When a teen is identified as having learning disabilities, the school provides supports which help them function so that they can get an education despite their disabilities. There are various types of learning disabilities such as autism, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Attention-deficit/disorder (ADD). However, the focus of this article is the supports provided in school to help a teen with this diagnosis or what supports can be provided if they just need a little extra help with schoolwork.
Generally, students are either classified as being in the general population or as special needs. The aids used depend on the child’s classification. Students in the general population are provided support labs and summer school to help with their learning needs. Whereas students with special needs are given an Individualized Education Program or 504b.
Here is a brief explanation of each aid for slow learning:
- Support Lab – What is a support lab? A support lab is provided for students with low grades who can often benefit from the help of extra explanation or help in completing assignments.
- Summer School – A student must attend summer school when the teacher feels the student demonstrates that they are not catching on to important concepts which they will need in the next grade.
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) – What is an Individualized Education Program? Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with special needs that only special education can provide.
- 504b – What is a 504b? Under the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which is part of Civil rights1930, it provides formal supports for students with a disability who do not qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
All students are in the general population. However, if a student has an IEP, they are in general population classes only in certain classes. But, if they have a 504b plan they are in general population in all classes still.
If your child or teen has ADHD, he/ she will need an IEP. The process to getting an IEP in place is an evaluation by the child study team who determines what supports need to be put into place to help your child learn and a formal law document needs to be written for the parent and the school to sign off on.
As a parent, it is hard to understand how to help a child with learning disabilities. However, by understanding some of the aides that school provide to help your child, you can get a better understanding of what to look for and what supports to ask your child’s school about.