Parenting in general has its own set of challenges. You could attend all sorts of parenting classes and seminars, consult specialists and experts, or simply look up guidelines on the internet—all for the sake of your child’s well-being. And yet the obstacles become a lot more difficult for parents whose children happen to have a learning disability. There’s extra care you need to put in, extra research that you would need to do in order to see the best way to help your child, and extra cash you would need to have. Still, some services that proper evaluation of a child with learning disability can be affordable or even free. Meanwhile, other services such as hiring a baby sitter, can be challenging. With all of these different things to take note of, though, there are a lot of ways you could try to keep up.
Help your child nurture their other talents.
Having a learning disability is undoubtedly a hindrance, but it doesn’t mean that it’s all there is to your child’s talents. You need to remind your child—as well as yourself—that there truly is more to them than their learning abilities. A helpful way to do so is to keep your child busy. There are many different avenues for children to develop their other skills beyond the four walls of school. If your child seems to have a hard time getting math or science, you could encourage taking up a hobby that could help boost your child’s confidence. This confidence can help your child become more sure of themself and less discouraged by any academic difficulties.
Getting into the arts is a great hobby to take on. Here, children will be able to have a creative outlet where they can express themselves. They will have the opportunity to think of out-of-the-box ideas that would be accepted. Having a creative outlet will also enable them to recognize and process their emotions. The best part about the arts is that there are a number of activities that could fall under it. Theater, for example, can cover singing and dancing beyond acting. Painting could cover both traditional arts and digital. Taking up the arts also the added bonus of being able to socialize and make new friends.
It’s also possible that your child is more athletically inclined. There are a variety of sports to choose from. Your child may choose an individually oriented sport, such as tennis or figure skating. There’s also the option of group-focused sports such as basketball or football, in which collaboration and teamwork is emphasized. Improving your child’s athletic skills would help them develop discipline and consistency. Good sportsmanship and motivation are also some other examples of the values that can come with a regular athletic hobby. Such an activity can also enable your child to improve their physical health and fitness especially if he or she is able to regularly attend practice.
Be a proactive parent.
Part of the challenges of having a child with a learning disability is the required proactiveness that naturally comes with it. You would need to take it upon yourself to look for different specialists to consult in order to help your child. There’s also the matter of communicating in a civilized manner, despite how frustrating it might be at times when it seems as though nothing is working. It takes a strong parent to raise a strong child, and you would have to be just that.
Find your child’s learning style.
Every person has their own natural way of learning. Schools tend to favor visual learning, encouraging written notes as well as diagrams and figures. However, it is possible that your child may simply be more inclined towards a different way of learning. Those who learn through auditory (or listening to sounds) and kinesthetics (which is learning through movement) may find that schools test in a more visually oriented way. This then becomes a disadvantage to those who have other styles of learning. By finding the natural way that your child learns, you could help him or her try to contextualize lessons based on the preferred learning style.
Look beyond academics.
With the pressure put on academic excellence, it can be discouraging to see results that may not reflect your child’s true potential. There are so many other skills that your child can improve on besides getting academic grades. By changing the mindset of your child—as well as your own—you could then have a more positive outlook when it comes to life beyond graduation.
Care for yourself.
While your child is your priority, you must still look after yourself. After all, you won’t be able to help your child if you yourself are not in the best mental or emotional state. Joining a support group for parents of children with learning disabilities can help you feel like you’re not alone. You might also be able to get some advice or tips for your child this way. Remember to take things one step at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.
Helping Your Child
The challenges of parenting are always unexpected and yet parents still manage to persevere through it all. Either you or your child may feel frustrated at times, and there will be points when the situation would get extremely stressful. But the end of the day, the child’s welfare is what’s at stake. All the extra steps that come with it will eventually pay off one way or another.
About the Author
Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness, and law, to name a few.