Parenting a Child with a Learning Disability

If you suspect that your child has a learning disability, you’re not alone. It’s been estimated that about 15% of children have them, effecting how they feel about themselves and their education.

We’re learning more and more about learning disabilities – what they are, how they’re caused and how they effect our children’s education. Some of the more common learning disabilities are dyslexia, which affects a child’s ability to read, graphasia affecting a child’s ability to write and ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The signs of a learning disability can show up early in life explains author of “Emotions; The On-Off Switch for Learning”, Priscilla Vale. “Parents need to be aware that some behaviors may be early indicators of learning disabilities. Children who have late onset of speech may be telling us that the world of language isn’t that interesting to them, that they would rather be working with their fingers, hands, bodies and blocks. These are children who very often have trouble with the early stages of reading, writing and spelling. This has to do with their hard wiring and the way their brains function.”

Vale adds it’s important to understand the learning disabled child. “These are kids who need recognition, special teaching, and to be understood as they head into formal education, so that they don’t think that there’s something the matter with them and so that their parents don’t feel guilty.”

Dr. William Feldman, pediatrician and author of “Learning and Attention Disorders” agrees that it’s important learning-disabled kids get the help they need. However he adds that it is equally as important that “teachers and parents not label a child unless there is very good evidence that a child has a problem. For example, a child who has difficulty concentrating in class but can spend hours at home coloring or playing with Lego probably doesn’t have a problem concentrating. A child who is reading Greek mythology at home but isn’t interested in “See John Run ” or “The Cat in the Hat” in the school setting probably isn’t a child with dyslexia. In that case saying they have ADHD or dyslexia is a misnomer and may effect the child’s self esteem.”

If you suspect that your child has a learning disability then have him or her properly diagnosed and treated, because learning disabilities can leave otherwise capable children lagging behind their peers at school.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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