How to Help Children With Learning Difficulties

Having a learning difficulty is a challenge, but one that can be overcome.

A learning difficulty can make everyday life seem much more challenging. Learning difficulties can range from mild to severe, and they are often first discovered when a child enters school. Learning disabilities can affect literacy or reasoning skills, and they tend to negatively affect a child's self-esteem. There are many things you can do to help a child who struggles, however. Teaching the child how to work through and around limitations will greatly improve the child's success in life.

1 Fully Understand the Learning Difficulty

To fully understand a learning difficulty, you must first research. Find sources that discuss the difficulty or disability in depth. You must learn about the symptoms, contributing factors and what to expect. This allows you to observe the child with understanding and creates a trusting connection between you and the child. If the child feels you understand him, he will be more willing to turn to you for guidance.

2 Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle means eating nutritious meals, getting an adequate amount of rest and exercising on a regular basis. A child with learning difficulties needs to be as healthy as possible in order to face everyday challenges. A healthy child feels better and can perform better.

3 Work with the Educational Institution

Working with the educational institution is a crucial step. Public schools offer specialized help for children who are struggling. They can provide specialists who will work with the child. An individualized education plan can be written that spells out what accommodations will be offered the student, such as additional test taking time. Teachers also need to work with the child in the classroom. When parents are involved in their child's education, that child is more likely to be more successful.

4 Focus on Emotional Strength and Postive Attitude

Emotional strength and positive thinking can be tough things to teach a child who struggles. But if you continually coach the child to see his talents, he will eventually begin to see them too. Showing him how to work through his limitations takes time. Frustration and anger are hard emotions to deal with for a child. Help him remember that working through the tough times will pay off. In the end, a child with learning difficulties can be stronger and more self reliant than children without them.

5 Celebrate Successes

Taking time to celebrate success is necessary. When a child works hard to overcome a limitation, he deserves recognition. Positive feedback will encourage the child to continue his efforts. It will also help build positive self-esteem and make him feel empowered rather than disadvantaged. A simple ice cream treat or trip to the park is enough to celebrate success. Of course, lots of smiles and pats on the back are also welcome.

I'm an experienced teacher with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies-Human Learning. I've worked with various grade levels at different educational facilities. My expertise includes: lesson planning, curriculum development, child development, educational practices and parent involvement.