Moving Forward with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Laura Manderino-Martins, LPC
Clinical Director and Psychotherapist
May You Find Peace LLC
Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

"A parent's first steps after discovering their child has a specific learning disability should definitely be to inquire with their child's school counseling and special education departments.  It would be helpful to request a 504 meeting to discuss the child's needs.  For example, if a child may need more time to complete an exam, this request can be made within the 504 meeting.  

The child's school might move forward with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which, with the input of school professionals, the child's therapist, and doctor, can help to personalize the child's school plan and enable exceptions including extra time, tutoring, and support.

The unknown is scary, and so is change.  As a parent, you might find yourself feeling afraid, confused, and even angry- feeling as though it isn't fair that your child is experiencing a learning disability.  This is a normal feeling.  It can be really difficult when you find out your child has a learning disability, but try to remember, this just means they learn in a different way.  Your child, with the right support, encouragement, and time to adjust, will likely thrive, as you now have an answer and a direction to go in.  

If you are finding, as a parent, you are having a hard time coping with your child's diagnosis, reach out to a therapist so you can process your own feelings, and make sure to continue to communicate with your child's teachers and therapists.  With time, not only will you all likely adjust, but your child will likely thrive with new tools that they didn't previously have before the diagnosis."

Laura Manderino-Martins, LPC is the Clinical Director and Owner of the private practice May You Find Peace LLC.  She is a psychotherapist who has experience working within the school system and advocating for students needs.  Laura offers parenting classes, parent support groups, and individual and family therapy.


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