It can be an emotionally difficult experience for children to fall behind their peers in school; here’s how to help:
#1 Educate yourself about learning difficulties
While not all children with a learning disorder become anxious, irritable or sad, it is common to have at least some period of emotional struggle, especially when they see themselves falling behind their friends at school. It can be a demoralizing experience and kids can experience: low self-esteem, reduced motivation, anxiety, irritability and frustration, sadness and even physical symptoms like stomach aches and headaches.
#2 Explain what a learning disability is
Kids may end up believing they just aren’t smart because they may not fully understand what’s happening in their brain. What they do know is that they aren’t learning at the same pace as their peers. It’s important to stress (continuously if need be) that issues with learning do not relate to their intelligence. In fact, it means that a child is not performing up to his natural ability in a certain area. So he has the natural smarts, but there’s a glitch in the pathways. Consider having a learning expert explain this to your child in greater detail.
#3 Be sensitive to your child’s feelings
Kids who have been diagnosed with a learning disorder will feel like they stick out in class, like an outsider and likely feeling judged. Realize that it’s an extremely difficult thing for children to feel different from their friends. So, if they are getting excused from class for special tutoring they’ll likely feel singled out. Even just the threat of getting asked a question from the teacher and being afraid they can’t answer it is enough to weaken their self-esteem and ultimately lead to dreading the very thought of school.
#4 Watch your emotions
Children are extremely adept at picking up on their parents’ emotions and reactions to things. So, if your child can see or sense that you view the diagnosis of his learning disorder as an extremely negative event then it’s only natural for him to assume those opinions and emotions himself. The best way to help your child navigate the waters is to portray positivity and resilience.
#5 Help to improve their confidence
By singling kids out for praise more often, and not just giving negative attention if they’re not doing something correctly, helps with their mood and self-esteem. This is very effective when you’re helping your child out with his homework. Additionally, you can ask his teacher to make an effort to provide more positive attention to your child’s schoolwork.
#6 Enlist the help of teachers
It is usually a good idea to sit down with your child’s school administrator and teacher(s) and discuss what can be done on their end to help your child. For starters they can be sensitive to how your child is coping emotionally i.e. perhaps the teacher can wait for the child to raise her hand instead of calling on her blindly; or test certain aptitudes, like oral reading, in private rather than in front of her peers.
#7 Consider a different academic setting
Let’s face it, not all academic environments support children who need more assistance than others in the class. If you feel the school isn’t able to provide enough help for your child’s needs, you may need to consider outside tutoring, or even a change of school. There are specialized schools that are better prepared to give individualized curriculum and support depending on the social, emotional and behavioral needs of each child.
Source: “Supporting the Emotional Needs of Kids With Disabilities,” childmind.org
With bipolar’s depression and anxiety, I struggled to be confident. After growing tired of feeling hurt by every slight, I discovered two effective ways to combat negative emotions. Reacting & Feeling Unworthy I used to find it very difficult to interact well with others. I was often hurt, and I reacted with anger—directed at others...
Mood symptoms such as overspending, hypersexuality, anger attacks, and self-isolation hurt those around us. A simple apology is just the starting point of making things right. When Our Actions during Bipolar Mood Episodes Harm Others Olivia S. of Colorado got up one morning to unexpectedly find two of her four grown children in her living...
With bipolar disorder, we’re more likely to become overdependent on our digital devices. Here’s how personal tech can affect our moods—plus tips for self-protection. Are we too attached to our digital devices? That question has been debated for almost as long as the iPhone has been around, giving rise to the first National Day of...
I’m an expert in bipolar management, yet I still have frequent mood swings and deal with symptoms regularly. Shouldn’t I have “solved” this by now? Shouldn’t I have “recovered”? Bipolar Disorder, Expertise, & Mood Management I’ve been writing books about bipolar disorder management since 1998, and my webpage started in 2002. How is it possible...