Many times a parent (usually the mom) senses that something is amiss with her child and wants to have and  evaluation conducted in school.  If the child is getting decent grades, the response to the request is often denied. The parent may hear  a version of the following,  “Well, she’s getting good grades-what’s the problem?”

As the request for an evaluation is denied, the mom may walk away thinking that perhaps she was being unduly concerned. She may be given the impression that she is over-worrying, that she is the source of the problem.

Time goes by, though, and the mom continues to see the struggling.  It is at that point that an outside assessment may be  sought to see what is going on with the child.  More often than not in a situation like this, what I find is that there are “cracks in the foundation” that are identifiable and that help to explain some of the struggling, thus validating the mom’s concerns.

These cracks are like the ones in your house. Sure the house looks fine, but the foundation may be a little shaky. (If you are having foundation issues, then you need to get it fixed as soon as possible!) It’s not that he school was wrong, it’s that the cracks were not big enough for them to take action.

With a child, the shaky foundation doesn’t necessarily mean that the child is “disabled,” but it also doesn’t mean that the child is fine. The good grades may be masking some of the issues of concern (the foundation).

A child can get good grades for all kinds of reasons. For example, a child can probably get a ‘B’ in most classes in elementary school if she doesn’t give the teacher a hard time, hands in her homework, and exhibits other teacher-pleasing behaviors.   Many children (especially the girls) have figured this out. Such an approach is a good strategy for not drawing any undue negative attention to yourself. (Boys are notorious for not figuring this out.)

As a parent you should listen to your instincts. When you think there are concerns, there usually are. While the school may not act on your concerns because the child is in what is seen as within the norm, you probably should have someone check out whether your concerns are reasonable.

Cracks widen over time. Problems grow.

Taking some action to address the cracks is better than no action.