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Problems in Preschool?

If your child's teacher tells you that your preschooler is falling behind in class, you may think "How can she tell? He's only four!"

Even though preschoolers don't take graded tests, it's a red flag if a child can't follow classroom rules. The way he talks and plays can also give clues about whether speech or motor development is delayed, problems that may later hinder success in elementary school. Addressing these issues now can prevent future setbacks. So if you get the call from his teacher:

Don't get defensive. It's hard to hear that your child isn't on par with classmates, but the teacher isn't accusing you of anything  -- she's just trying to prep him for kindergarten.

Request a meeting. Be up front about changes at home that might be affecting your kid.

If your child's having behavioral problems, try to spot some patterns with the teacher. Is he aggressive with certain children or toward the end of the day? If, for example, he becomes a handful in the afternoon, see if his teacher can give him extra rest time then. Or pick him up from school earlier, if possible.

Consider getting a psychological evaluation. Most counties offer free assessments, and may even provide speech, occupational, or physical therapy at no cost, too. As a result, your child may be described as having "special needs," but what kid couldn't benefit from one-on-one help n a certain skill area?

With the right plan, your child can be back on track before kindergarten, and you may never again hear that he's falling behind.

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