Help for Children with Learning Disabilities…Your Role as Parents

Do you agree when they say ” Parents are the best teachers of their kids?” I do! Our kids learn almost everything from us the first time around. But of course, we cannot underestimate the help that teachers do in regular school and in the Special Education setting. It is really vital that even if our kids are already in school, we parents need to follow up with them when they get home. Thus, we need to understand that help for children with learning disabilities and supporting them will really make our kids achieve more. 

Collaboration with their teachers play a very important role on how our kids sharpen their minds.

You may ask yourself, ” How will I know if my child has learning disability? He looks normal to me.”

Read on to know how.

What are the signs of learning disability?

At a certain point in a child’s life with learning disability, his parents or the teachers notice something is not right. It is very important that these kids need to be assessed as soon as possible so you can seek for help right away for your children.

By doing so, your child can be helped the soonest so he can overcome or improve his disability and reach his fullest potential.

Signs of learning disability are usually subtle and hard to recognize. These are mostly seen when the child starts school or as they reach school age.

Let us first define what learning disability is. In Wikipedia, it is described as a classification that includes several areas of functioning in which somebody has a difficulty learning in the usual manner.

These kids have difficulty doing specific types of skills or completing tasks if left to figure things out by themselves or with typical conventional ways of teaching them.

Thus, they have struggles to learn how to read, write, do math, solve problems, recall and organize information by themselves or if taught just like other kids of their age.

If properly assessed and classified accordingly from mild to severe, specific interventions can be planned for these special children by their teachers and psychologists, of course with the support of their parents.

What causes a learning disability?

You may ask, ” How did this happen? Why is my child struggling? I have been trying my best to teach him at home everyday, but still he seems not learning.” 

This is really important. It’s not your fault. Please keep this in mind. 

Learning disability is a neurological disorder, which means that in these children, it results from a difference on how their brains are “wired.”

They usually don’t have physical deformities and they maybe as smart or could be smarter than kids their age, but just present with difficulties in learning specific areas of acquiring knowledge.

Children with learning disabilities can be famous and successful!

My dear parents, don’t lose hope.

Do you know that some accomplished people had some forms of learning disability but still, they thrived?

Albert Einstein for example, learned how to read when he was already nine.

Take note! 

When kids have learning disability, they cannot be cured or fixed.  It is a a life-long struggle for them. But not a hindrance to succeed.

Examples are  Walt Disney, General George Patton, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller,  who had difficulty reading all their lives.

Other famous people  like Alexander Graham Bell and Winston Churchill, as well,  had some forms of learning disability, but still they were able to rise above their condition.

Goldie Hawn, the famous actress, had dyslexia and some reading comprehension problems, but with the support of her parents and teachers, she was able to overcome these obstacles and become successful in the movie industry.

Be very supportive of your child with learning disability.  Cooperate with the teachers and other caregivers and for sure, your child can dance in the rain just like their peers, or can even become more successful than them.

 

20 Best Tips

Some important facts to consider

  • Learning disabilities usually run in families.
  • The most common forms are difficulties with reading and language skills, of which 80% of these kids have some forms of reading problems.
  • Children with learning disabilities usually look normal with no physical deformities, thus, they should not be confused with children who have autism, intellectual disability, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders might also be present in these kids but they are two separate entities.

Positive Reinforcement

Parents need to understand that their kids with learning disability have specific strengths and weaknesses that they need to recognize so special interventions can be planned and put into place.

But first things first.

You as parents must recognize that your special child needs care, support and encouragement.

Don’t look at his disability but focus on giving him unconditional love and remember there is always help out there.

You need to cooperate with teachers and the school system for your kids to be helped.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can help your child with learning disability. 

Observe him at home and share information with his teacher. Also, ask his teacher how he learns best at school, so you can apply some specific methods at home for follow up.

Partner with your child’s teacher to help your child.

  • Look at areas where your child excels or is good at and encourage him to give more attention on that.
  • Focus on his strengths, not on his weaknesses. Even if he has struggles with reading, but he is good in music, let him join the school band or let him join singing competitions.
  • Be there for these activities and let him know that you appreciate his efforts. 
  • Recognize how your special child learns well. Is he a visual learner? An auditory learner , or a kinesthetic learner?
  • Assist your child at home with schoolwork by supporting his style, so it will not be much of a struggle for him.
  • For visual learners, let him read more books, look at diagrams, use the computer, flashcards and other visual aids. Let him take detailed notes in class and offer him to read them again and again.
  • For auditory learners, read out notes loud and let him memorize stuff by speaking them. Let him record lectures so he can listen to them later. Encourage him to join study groups where they can discuss their lessons.
  • For kinesthetic learners, let him study with music in the background. Get him hands on and let him do experiments; also, let him join field trips. Encourage role playing and model-building. You can also let him join study groups with small frequent breaks.

Let us meet two kids with learning disabilities

Ally is 11 years old with mild learning disability in written expression. She can cope with the activities in the general education classroom setting; her cognition, reading and comprehension are all good. Her struggles though, are putting her ideas into writing. Ms Rica, her Special Education teacher,  attended to her for 30 minutes twice a week and provided her with different  repetitive activities and the use of manipulative materials to help her improve.

Rowan on the other hand, is 12 years old and with moderate to severe learning disability. He attended Kindergarten for 2 years. He has short retention skills, poor cognition and comprehension, and also struggles with his speech. Areas that he finds difficulty in learning are reading, writing and math. Ms Rica attended to his needs half an hour daily for the 3 subjects.

Both started school at 5 years old,  where the pre-school teachers noted developmental delay. At 6 years old, they had assessments with the Developmental Pediatrician and were diagnosed with learning disability.

Ally and Rowan finished grade 2 at 9 and 10, respectively, and moved to grade 3 the next school year. Both of them are good in drawing though and both are visual learners.

With early intervention in school, their teachers and their parents hopefully will see them able to cope with their disabilities and become  the best version of themselves someday.

 

Be optimistic that your child can rise above the challenges

Having a child with learning disability maybe a bit of a challenge for our dear parents but with the help of our Special Education teachers, your kids will, in no time learn the ropes of keeping up with learning the basics and can live productively and independently.

There is definitely help for children with learning disabilities.

Remember, your child has strengths that they can focus on more, while taking the time to hurdle their specific learning disability and with your support as loving parents and the guidance of their teachers, they will be fine and for sure, will eventually be able to see light at the end of the tunnel.

 

20 Best Tips

 

Originally published:  July 2, 2018                                     Updated: May 27, 2020

 

Does your child have a learning disability? As a parent, do you collaborate with his Special Education teacher? How do you help him at home?

If you are a Special Education teacher, please share with our readers how you help your students with learning disability.

Post your comments below.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read the full affiliate disclosure here.

Check out these books for kids with learning disabilities, their parents and teachers.

Click the image to see the price.

.        How I Learn A kid's guide to Learning Disablility                

 

Help for Children with Learning Disabilities

 

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16 thoughts on “Help for Children with Learning Disabilities…Your Role as Parents”

  1. So thoughtful of you to write a post on how to help children with learning disabilities.

    A lot of parents have their kids born with special abilities, which differentiate them from other kids.. parents should learn to show them much love, care and understanding in all aspects of life. 

    Their kids need to be loved and parents should learn to show them love irrespective of their disabilities.

    Reply
    • Hi Evans,

      Very true, parents’ unconditional love for their special needs kids can drive their kids to be the best that they can be. 

      Acknowledging their talents and not focusing on their learning disabilities can do more wonders, too! That is, while supporting their disabilities and making sure that they learn everyday, even slowly and cheering on their victories.

      God bless,

      Marita

      Reply
  2. Hello there! 

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful article. For real, all you’ve mentioned here is true. Parents always have a big role to play in the life of their children who have learning disabilities. 

    My nephew had learning disabilities and the parents weren’t there for him, it affected him real bad until a counsellor talked to the parents and gave some advice. 

    Thanks a lot for this…

    Reply
    • Hi Philebur,

      You bet, parents’ support for their kids with learning disabilities are so important so their kids will really thrive.

      Good that a counsellor stepped in to help your nephew.

      Thanks for reading,

      Marita

      Reply
  3. I can not stress enough how important it is to be competent and well informed when it comes to disabilities, especially those of children. Not only that, but most of my family is from the Philippines so I’m so happy to see that this is being addressed there as well as where I live. Thanks for spreading awareness!

    Reply
    • Hi Leina,

      This post is specifically about information for parents on how to help their kids with learning disabilities because their support and collaboration with the teachers are so important so their kids can rise up and shine.

      Thanks for reading.

      Marita

      Reply
  4. As a therapist, I can agree. Parents are the best caregivers and therapists. Education for parents is critical for implementing and using most therapeutic techniques to help their child with special needs. Having a parent that is willing to help and use these techniques at home is critical for success in therapy and lasting improvement. 

    Reply
    • Hi Dave,

      I couldn’t agree more. 

      The parents are the best teachers and therapists. They understand their child’s needs and inadequacies the most because they are able to observe them upclose 24/7.

      Thanks for reading!

      Marita

      Reply
  5. That’s a wonderful post you’ve made, All you’ve noted is 100% true, parents always have a big role to play in the life of their children with learning disabilities. My son had learning disabilities when he’s tender, I was discouraged at first but I didn’t stopped helping him in his academics, with time he started being brilliant.

    Reply
    • Hi Bibian,

      That’s very true, parents have a lot to do with supporting their kids with learning disability.

      Good for your son, he has a mom like you who did not give up, instead,  guided him every step of the way.

      Thanks for your nice comment.

      Cheers,

      Marita

      Reply
  6. Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents can play important supportive roles in a child’s learning development.

    My kids are all grown and doing fantastic, but I have a nephew who just started the first grade.

    So far, no signs of a learning disability for him but I will keep asking my sister how he is doing in school with the advice of your article in mind.

    Marita, your article is very encouraging for children with learning disabilities, their parents and support network. Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Alexander,

      I’m happy that you found my article encouraging. Indeed the extended family  plays a great role in supporting our kids with learning disability. Everybody has the capability to support.

      The parents  and caregivers need to really observe how their kids cope and learn in school  so they can catch if there’s some level of learning disability. These kids need to be helped right away.

      Thanks for passing by.

      Marita 

      Reply
  7. I really enjoyed reading your article. I have children who have disabilities. They get special services at school. The disability doesn’t defy who your child is. It is something that can be managed. Great Tips for parents who don’t know where to go when they think their child may have a disability.

    Take Care,
    Tina:)

    Reply
    • Hi Tina,

      Thanks for reading this post.

      You are right, children with disabilities can always be helped to overcome or manage their issues and we as parents really need to support them.

      I hope your kids are doing okey.

      God bless,

      Marita

      Reply
    • Thanks Rica.

      I really appreciate you for giving me insights to this topic and for allowing me to post your experiences as well.

      I also honor you for being such a passionate SPED teacher. Keep up your awesome attitude.

      Marita/ Tita Doc

      Reply

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