Oct 27, 2007

The Parents Role as Advocate

To be most effective as an advocate for your ADHD/LD child within the education system it is critical that you be involved. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act provides a specific definition of parent involvement :

The participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities.

You should be a full partner in your child's education. To do so, you need to be actively involved at your child's school. Below are some important things that will help you become an active, involved parent.

  • Your involvement makes a difference for your child. Regardless of income and background, students with parents who are involved in their academic careers are more likely to earn high grades and test scores, enroll in higher level programs, and be promoted.
  • You do not have to go to school to be involved. By promoting learning at home and reinforcing what is taught in school, you can have a positive effect on your child's education.

  • Informed parents are a schools best customer. Schools are a consumer based enterprise. The consumers in this instance are you and your child. Schools do better when they hear from customers (you) with questions, comments, and constructive criticism. Asking questions promotes the two way communication that is so important
  • Working together creates a better school. In recent years, many schools have changed their views of parent involvement from "parent as helper" to "parent as partner." Look for ways to work with your child's school: volunteer opportunities, PTA, field trip chaperone, library helper, etc.

  • It's about the children. Schools should always be student centered. Any differences that may exist between you and your child's teacher should be set aside. The needs of your child should be the main focus. Remember to stay flexible, maintain strong communication and make it work.
(Adapted from the Pro-Parents, Spring/Summer 2007 newsletter)

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