What is a learning disability?
If a child has a learning disability, he/she may have difficulty with anything that requires learning and retaining information. For example, your kid may find it extremely hard to memorize even a short passage from a textbook. The sadder part is, this doesn’t just slow down the kid’s education. Their everyday life is also immensely affected by this disability.
A child would not be able to remember all the groceries you told them to get. Since learning a new skill requires a lot of studying and recalling, they would find it extremely hard to learn them. It is a chronic condition, and so it is going to with the kid for life. What other kids find moderately challenging will appear impossible to children with learning disabilities.
However, just because a child struggles doesn’t mean they would become a failure. But in order to succeed, a child not only needs to work twice as hard but also have supporting parents, kind friends, and a cordial environment. Making them feel bad by yelling at them for not remembering stuff will only make matters worse. Schools are tough; most children are empathetic and would kindly include the child with a learning disability, but a few of them are cruel. As such, a parent must keep close scrutiny on their kids’ mood as well. Before we tell you how to help a kid with a learning disability, let us first learn why a child gets it in the first place.
What causes learning disabilities?
There are several causes that can contribute to a child’s learning disability, most of which are directly linked to the trauma to the child’s brain and central nervous system.
- Before birth
If an unborn baby didn’t get enough oxygen when the mother was pregnant, it would result in damage to the brain. Similarly, if a mother had an accident that hurt the fetus will have the same consequence. So when a child is born, he/she may have learning disabilities. Paying extra care when carrying can save a lot of future pain and suffering.
- After birth
When a child is just a toddler, numerous illnesses or health conditions, like seizures, may lead to a learning disability. Even accidents that damage the developing brain will lead to it.
Signs of learning disabilities
- Difficulty reading
Children with learning disabilities would find it extremely hard to read. As soon as they read a text and move on to the next, they will not remember what they read before, making it difficult for them to construct meanings from textbooks.
- Finding it hard to retain information
Poor memory is another sign of a learning disability. It affects their social life too, apart from bad grades in schools, because they would forget important events and dates.
- Lagging in math
Math is a subject where retaining information, temporarily or for a long time, is crucial. So children with learning disabilities can’t perform well in math.
A child with a learning disability will find it hard to follow even simple distractions, like getting groceries or doing a particular household chore.
- Can’t organize
They would seem like they do not have proper organizational skills and come across as being messy.
- Hard to learn to write and tell time
If a child is required to just copy something, they will do it relatively easier than if they were asked to write something on their own. Again, it is connected to their poor memory due to their condition. Likewise, telling time will be difficult for them, but not impossible, if you patiently train them.
How can parents help
Difficulty in learning doesn’t mean a child can not be successful in life. Show them examples of popular people with learning disabilities who achieved so much, like Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise, who had difficulty reading but reached stellar heights. Teach your child that with enough hard work and persistence, anything is possible and that they are just playing the game in the super-hard mode because they are awesome.
If your child did something even as normal as memorizing a poem, it calls for a reward. Remember, the child with learning disabilities knowing a full-length poem by heart is really indeed a remarkable thing that came out of sheer will and hard work. So as a parent, it is your responsibility to reward that persistence and struggle.
- Fun time
Playing with a child will do wonders to their brain. The more you play with your child, the more active their brain becomes, which is a good thing for memory. While it would not necessarily cure their condition, it can sure help them get better.
- Spend time
It will help them understand that they are loved by their parents and not forsaken, saving the child from depression or other psychological conditions.