How to Approach your Child's Learning Disability the Right Way
Finding out that your child has a learning disability of some kind is definitely not something you simply acknowledge and immediately start dealing with. It often hits both the parents and the child like lightning. More often than not, the end result is an overreaction. And as we all know, when it comes to parenting, an overreaction is often the worst possible reaction. This article is aimed at this, preventing overreactions, putting learning disabilities in the right context and sharing a few tips on how to deal with them.
Putting Learning Disabilities in Context
Before we can move any further, it is essential to understand what a learning disability really is. The way in which children learn in a structured environment is mostly an artificial one. Over the years, we have developed certain educational practices and categories that we believe provide the best results. They involve a structured way of learning how to read, write and calculate, among other things.
Furthermore, a child's learning performance is then graded on an artificially agreed-upon scale. This scale varies from country to country, institution to institution, and even educator to educator.
When a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, this is simply a way of saying that they are unable to conform to certain learning standards that are, basically, artificially established.
In other words, you child is not stupid or lazy. When you boil it down, it is simply not conforming to certain ways in which society has defined learning. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you will be able to handle it the right way.
Talking to Your Child
The first and foremost thing to do is to explain to your child what learning disabilities are and what this means for them. It is essential that you are realistic and factual. Do not try to hide it from them, but also do not make it more than it is.
Having a learning disability can be very difficult on a child, especially due to the hard times they might experience in school. Their grades will most likely suffer. There is also a great chance that their peers will be less than understanding about their learning disability.
This is why it is essential that your child understands their learning disability does not make them stupid or less valuable. They are simply a tad different. They might actually be more intelligent than children who do great in school. For example, these five legendary scientists all suffered from some kind of a learning disability.
Make sure they are aware of this. Make sure they are aware that their learning disability should not limit them in any way or fashion.
Reaching Out to Experts
Depending on when you notice that your child might have a learning disability and when they are diagnosed with it, you will want to approach experts who will do everything they can to help them.
For instance, some children are diagnosed even before they go to school and in such cases, enrolling a child into an early learning centre can be the best thing for them. There, they will interact with experienced professionals who will know how to approach a child with learning disabilities and how to guide them in a direction where they will feel appreciated and valued. Moreover, in such centres, children with disabilities can adopt certain practices that will help them in their future education.
It is, of course, far more likely that your child will be diagnosed in school. The good news is that there is no shortage of people to turn to if this is the case. Pretty much everyone involved in education is well-trained and equipped to work with children with learning disabilities. This means that your child will get every support and help they will need to overcome their learning disability. This in turn will help them learn everything they need and want to learn.
The most important thing is to remember that you are all in it together and that you all have your child's best interest at heart. Also, we live in an age where learning disabilities are finally seen in the right context and where children who have them are not automatically ostracized or labelled as less worthy.
And that is a huge thing.
About author: Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. She’s also passionate about traveling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”