Tips for Parents of a Child With a Learning Disability
Being the parent of a child with a learning disability can feel like you’ve been handed one of the most difficult and trying tasks in the world. There are a lot of things to think about when your child has a learning disability. Where can you find the services that your child needs? Is there a school that can accommodate all of the needs of your child? If you know nothing about learning disabilities, where can you find the information that you need to make your child successful?
There are so many questions that it can feel very overwhelming. Don’t worry, you are not alone. We want to give you some tips to begin your journey as a parent of a child with learning disabilities.
Identify how your child learns best. There are different modes of learning so it is extremely important to understand the differences between the modes and which one suits your child best. The modes of learning are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. If your child is an auditory learner, they learn best by listening. They will do well with listening in on discussions, lectures, and spoken directions. If your child is a visual learner, they learn best by seeing or reading things. They will like when material is presented visually, and they are provided with visual aids like charts, pictures, and diagrams. If your child is a kinesthetic learner, they learn best by doing and moving. Your child is a hands-on learner; they like to move, touch, and explore. When you discover how your child learns best, it is important to adapt your teaching methods to that mode of learning.
Become your own expert. When it comes to having a child with a learning disability, there is a lot of information to learn and keep up with. Make sure you are always researching, looking for new developments, programs, therapies, and educational techniques. You have to take charge and make yourself the expert because you know your child best.
Communicate with your child’s school. When your child is school age, it is essential that you always remain in contact with the school and with your child’s teachers. Clearly communicate your child’s needs, accommodations, and learning style. The teachers need to know your goals for your child and how you believe those goals will best be reached.
Be an advocate for your child. Being an advocate for you child goes right along with communicating with your child’s school. You will have to be okay with speaking up for your child and getting them the help that they need. Sometimes getting the help that your child needs is difficult and staff within school systems find it difficult to accommodate, but it is important to remain calm and remain focused on your goal.
Take care of yourself too. It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself when you’re trying to be the best parent for your child; there’s always going to be a lot on your plate. It is important that you take the time to relax and de-stress because if you do not take the time to do these things, you will be so exhausted that you won’t be able to take care of your child to the best of your ability.
Again, we know that the thought of parenting a child with learning disabilities can be pretty overwhelming, but the key is to remain calm and focused. You have to be the force of stability and support for your child so that they can experience success in school and out.