Finding out your child has a learning disability can be overwhelming. Many parents find the process of diagnosing a learning disability incredibly frustrating, and then once the diagnosis comes, they face an uphill battle to get their child the help he or she needs.
The best thing you can do as a parent is simply to love and support your child. These tips can also help you help your child:
- Learn everything you can. Get all the facts about your child’s learning disability and how it affects the learning process. Research services and supportive strategies so that you’ll be able to take an active role in deciding on the right treatment for your child.
- Be your child’s advocate. Work with your child’s school to develop an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) — a special plan that sets goals for your child and describes support that may be needed to reach those goals. Understand special education laws and school policies so you can make sure your child is getting the most out of school. Many services may be available, but they may not be offered until you ask for them.
- Make sure your child has healthy habits. A child who gets plenty of sleep at night, eats a balanced diet, and gets plenty of exercise is a healthier child, both mentally and physically.
- Pay attention to your child’s mood. Learning disabilities can be bad for a child’s self-esteem. Keep an eye out for symptoms of depression, such as moodiness, changes in sleep or appetite, or loss of interest in their usual activities.