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Parent Toolkit: How to Ask for Schoolwide Teacher Training to Help Kids with Learning and Attention Issues [downloadable]

understood parent advocacy for PD269It’s important to know that your child’s school provides opportunities throughout the year for teachers to learn new skills. This type of teacher training is referred to as professional development (PD).

Understood, a nonprofit organization that was formed to help the millions of parents whose children ages 3–20 are struggling with learning and attention issues, offers a parent toolkit with resources to help you advocate for professional development at your child’s school.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes it possible to include teacher training in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). But that’s a child-by-child, year-by-year decision. This toolkit takes a broader approach that encourages schoolwide teacher training to help all kids with learning and attention issues.


The toolkit focuses on four strategies that are designed to bring about system-wide changes that can help kids with learning and attention issues thrive. You may want to choose a favorite strategy and focus on that. Or you may decide to advocate for PD in all of these areas:

  • Strengths-Based IEPs can help shift the mindset of every member of your child’s IEP team. This approach can help the team start thinking about how to leverage your child’s abilities. Training can help the team develop IEP goals that use strengths to help address a particular need.
  • Multi-Tier Systems of Supports (MTSS) can help schools improve the performance of all students by identifying needs early and modifying instruction quickly. MTSS can also reduce disciplinary incidents. But many schools need more training on how to collect, interpret and respond to student progress data.
  • Personalized Learning aims to customize education. The what, when, where and how of learning are tailored to each student’s abilities, needs and interests. If done well, it can help students take ownership of their learning and meet rigorous standards. If not done well, struggling students can fall further behind.
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for how to optimize teaching and learning for all students, not just those who struggle. UDL is based on insights from the science of how people learn. It helps teachers instruct a diverse group of learners by providing different ways for students to access the material, engage with it and show what they’ve learned.

View or download the parent toolkit, How to Ask for Schoolwide Teacher Training to Help Kids With Learning and Attention Issues to learn how to advocate for teacher training that can help your child’s school better support the 1 in 5 kids with learning and attention issues.

Learn more about advocacy by viewing the presentation and materials from Advocacy in Action—Sharing Your Story to Make Change, a workshop presented by Meghan Whittaker, National Center for Learning Disabilities‘ Policy & Advocacy Manager and Robert Stephens, Sr. Manager, Federal Relations, at EdRev Expo 2018.

Source: Understood |Parent Toolkit: How to Ask for Schoolwide Teacher Training to Help Kids With Learning and Attention Issues, https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/working-with-childs-teacher/parent-toolkit-how-to-ask-for-schoolwide-teacher-training | Copyright © 2014- 2018 Understood.org USA LLC

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