Some tips to help children with learning disabilities
When a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, many parents tend to react negatively. Fact is thanks to greater awareness and technologies, the challenges that come with learning disabilities can be overcome substantially. Early intervention being the key.
Learning disabilities can affect children in many different ways. It can impact motor skills, independence and communication skills. With the right guidance, children with such disabilities can overcome these challenges.
Jolly Johnson is the founder of Helping Hands Organization (H2O) that reaches out to children with all kinds of disabilities. This is an inclusive school located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Jonson says that the needs of every child vary and what is important is a support system that helps them through thick and thin.
One of the most important things is to identify the disability early. The later it gets, the harder it becomes to help. A child with dyspraxia will have some motor skills related challenges that can be addressed with the help of a clinical psychologist. who can help them well.
Be very supportive and patient with the child. Caregivers and teachers must work really hard for a remedy. Look at things from the child’s point of view and become more empathetic. Always keep an eye on the child – Jolly Johnson, Founder, H2O
If you are wondering how to reach out to a child with learning disabilities, here are some tips:
- Focus on strengths and not weaknesses- All children are gifted and talented. It is just that their skills must be identified and explored rightly. For instance, a child with dyscalculia will not be good at solving mathematical problems. But they might have exceptional talents in arts or sports. As parents and teachers, it is extremely important to identify their strengths. Let them know that their weaknesses can be worked upon.
- Discipline matters- Whether a child has a disability or not, discipline is very important. Give them clear and simple explanations on how to go about and do things. If the child has language problems, be patient and enlighten them about things. When you reach out to the child, you must be firm but warm. Maintaining strict discipline will help them do well academically and in personal life as well.
- Be a good listener- This is one of the most important things that matters when you reach out to a child with a disability. Being patient and listening well to the child is the key to being an ideal caregiver. Try and understand problems faced by the child. They must understand that you are always there for them to lend a helping hand. When the child feels that they have someone to talk to who understands and listens, they will become more confident and hopeful.
- Do not give up- Reaching out to a child with a learning disability is not going to be an easy task. It brings numerous challenges. But it is very important that you stay calm and composed throughout the process and never give up on the child. Be very patient and understanding. This will help the child a lot.
Sangeetha Rahul Devi’s son Khush has Dyspraxia, a learning disability. Sangeetha, who is from Ahmadabad, says that teachers and parents must work together for empowering a child with learning disability.
“When I put Khush in school, teachers kept saying that there was something different about him. But they were unaware of what a disability is. Some of them are careless and that can affect the child as well. It is important to diagnose and identify disabilities. Schools play an important role. Be supportive and patient with your child. That is the key to a healthy relationship”, says Sangeetha.