If the child is already in school, the first step is for the classroom teacher to develop both classroom and at-home strategies to assist him or her in becoming more successful in the general school program. At school, strategies may range from changing where the child sits to providing structured study guides to assist in independent reading assignments. At home, strategies may range from simple activities, such as having the parent sign all completed homework assignments, to more complicated tasks, such as transcribing a child’s tape-recorded assignments into written form. Whatever the strategies, they must be individualized.
If, after a reasonable period of time, the strategies in the classroom and at home are not successful, the teacher or parent should ask for assistance from the Child Study Team. Together, the teacher and the special education staff member(s) will recommend other general education strategies that may be utilized in the general education setting.
If the child’s difficulties persist after the strategies in general education have been implemented, a referral to special education, which will accelerate the process, is in order. Referrals for special education services may come from a variety of sources, including the child’s teachers, parents, pediatricians, mental health care professionals, day care providers,