When your child has a learning disability, it can take you some time to cope and adjust to it yourself. Once you have, how can you talk to others about their learning differences, so they understand?
There can be things that hold you back, at first. You might be worried that others think you are overprotective. Or perhaps that you’re even trying to make excuses for your child.
Please don’t let those worries get in your way.
Explaining your child’s challenges to others will make it easier for them to understand what your child has to deal with daily. It will set the tone for how that person responds to your child’s learning disability. They will be able to adjust the things they say and do to help your child better understand them.
If you feel like it isn’t easy to talk about or explain your child’s challenges to others, let’s go over a few techniques you can use.
Breaking Down Barriers Around Learning Differences
One of the biggest reasons for talking to others about your child’s learning disability is to break down barriers and miscommunication. When the people in your child’s life know about their learning disability, they can communicate with your child better without any secrecy involved.
In explaining your child’s challenges, keep the information as simple as possible. You might now be an “expert” on your child’s learning disability, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is. Try to avoid using complicated language to explain things.
Next, keep in mind any challenges you had to overcome when first finding out about your child’s learning disability. Don’t expect others to “get it” right away without some challenges or confusion of their own.
Be there to answer questions. Additionally, try to make your answers as direct and straightforward as possible.
Most importantly, you will need the patience to get others to understand what your child is dealing with. People in your family may be in denial over some things or have difficulty accepting it. Your child’s teacher(s) may not catch on right away. Most people are willing to learn, but you have to give them the time to do so.
Using the Right Language
Learning disabilities affect children differently. You know your child better than anyone, and you know what kind of language is appropriate for their learning disability.
Just because your child has challenges doesn’t mean they aren’t smart or can’t learn. Inform those in your child’s life to be careful with the language they use. Words can be hurtful when used the wrong way, especially to children who might be sensitive toward their challenges.
Instead of focusing on your child’s struggles, talk to people about their strengths. Not only can that make them more comfortable, but if other people bring those strengths up to your child, it will help him or her to feel more confident and proud in their abilities, too.
Focusing On Acceptance
When talking to others about your child’slearning disability, your main goal should be for them to accept the challenges your child faces.
When they can do that, they can talk to your child, teach them, and effectively interact with them. For your part, practice your patience and don’t allow yourself to fall into frustration or disappointment if someone doesn’t understand right away. Keep working with them until they can accept what your child is dealing with.
If you’re struggling with how to talk to people about your child’s learning differences or you’re still trying to deal with it yourself, feel free to contact us. I’m happy to support you in your parenting journey so that you and your family can thrive.