Finding the Right Tutor for Your Child

For children with special needs, tutors often become a staple of their educational experience. Whether your child has a learning disability or frequently misses school due to a chronic health condition, tutors can be an essential tool in ensuring that he stays on track academically. Here are some ideas on how to find the best tutor for your child at any age and any stage.

1 Know What Your Child’s Needs Are. Talk to your child’s teacher and go with your own knowledge of your child. Perhaps he just needs help doing homework, help learning to read or do math, or needs one on-one attention. Understand your child’s learning style whether he learns better by being hands-on or listening. Does he need a tutor that is easy-going or strict? Learn the differences between homework helpers, tutors, and educational / learning therapists.

2 Get Opinions from Other Parents and Teachers. Talk to other parents and to your child’s teacher and guidance counselor about tutors in your area that they have worked with. Call local learning centers to get advice. Having their opinions will help you to narrow down tutors to interview.

3 Make Cold-Calls. Call the tutors you have learned about and ask questions regarding their qualifications, whether they do home visits or in-office tutoring, what ages of children and types of disabilities they have worked with, and whether they can work with your child in the hospital if needed.

4 Setup a Meeting. Narrow down the list and meet with your top choices. Have your child at the meetings so you can watch how the tutors interact with him. Bring along your child’s school work. How does the tutor talk to your child? Is your child comfortable with them? Ask how they evaluate each child’s needs and what methods they use. Find out how much time they will spend with your child and how much they charge.

5 Get References. Check the credentials for the tutors very carefully. Call the parents of children they have worked with to ask how the child did with that particular tutor.

6 Monitor Your Child’s Progress. Stay on top of your child’s work and observe how your child is or isn’t progressing. If you sense the tutoring isn’t going well, talk to the tutor about making some changes. If that doesn’t work, consider finding a new one.

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About Nancy

I am a freelance writer focused on parenting children with special needs. My articles have been featured in numerous parenting publications and on I am the former editor and publisher of Vermont HomeStyle Magazine. I am a wife and mom to a two daughters, one with cystic fibrosis and one who is a carrier for cystic fibrosis.