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Supporting the Emotional Needs of Kids with Learning Disabilities

It has become our common perception to judge the capabilities of a student according to his/her school performance. However, what if the student is being detected with a learning disability? The instant thought that will come across our minds is how the child could keep up with the school and academic performance. What we missed out here is thinking about how hard this news would be in the emotional context of the student.

Learning disability is not something that a child will choose to have. It is common to witness feelings of sadness, anxiety, and frustration among such kids. However, that will all be a huge emotional struggle for them. That feeling of seeing themselves as inferior to their fellow peers might eat them up from the inside and reduce their confidence to a great extent. The need here is to stop blaming the kids for the situation and stand up to be their constant support for their emotional needs.

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The first thing that the parents or the teachers need to do is to pick up the signs to understand if the child is struggling emotionally. These are some common signs with kids with learning disabilities:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Highly anxious
  • Sadness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Physical symptoms like stomach aches and headaches
  • Crying

Kids showing these signs might have clustered a lot of things inside them and all they need is someone to support them. There are a lot of things about which these kids feel bad. However, the good thing is that once you know how they feel, you can start acting on it to provide them the needed emotional support. So, let’s start reading about the most common reasons why the kids might feel low and how you can help them out:

  1. Kids might feel that they are dumb

Kids with a learning disability will definitely recognize at one time that they are not able to learn as quickly as the other kids are learning. Seeing this will gradually make a kid feel that he/she is not smart like the others. This will over time develop an inferiority complex among these kids that will be difficult to break, even when they find out it is all because of a disability.

What you should do:

  • As a parent or teacher, your role here is to make these kids understand what exactly a learning disability is. They might not understand it in the beginning but try to make it clear as this will help them get the answers to their questions and why they are not able to perform well. Tell them that this is something that is natural and things will get better over time.
  • It is important for you to always be available for the kids whenever they need someone to talk to. There might be a lot of things and feelings inside them that will keep them frustrated. Always try to be a good listener to them and help them believe that they are no less than anyone and you are always there to support them.
  1. Kids might feel they don’t belong in the class

The last thing you would want the kids with a learning disability to feel is that they are any less or different than the rest of the kids. So whenever they would not be able to perform in the class or were called out by the teacher, it might feel embarrassing to them and they might feel that they had been singled out. Constantly going through such conducts might bring severe damage to the self-esteem of the kid and he/she might not even want to go to school.

What you should do:

  • You must make the teachers aware of the condition of the kid and ask them to be a little sensitive towards the kid. The student with this disability might have been trying a lot to understand the concepts but all in vain. On top of this, feeling low in the classroom might make the kid feel more negative and he/she might stop trying to get any better.
  • You can help the kids by finding the right academic environment. You can ask the school authorities to come up with a different type of tutoring or can change the school where a kid with such a disability would be imparted education in the way it can be clearly understood.
  • You can even work on finding the talent of the kid and start motivating him/her about it. A child with a learning disability might not be good at the academic courses but there can be some extracurricular activities in which they can perform well. Try to find their interest and motivate them to work on their skills.

It is unfortunate for any kid to face such a learning disability but instead of showing sympathy or making them feel low about themselves, try to be their support system and motivate them to work on themselves. All we need to do is to make them feel that they are no less than anybody.