Addressing concerns about your child with the school - Action for Healthy Kids
Open Search

Addressing concerns about your child with the school

Partnering with your child’s school is essential for getting them access to strong support. Knowing what to ask for can help. Consider these suggestions for steps you can take to get your child the support they need.

I have concerns about my child’s academic progress…now what?

  1. Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher. Arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns. Ask what they see as your child’s strengths and challenges in the classroom, and how they are differentiating instruction. Differentiating instruction is when teachers teach in a way that meets the needs of different students. This might be something that your child’s classroom teacher can provide, and might not be.

  2. Ask for an RTI (response to intervention). You can request an RTI through your child’s teacher. An RTI plan helps your child’s teachers identify the specific areas your child is struggling in and outline specific strategies and interventions that will be implemented to support your child’s academic needs. Your child’s team at school should monitor progress closely, and you can determine how you want to be kept informed.
  3. Request an evaluation. If you suspect that your child may have a learning disability or other educational needs and that an RTI will not be enough, you can request a formal evaluation from the school’s special education department. This evaluation can help identify any areas where your child may need additional support.

I have concerns about my child’s social-emotional development…now what?

  1. Identify your concerns. Identify what concerns you have regarding your child’s social-emotional wellbeing. This might include things like excessive worrying, difficulty making friends, mood swings, or excessive aggression. Take note of what this looks like for your child, when they are most affected, and what intervention strategies work and don’t work.

  2. Reach out to your child’s school. Contact your child’s teacher or school social worker to discuss your concerns. They can provide valuable insights into your child’s behavior and social interactions at school and may be able to offer support or resources. For more about the types of support staff that might be available, see Who’s Who in a School.
  3. Seek professional help if needed. If you believe your child’s social-emotional challenges may require intervention beyond what the school can provide, consider seeking out a counselor or therapist who specializes in working with children. Your pediatrician or school social worker can provide you with recommendations or referrals.
  4. Model positive behavior. Be a positive role model for your child by demonstrating healthy social-emotional skills, such as effective communication, empathy, and problem-solving. Show them how to navigate challenging emotions and situations in constructive ways.
  5. Be supportive. This is likely a challenging time for your child, too. Let your child know you are there for them, that you love them unconditionally, and that you will support them.

I have other concerns about my child…now what?

  1. Document your observations. Keep a record of specific instances or behaviors that raise concerns about your child’s speech, fine motor, or motor skills. Note any patterns or milestones that your child may be missing.

  2. Consult with professionals. Reach out to your child’s pediatrician to discuss your concerns. They can provide guidance and may refer you to specialists such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, or developmental pediatricians for further evaluation. You should also reach out to your child’s school and ask to get connected with the speech therapist, occupational therapist, and/or physical therapist, so they can get to know your child at school and determine if further support or evaluations are needed.
  3. Request an evaluation. You have the right to request an evaluation from your child’s school in order to help identify any areas of delay or difficulty and guide intervention strategies.
  4. Monitor progress. Regularly monitor your child’s progress and communicate with therapists, educators, and other professionals involved in their care. Adjust interventions and strategies as needed based on your child’s development and feedback from professionals.

Parenting is challenging, and supporting your child through difficult times can be overwhelming. Identifying your concerns and reaching out for support are actionable steps you can take towards getting your child the support they need to thrive.  


This project on Improving Mental, Behavioral and Academic Supports to Students and Families, Part 2 is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $434,555 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.