Did you know that 4.6 million children suffer from some sort of learning disability? Not only is sheer number of children is the U.S. with learning disabilities a challenge, but there's also an overwhelming mountain of information, assessments, and support groups to climb.
We are fortunate to have so much knowledge at our fingertips. As a parent or grandparent you can learn much about the specific disability facing your child. This can be done through daily research and by focusing on becoming an expert in the field.
Listed here are a few tips that I’ve run across that may help you in your quest to understand what you, and your child, may be facing:
- Aside from online research and reading, talk to other parents who have children with disabilities by joining support groups or non-profit organizations
- Advocate for your child by knowing local and state politics (and politicians) and by understanding your child’s rights. Be proactive and work on your own communication skills
- Children with learning disabilities need extra praise so, don’t hold back when your child does well
- Since children learn in different ways, find out how your child learns best. Does he or she learn by hands-on practice, looking, or listening? Take advantage of free online learning resources like the 30-day trial of the Reading Horizons v5 reading program that is proven to help struggling readers quickly and effectively learn to read through explicit, intensive phonics
- Make homework a priority and create the right learning environment
- Children with learning disabilities often excel at a variety of things so, give your child plenty of opportunities to pursue his or her strengths and talents
- Be open to counseling, which can help your child deal with frustration, feel better about himself or herself, and learn more about social skills
If you approach this learning curve with optimism, hard work and a sense of humor, your child is likely to emulate your perspective or at least see the challenges as a detour rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning and helping your child learn too. And don’t forget to share your successes and disappointment with the rest of us.