For some parents the news from school that their child may have a learning disability can leave them feeling confused and in some cases lead to total denial.
First of all, it is important to remember that your child’s school are trying to help, they have detected a potential problem and have taken action and that can only be good. You have probably been called in to speak with your child’s teacher and it can be a shock to hear the news. Primarily as parents we worry about the label ‘disability’ and then that’s closely followed by worry of how this is going to affect our child’s future.
The school will usually want to have your child seen by a school psychologist, all sounding very scary when it’s new, to correctly identify the learning disability and therefore put together a plan to help your child. It is sometimes helpful to remind yourself that many successful, well known and frankly very clever people were diagnosed with learning disabilities, such as Walt Disney and Winston Churchill. The process of diagnosis will lead to your child achieving far more in the long run but much of this will depend on your reaction.
It’s important to remember that each one of us is an individual and each of us learns in a slightly different way. Learning disabilities affect the receiving and processing part of the brain, which can make it difficult for a child to learn as quickly when faced with traditional teaching methods. Some learning disabilities affect a child’s ability to concentrate, perhaps causing their mind to wander. Other learning disabilities can interfere with reading, writing or even solving math’s problems. Unlike a physical disability you can’t tell by looking at someone and therefore it can take longer to diagnose. It’s not unusual for a child to be diagnosed later in their education, as many children become masters at covering their learning issues. The stress caused by a learning disability is greatly reduced for everyone involved once a plan of action to help has been put in place. Work with your child’s school and learn as much as you can about your child’s particular needs. A plan put in place to help your child at school will also work at home too and with everyone working towards the same goal your child stands the best chance for success.