Dear Dr. Bill,
My 5-year-old son has a developmental delay in his speech and language. He was in a program provided by the public school last year, but that ended when he started Kindergarten.
I’ve been getting advice on my son’s situation from his pediatrician, school authorities and even a private psychologist — but their information seems to conflict. How can I find a trustworthy source for his diagnosis and treatment, and how do I explain what’s going on to my son without making him feel abnormal?
Your best bet is to have your child evaluated by a licensed educational psychologist who is familiar with the public school system in your area.
He or she will be able to assess your son’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend the best educational options. Many educational psychologists will also act as your child’s advocate, and will go to bat for them with your local school district.
If you son is diagnosed with a learning disability, there are certain state and federal programs that he is eligible for. You need to know what he is entitled to and where to go to get him the best instruction based on his needs.
As you talk to your son, let him know how special you think he is, as well as how much God loves him and treasures him. As he grows, it’s critical for him to understand that his worth is not based on academic achievement, but on the fact that God designed him as a unique human being, with special qualities that only he possesses.
Thanks for writing Lori. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Culture Connection page.