10 Things Parents Can Do with their Children’s Learning Disabilities
Learning disability is a genetic or neurological disorder. Most times, it is characterized as being dumb or lazy which is totally not.
Children with learning disabilities struggle in their cognitive processes because their brains are wired differently. They are not dumb or lazy, they just understand and analyze in a manner different from other kids. Children with learning disabilities struggle in one or more specific skills like reading or writing but their disabilities do not affect their overall intelligence.
What can parents do to help their children with learning disabilities?
It is not easy to accept that your child has learning disabilities. As parents, you want everything to be easy and normal for your children. Having this kind of challenge, makes you more worried on how your children can cope up with their lives.
But having a child learning disability does not mean it is the end of the world. It opens a world where you have never set foot before. It is a world where you can still give the best for your child.
1. Recognize your children’s effort.
Sometimes parents are too focused on the result, whether the answer given is right or wrong, that they tend to undervalue the hard work the children have done. Children with learning disabilities need to be appreciated and complimented on how hard they work on a certain task. Appreciate their efforts when they are trying to read on their own or solving a math problem. Cheer on them when they correctly pronounce a word even if it takes minutes for them to get it.
2. Everybody is unique and different.
When your children start to notice that they seem different than others, it is better to explain to them that everybody is different. Being unique and different does not mean bad. Instead of focusing on their learning disabilities, get them used to hearing their positive and amazing skills and talents. They may be struggling with their learning, but they sure have qualities that other people do not have.
3. Motivate learning at home.
Learning starts at home. It is highly recommended that children are exposed to things that intrigue and interest them. Even with learning disabilities, children are still curious on how the world looks and works. Bring them to museums, zoos, and parks. Observe how they respond to each visit. Buy them books and let them watch videos or movies that will spark their interests. This way you will know what the best way is for your children to learn.
4. Set reasonable goals and expectations.
Do not be too hard on your children. If they are having difficulty in reading words, do not give them difficult words or too many words to read. Be realistic and limit your expectations on how much your children can do. Start with simple and easy words. If they can read them with ease, compliment them. Tell them that they are now ready for big words that they will read the next day.
5. Give your children a break.
Your children need a break from all their learning activities. Your children with learning disabilities do not have to consume all their waking hours studying. Give them time to play and have fun. They also need a break to rest and re-focus. Allow them to have playdates with other children. Let them enjoy their childhood.
6. Let them help at home.
Do not treat them differently so that their disability will not be magnified by other family members. When it comes to household chores, assign them tasks that you know they can do. Or you can ask them what they want to do at home so that they will have time to figure it out. Include them in all tasks at home because this is also one way of teaching them about responsibility and independence.
7. Teach your children to express their negative emotions safely.
When your children with learning disabilities feel angry and frustrated, do not allow them to throw tantrums because they will think that it is okay and acceptable. Validate their feelings but teach them how they can express negative emotions without hurting themselves or someone. Provide an outlet where they can express their emotions safely like talking about it or writing their feelings down.
8. Find a famous person or a role model with the same learning disability.
Children with learning disabilities feel that they are alone in the world with this problem. Introduce them to a person with the same learning disabilities as them. Tell your children his/ her story and how he/ she overcame their disability. Open their eyes and minds that they are real people with the same disabilities that are doing great in life and excelling in their fields.
9. Never compare your children with other kids their age.
One of the worst things a parent does is comparing their own children with other kids who are doing well in school. Doing this lowers their low self-esteem. They will feel that they cannot do anything right and other kids are always better than them. They are not motivated to go to school anymore because they do not want to be embarrassed and ridiculed. It is possible that they will fall into depression and anxiety. If this happens, therapy near me session or counselling is much needed.
10. Get them to accept their learning disabilities.
Educate your children about their learning disabilities. It is better that they hear about it from you. Your children may not fully grasp the extent of their disability but an assurance that you are there to help and guide them is more than enough.
It may not be easy for them to understand the impact of their learning disability but with the help of a professional therapist or psychologist, they will learn to accept it gradually.
Mindshift Psychological Services can provide you with support and guidance on how you, your child and your family can deal and manage with this issue. They have a wide selection of services including Family Therapy near me. Schedule an appointment through their website or contact them at (714) 584-9700.
Getting therapy near me or counselling sessions give ample time for everyone to understand the situation. It helps your children be more aware of what they can and cannot do. Listening to experts discussing the ways to overcome it is very helpful for everyone.