7 Tips to help support your child with a learning disability

A group of DPS students looking at the copies with their parents.

Supporting a child with a learning disability can be a real journey for parents. It can shake up how kids grasp, sort, and use information, influencing their school life and social connections. But here’s the silver lining, with the right approach and a loving environment, someone with learning disabilities can truly blossom.  At DPS Warangal, we understand that your child might be struggling and we are here to assist you. In this article, we’ll share seven points that can help parents give a hand to their kids with learning disabilities.

1. Understand your child’s learning disability

When it comes to supporting a child with a learning disability, it’s important to understand what makes their journey different. These disabilities, such as dyslexia, ADHD, or dyscalculia, can shake up how kids grasp, sort, and use information, influencing their school life and social connections.

  • Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder that primarily impacts a person’s ability to read and comprehend written language. Individuals with dyslexia may struggle with recognising and decoding words, spelling, and understanding the relationship between letters and sounds. 
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)  is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to focus, control impulses, and manage their behavior and attention. Individuals with ADHD may exhibit symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
  • Dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder that relates to difficulties in understanding and working with mathematical concepts and numbers. People with dyscalculia may struggle with basic arithmetic, number sense, mathematical reasoning, and problem-solving. 

Take the time to know more about your child’s specific learning disability, what it looks like, how it affects them, and what it’s like on their learning adventure. This isn’t just about understanding, it’s like creating a map that helps you be there for your little ones in a way that makes them comfortable, making their journey toward success a little smoother. This includes communicating with other parents through groups online, local support groups, reading through literature which helps you understand as much detail as possible. 

2. Get to know your child’s school’s special education team

If someone you care about is struggling academically, you might be wondering how to best support them and where to find some backup. Imagine your friend has an awesome team at their school, like a squad of experts who join forces to have their back. There are teachers, a counselor, a psychologist, a speech-language pathologist, and other cool pros all working together.

Each person in this support team has a superpower. Together, they whip up a personalised education plan (IEP), like a tailor-made guide that spells out exactly what your friend needs. It’s all about fitting the plan to their unique style.

To help the team effectively support your child, you can do a few things:

  • Get to know each member of the team and their role.
  • Communicate openly and frequently with the team.
  • Advocate for your young one’s needs.
  • Stay involved in your kid’s education.

The special education team plays an important role in helping families of children with learning disabilities. Building a connection with this team and actively participating in your kid’s educational journey is a great way to make sure your little one gets the support they need to success

3. Know your rights and responsibilities

An Individualised Education Program (IEP) is like a customised game plan, tailored specifically for your loved one. It spells out all the extra help and special services they might need.

Understanding these legal rules is like having a say in crafting that plan. It’s your ticket to making sure it suits your loved one’s unique learning style, setting them up for success on campus. Knowing these laws also empowers you to keep schools on track, making sure they deliver the resources and support your loved one deserves. It’s a way of nudging the educational world towards being more inclusive and fair for your special someone.

4. Develop self-advocacy

Encouraging your child to develop self-advocacy skills is like giving them a powerful tool for their journey with a learning disorder. As they grow, they need to understand how their learning disability uniquely affects the way they learn. This self-awareness is like a superpower that helps them figure out what specific strategies and support they need to succeed. Plus, talking about these needs with teachers and friends is a super handy skill not just in school, but throughout life. It’s like having a key that unlocks doors to understanding and support.

This isn’t just about boosting their confidence and self-esteem, it’s about helping them become more independent and strong. These are skills they’ll carry into adulthood, like a secret weapon against any challenges that come their way. Encouraging self-advocacy means they’re actively involved in creating their educational journey. It’s like saying, “I’ve got this!” when facing hurdles.

5. Utilise community resources

If you want to help someone who is having academic difficulty, you can utilise community resources. This means actively seeking connections with local and online groups and organisations designed for parents like you, who understand the challenges you face. These communities are like a haven where you can share your experiences and stories with others who’ve walked a similar path. This sharing helps you get a detailed understanding of your young one’s situation and discover strategies that have worked wonders for others. It’s not just about feeling comforted, it’s about gaining real-world insights that make it simpler to navigate the world of education and specialised services.

These communities often hold a treasure trove of information about local services, trusted professionals, and resources that can aid in your little one’s overall development. When you tap into these community resources, you’re not just learning, you’re becoming part of a supportive network that adds strength to your journey in a significant way.

6. Foster a positive home environment

Creating a positive home environment for someone with academic struggles is incredibly important for their overall well-being and growth. It’s all about making your home a place where they feel happy and valued. Instead of continually focusing on their challenges, try to focus on their strengths and talents. Boosting their self-esteem is a big deal, it helps them face difficulties with more confidence.

Don’t forget to celebrate even the tiniest victories, it’s like giving them a pat on the back and motivating them to keep trying. The key is to keep the channels of communication wide open at home. They should feel comfortable talking about their issues and concerns without the fear of facing judgment. This kind of open talk not only helps you understand what they’re going through but also builds a strong, trusting relationship.

In such a nurturing atmosphere, they can thrive, knowing they have a solid support system. And that support helps them navigate the challenges of their learning disorder and reach their full potential.

7. Stay informed and be ready to change

As a parent of an individual with learning disabilities, it’s important to stay up-to-date and be flexible because these conditions can change over time. Learning disabilities can shift and transform as the individual grows. What once helped might not be as effective later on.

Being informed means staying up-to-date with the latest information, fresh ideas in education, and resources that might help. This way, you can make smart decisions about how to give the best help and changes that suit shifting needs. Being adaptable is key because it means being open to change and willing to adjust strategies as challenges and strengths shift over time.

This could mean modifying the Individualised Education Program (IEP) to tackle new issues, trying out different types of therapy or tutoring, or exploring alternative teaching approaches that fit evolving learning styles. Adapting support methods ensures individuals get the most personalised and effective help throughout their academic journey.

Supporting someone with a learning disability is like going on an adventure where things keep changing. This isn’t a one-shot deal but a journey that keeps going. Make your child feel supported but also be sure not to make them feel different. Help them recognise their strengths instead of focusing on challenges or limitations. You will need dedication, patience, and a strong voice to make sure they get the help they need. Understanding what makes their learning unique is like laying the groundwork for the journey. Working closely with teachers and specialists helps tailor the education that fits them. Staying up-to-date with what’s out there and what works best keeps you ready for whatever comes your way. Every individual, whether they have a learning disorder or not, has their special strengths and abilities. With the right support, they can shine not just in school but in life and they can bring their unique skills to the world.