For all you mamas out there, you know that sometimes our job can be really hard. We go through our own hardships and fights, but when we see our children struggle we feel a heartache we didn’t even know existed. When I started homeschooling the bunch, I felt blessed to have my babies with me during the day. But when River showed signs of a learning disability, things got tough very quickly. If you have a child with any disability, you know how difficult it is to see them wrestle with distress. Since I found out about River’s learning disability, I have been building up a toolbox of helpful knowledge on the difficulties of a learning disability. So from my toolbox, here are four ways to help you parents cope with a child’s learning disability.
Be in Perspective
You can conquer a learning disability. Everyone faces hardships: keep that in mind. You can teach your child how to surmount obstacles and show them that they don’t need to be discouraged or overwhelmed. As a parent, It’s hard not to be distracted by all the testing, schools, and paperwork. But you have to remember that the most important thing is giving your child the support and love they need. I totally believe in positive reinforcement. If we encourage our kids and build them up… they will believe that they can achieve anything. No matter the obstacle/s, with hard work, they can do and be anything. Another thing I tell my kids often is that I’m on their side, I’m rooting them on in life, I’m in their corner. Always be a cheerleader.
Be an Expert
Do your research! Stay alert and keep up with new developments. Learn all you can about different learning disability programs, therapies, and techniques. It’s easy to turn to teachers and others for solutions, but you know your child best. It’s good to understand what they’re going through. After being frustrated with myself, with River, and thinking I didn’t do a good job as a mom, we finally found out after lots of testing that River is dyslexic. I cried when the specialist gave me the diagnosis, not because I was sad that he learns differently from some, but because after they showed me what dyslexia is like for him, I could empathize with what all he had been going through for all these years. There’s a huge range of learning disabilities. Find out what works for your child, and remember you aren’t alone! Reach out to get help and be encouraged!
You’re going to have to speak up again and again in order to get the help your child needs. Be a proactive parent. Know that you will get frustrated at times, but also know that the frustration will pass. Seek emotional and education support. Being involved and being vocal can make all the difference. There are so many organizations that can assist you and your child and point y’all in the right direction.
Be a Leader
You are your child’s parent and they naturally look up to you as their main role model. Don’t take that responsibility lightly. When you are optimistic and hardworking, you are showing your child that they too can be optimistic and hardworking in the face of a learning disability. If you want your child to have a broader perspective, you must have one, too. Show your child that there are no roadblocks only speed bumps.
Remember that your child is not their learning disability. A learning disability may seem like a weakness, but your child is so much more. Share with them your weaknesses, it’ll help them see they’re not alone as define who they are. Focus on your child’s strengths and favorite activities. Love and support go a long way.
Does your child have a learning disability? How do you cope? Tell me in the comments!