5 Things You Can Do if You Suspect a Learning Disability
Learning disabilities are common and affect nearly 1 in 10 American children, according to the National Institute of Health. Despite how common they are, however, they often go undiagnosed.
When it comes to our kids, our gut instincts kick in when something doesn’t add up. If you suspect your child may be battling a learning disability, don’t sweep that thought under the rug. Instead, try these ideas to get to the root of the issues you’re observing and help make learning easier for your child.
Be intentional and make observations
Once you start picking up on signs that your child is struggling, take time to make careful observations.
- How are they doing in their classes?
- Which subjects are particularly challenging for your child?
- Do they keep their materials organized or do they seem scattered?
- Do they manage their time well or do they save their homework and studying for the last minute?
- What is their overall attitude toward school?
Write down your observations. Watch for any patterns or consistent areas where they struggle. Your child is human and will have bad days, outside stressors that affect their attitude, etc. Try to separate the temporal issues from the permanent ones.
Request a school learning evaluation
Upon written request from parents, professionals at your child’s school can administer an educational evaluation. This evaluation will assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses inside the classroom through direct observation as well as by speaking with your child’s teachers to learn more about their learning experiences.
Following this formal evaluation, if you and the professionals performing the evaluation feel like it’s warranted, they may recommend an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child to facilitate the learning process. Learn more about IEPs here!
Partner with your child’s teachers
You and your child’s teachers may also discuss ways they can help your child in specific areas. If attention is an issue, for example, their teachers may suggest moving your child to the front of the classroom to help minimize distractions. If auditory learning is particularly difficult, they may be willing to provide additional written instructions for your child. If reading is a challenge, their teachers may allow them to listen to audiobooks instead.
Talk openly with your child about their learning struggles
Kids don’t want to be different from their peers and yet when they struggle with learning challenges, they often feel out of place. This can lead to issues with low self-esteem, anxiety or depression.
It’s important to engage your child in conversation about their learning struggles. Let them know that, just because their brain works differently, it doesn’t mean they’re not smart. Let them know you’re on their team and call out the areas they excel in. Keep an open dialogue about ways you and your child’s teachers can support them and help them learn best.
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If you think your child is struggling with a learning disability, take our free brain quiz and sign up for our cognitive skills assessment. This allows you to see exactly where the struggle lies and it allows us to create the perfect program tailored to your child’s needs.