized services to help a child thrive in their education.
If you need assistance with getting an evaluation, click here to download a sample letter. Love Your School can help walk you through the process to schedule an evaluation, get a diagnosis, and apply for ESA (if eligible), as well as find the right programs and resources for your child.