Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Diagnosing Lds > Confirming a Learning Deficit

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Confirming a Learning Deficit

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: Our second-grade daughter was put into a classroom with first- and second-graders at the beginning of the year. We were told the reason for this was that there were too many first-graders. At mid-term we discovered that she was still doing first-grade work and that she's been labeled a special needs student. How can they be sure that she has a learning deficit? She also doesn't talk much. In fact, she did not start talking until she was four years old. What can I do?

A: You need to find out from the school exactly what is going on with your daughter. Ask for a conference with her teacher, the principal, and the school counselor. Make a list of the questions you want to ask, such as: Is my daughter doing first- or second- grade work? Will she be able to go to third grade? Has any screening or testing been done to determine if she has a learning difference? If she has a learning difference, what is the school doing to help her?

Ask the counselor to observe your daughter in her classroom. That way you can get an objective opinion of what is going on with her. If no screening tests have been given to your daughter, ask that they be given as soon as possible. You or your wife would have to have signed consent for any testing done by the school.

Talk with the principal and the counselor about next year. Let them know what kind of teacher you would like for your daughter to have (loving, supportive, etc.). Ask about the possibility of summer to school to allow your daughter to catch up with her classmates.

Also, talk with the speech therapist at the school and with your pediatrician about your daughter's speech delay. She may need speech therapy to help her catch up to her peers.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks