Deciding whether to share your child’s assessment report with the school is a question that crosses every parent’s mind once they get a diagnosis. Exactly what are the pros and cons of sharing the report with the school?
ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL SUPPORT
Firstly, sharing the report with the school allows your child access to additional support in school, where available, which is outlined in the recommendations section. Whether this comes in the form of classroom accommodations (i.e. ways your child’s teacher may support them better during lesson time), extra lessons, access to the school’s Special Education Needs Officer or access arrangements during examinations, it is believed that it is beneficial, as it puts in place areas of support to even out the playing field, and give your child, who experiences significant difficulties with reading and writing, a chance to perform to his or her fullest potential. Furthermore, as it allows your child’s teachers to better understand the difficulties that they may face, the teachers are now better equipped to manage and support your child to maximise their learning during lesson time.
REMOVES THE STIGMA OF A LEARNING DIFFERENCE
Secondly, allowing the school access to the report also removes some of the stigma associated with keeping the diagnosis a secret. Encouraging your child to accept and understand their own personal difficulties will go a long way in maintaining their self-esteem. It will also allow them to work on strategies that they can use to circumvent some of these difficulties, both in school and in their own personal time.
Additionally, should the need arise for the child to speak with the school counsellor, the counsellor would also have a better understanding of your child’s background and would be better equipped to support him or her.
Why then do some parents hesitate when deciding whether or not to share the report with the school?
Some parents may be concerned that the provision of access arrangements and additional support may disadvantage their child in applying for schools and tertiary programmes, especially if it is reflected in the child’s certificate for national exams. They may also be concerned that their child may feel ostracized, or perhaps, it is the children themselves who do not want to be singled out during lessons or examinations.
As this decision is a largely personal one, parents should then weigh the pros and cons of sharing the report with the school based on the circumstances of the individual child.
- How much support does your child need?
- Will access arrangements during examinations affect the child’s performance significantly?
All these are questions that should be considered.
DISCUSSION WITH YOUR TEACHER
It is recommended, however, that parents discuss their child’s difficulties with the school. In this way, the child’s teachers can also make suggestions based on their observations of the child during lesson time.
An open, two-way conversation between parent and teacher often benefits the child’s learning immensely.
Ultimately, sharing the report with the school can, in many cases, allow the child more support during lessons and examinations, in order to prevent them from being disadvantaged by their difficulties. Many individuals with dyslexia go through the Singapore education system from primary to tertiary institutions with access arrangements and have not been negatively affected when it comes to selecting their choice of school or course of study.
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This article was written by the SpLD Assessment Services Team
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