Being a parent is a tough job, but a rewarding one. When we have children, our priorities suddenly revolve around helping them get the best possible start in life and the best start we can give them is a solid education. However, what happens when our precious ones do not reach the same starting line as their peers? What happens if our child is born with a learning disability? And what can we do, as parents, to help nurture our little ones so that they can grow to their fullest potential?
The most obvious answer here is also the most important: picking the right early learning center can take a massive weight off of your shoulders as you know your child is in the best care possible. No matter where you are – if you’re looking in the metropolis of New York City or even searching “early learning Croydon” on your internet browser – there will be a center that is perfect for nurturing your child’s mind.
Do your own research
Being the parent of a child with a learning disability means that we have to do more to make sure that we can give them the best. This includes doing your own research and staying in the know of new developments with therapies and educational techniques. Communicating to your child’s doctors and teachers by telling them what works best for your child will be immensely helpful so that they can find and use the necessary tools to help your child develop.
Everyone is different and that’s okay!
Progressing with a learning disability starts at home with the understanding that it’s okay to be different. Building your child’s confidence in themselves will always be an important factor in their development. Let them know that it’s okay to struggle with things that are difficult, and recognize the things that they are good at. For example, you can say something, “I really like that you always look on the sunny side!” as a way to let your child know that there are great qualities they possess. After all, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that includes your child and their friends!
Children require praise and encouragement in order to be motivated to improve. With children with learning disabilities, directing your praise at their efforts can be much more beneficial than praising the results. Recognizing that your child is putting in their best efforts is important. You can say things like, “I really like how hard you are trying to figure out this math problem” during homework time; or “I really like how hard you worked to catch the ball during practice” for other activities unrelated to schoolwork.
As you praise your child for their efforts instead of the outcome, what about when mistakes are made? Lead by example, and show your child that it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. For example, if you make a mistake while writing, you can say, “Oops! I spelled that word wrong. Oh well! I erase it and start over”.