Helping your Learning Disabled Child

Written By: Mary M. Alward
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Thousands of children in America struggle to learn on a daily basis. Many of them have invisible disabilities. In fact, five to eight percent of the population has learning disabilities that range from mild to extremely severe. It is the responsibility of both parents and teachers to recognize learning disabilities when children are young. The younger the child when diagnosed, the better the chance of teaching him to overcome his disability.

Learning disabilities cover a broad range. Any problem that inhibits how the brain takes in and processes information is a disability. A learning disability can occur in any individual and can affect such skills as:

Taking in and understanding information.






Social interaction.

Invisible Disabilities

An invisible disability is any disability that cannot be seen when you look at someone. Children with invisible disabilities are often labeled as troublemakers and being resistant to authority. For instance, a child who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a disorder on the Autism Spectrum, may hum or speak out in class. He stops when the teacher asks him to, but the behavior resumes within a few minutes. The teacher assumes the student’s behavior is intentional, when in fact the child may not even realize what he is doing. Never assume that your child is intentionally pushing buttons. If this type of behavior continues, make an appointment for your child to see a professional child behavior specialist.

Children who suffer from learning disabilities can be very successful when:

They are aware of their limitations.

They realize they have talents and skills and can succeed in certain areas.

They are taught how to develop skills.

They have a source of assistance and support.

Other Learning Issues

Not every child that has trouble learning suffers from a learning disability. Other factors include:

Health and medical issues.

Frustration and anxiety.

Fear and sadness.


Peer pressure and problems with peers.

Family issues and crisis.

Death of a loved one or pet.

Substance abuse by himself or by others in the family unit.

Parent’s Responsibilities

If your child is diagnosed with a learning disability, it is your responsibility to:

Seek support from professionals and parents of children with the same type of disability.

Understand your rights to access accommodations and support for your learning disabled child within the education system.

To participate in an educational plan for your learning disabled child.

To keep a file of reports from the school and your child’s doctors, as well as any other health care professionals.

To seek out the people in the educational system who will be making decisions about your child.

To share information on your child’s interests, strengths and weaknesses with school administrators, teachers and other educational specialists.

To research, gather and compile information and statistics on your child’s specific learning disability.

Finding Solutions

Parents are responsible to help their learning-disabled child find solutions to problems associated with their disability by:

Helping the child understand his disability.

Helping your child develop the necessary skills to help him through life.

Helping the child to understand his strengths and weaknesses.

Encouraging your child to develop and learn at his own pace.

Understanding your child’s learning disability and the effects it has on your child.

Helping your child broaden his understanding and skills.

Taking into account the nature of your child’s disability in order to set realistic expectations.

Teaching your child to talk about problems at school, in the community and with his peers.

Assisting your child to hone skills by practice and repetition.

Sending a positive message to your child about success and how to achieve it.

Praising your learning disabled child for the effort that he puts forth.

Assisting and supporting your learning disabled child, always.

Being a good listener.

Assisting your Learning Disabled Child

Always contact the proper authorities and professionals if:

The school system is not meeting your child’s needs.

If your child is being bulled by his peers, school staff or others in your community.

If your child is suffering from anxiety and/or depression.

If your child is self-mutilating or abusing alcohol or drugs.

If your child needs support because of any mental issue.

If your child is in need of homework assistance or a tutor.

Children who suffer from learning disabilities need constant support in order to be successful. Make your learning disabled child’s success your number one priority. It’s his future that’s at stake.

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