While things look a bit different this year at schools across Central PA, learning is in full swing for K-12 students in the region. With many students working at least part of the time virtually (meaning they are not in the classroom full-time with professionals who are trained to recognize signs of a learning difference), it is critically important for parents to observe their child’s behaviors when learning remotely.

While it is true that children go through different phases as they develop, there are specific actions that can be linked to a learning difference. It is critical for parents to understand what behaviors to watch for and when to seek an evaluation and/or support for their child.

To help parents spot the signs of a potential learning difference, The Janus School has outlined three questions parents can ask themselves to help better understand their child’s needs.

Is My Child Falling Behind Their Peers?

As more students than ever before are learning from home, it is critical parents monitor their child’s academic success and failures to understand if their child may need support for a learning difference. Often, children with learning differences will struggle in school long before being diagnosed, so it is important parents are monitoring their student’s performance regularly. Parents can ask themselves how does my child compare academically to their peers? And, are they struggling to keep up or outperforming others in their grade?

One of the first signs that a child may have a learning difference is if they have trouble completing assignments designed for their age and/or grade level. For example, if the child is reading at a slower pace than their classmates, or if they struggle to comprehend math equations and how numbers relate to each other, they may need additional support. If a student is not performing on the same level as their peers, it is important for parents to speak with the child’s teacher and counselors about an evaluation for a learning difference.

Does My Child Struggle to Stay Organized?

Another early sign of a potential learning difference is the inability to stay organized and on task. Parents should observe their child in the remote learning environment to see if they have trouble taking notes, following instructions and completing assignments on time. If the child is having a difficult time keeping up with the teacher and class, this could be a sign the child needs help.

Parents can also observe their child’s remote work environment. If their desk is excessively unorganized or the student is consistently losing their homework, textbooks or other necessary school supplies, parents should not brush it off thinking their child is just messy. In some cases, a child who demonstrates the inability to stay organized and remember where they placed important items has an underlying learning difference that needs addressed.

Does My Child Express Excessive Emotions?

This school year is like no other. Students are facing a number of new policies, protocols and systems that are in many cases adding stress and in some cases frustration. Although some children may have a difficult time adjusting, by this point in the school year, the range of emotions regarding school should have started to level out. Parents should observe their child and seek an evaluation and/or support for a learning difference if their child is still expressing excessive emotions when it comes to school.

Students who have difficulties learning will often get extremely upset when it comes time to do school assignments and homework. Every child will express their emotions differently, but this could include crying, frustration, or complete defiance. If a child becomes emotional during school or at night when doing their homework, parents should talk to their child about their feelings. Sometimes, the child may have just had a bad day and needs a break or additional support. However, if the child consistently demonstrates these behaviors parents should seek professional support to further assess their child’s learning needs.

Have Questions? We’re Here to Help!

At The Janus School, the only independent K-12 day school in Central Pennsylvania dedicated to the needs of students with learning differences, we are here to answer questions, offer support, and help families get connected to the information and resources they need to determine if their child may have a learning difference.

We believe guiding families to the right path can be life changing. Not all great minds think alike, and empowering students with the right tools, techniques and personal support can unlock their gifts and potential in the classroom (both virtually and in-person) and in life.

If you believe your child may be struggling with a learning disability or difference, get in touch. Our team can help connect you with the resources and support to take the next positive step for your child and family.

Have questions? Want to learn more?

We’re here to help. Reach out to speak with a member of The Janus School team.

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