How are we helping families with special education?

Many families are trying to navigate through the special education system with a newly diagnosed learning disability. Yet, I am always astounded at how little the school seems to be doing for the child or family. Why is this? Perhaps many general education teachers are not versed in effective methods for these students. Many solutions require little technology or time but can make a large difference.

For example, I work with a third grade student at a private school twice a week. She is a very bright and articulate young girl. She has increasing difficulty with approaching writing, time management, and organization. She will often say to me “I don’t understand” or “I need help, I don’t get this.” If she is comfortable reaching out for help then why is there a gap between her accommodations in school and her performance. She often misses handing in completed homework assignments, does not know which materials to bring to class, and spends hours each night completing long and repetitive homework assignments. I shudder to think about the testing (standardized and subject matter) that is a part of her educational career. She has extended time. Yet, I don’t think anyone has worked with her on how to make this additional time effective. She often just stares at the clock and gets several problems done then at the end of time fills in any answer. There is no pacing here. There is no indication of concept mastery or a need to re-teach. This time was not spent wisely for the teacher or the student. This leads to increased frustration by the teacher, parent, and child. Not a productive situation!

Enter- education advocate! This is where DEM Tutoring’s role in the home can also extend to facilitating work with the school and special education board. The entry into special education can come with many questions- what are educational evaluations, how are these evaluations used, what is data paperwork, and what is an IEP? How can I get the most out of my time with this child? How can the child get the most out of their time at school? There are a wide variety of ideas and components that are a part of a successful school program. DEM Tutoring offers a comprehensive approach to work with your child and their school. We can help teachers and families understand the IEP, the evaluation materials, facilitate implementation of solutions that work as a cohesive part of your child’s education success. To learn more about these services and to begin your child’s educational advocacy program visit our website at

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