The guidance department in your child’s school can be a valuable resource throughout the entire educational experience, but especially so if your child is diagnosed with a learning disability. Most schools have counselors who are specifically trained to provide guidance for students in this situation, and may be able to offer advice for treatment strategies not previously considered. Although guidance counselors do not usually have the measurable expertise to make decisions about medical aspects such as medication type and dosage, they often have extensive insight into the differences in learning styles for students who have learning disabilities, and those who do not.
If you notice that your child does not seem to be retaining information as readily as other peers in the classroom, it may be a simple case of meeting with the guidance counselor to explain that other learning aids may need to be considered to ensure that your child has an equal opportunity to succeed. Many children with learning disabilities function better when presented with alternative learning tools such as audio and visual aids. Guidance counselors are usually sensitive to this fact and can often meet with your child’s teachers to suggest other teaching methods.
Guidance counselors are also a great resource for helping your child succeed in the realm of standardized testing. The guidance office is the best place to inquire about accommodations for testing day, including time extensions, or the need to take the test in a private area.
Although guidance counselors are a great resource, thanks to their field expertise and formal education, they are no substitute for parental involvement. As a parent, it is up to you to continually monitor your child’s educational experience, even if that means something as simple as asking them what they learned each day, or assisting with homework. A parent can often be the best advocate for their learning-disabled child, and a close relationship with a guidance counselor ensures that needs are met quickly.