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Waystone Psychology

How to Support the Emotional Needs of Children With Learning Disabilities

a child with learning needs with his head down on his desk asking for helpThough our society has made great progress in terms of inclusivity of individuals with learning needs and disabilities, there’s still a long way to go.

Parents with children who have a learning disability often prioritize assisting them in reaching academic success. While that’s helpful to a child’s well-being, it’s no less important than making sure their emotional needs are met.

Not all children with learning disabilities struggle emotionally, but many at some point will feel “less than” or different due to the environment around them. The natural frustration that comes with finding simple tasks difficult may also contribute to their emotional distress.

When left unaddressed, these negative feelings can lead children to become unmotivated and discouraged, inevitably limiting their potential.

Unfortunately, there is no magic cure that helps children with learning disabilities. With some simple tips, parents can help their kids build self-esteem and find success in both their social and academic life.

Signs Your Child May Be Struggling Emotionally

Not all kids with learning disabilities feel anxious, sad, or frustrated. Although, many go through a period of emotional struggle at some point.a mother comforting her daughter with a learning disability that is frustrated while doing homework

It can be difficult for a child to watch their peers get ahead of them in school. Even though they may hide it, it can be incredibly demoralizing. Some signs that kids may be struggling emotionally are as follows:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Acting out
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Increased sadness or irritability
  • Reduced motivation

Acting out and being bad-tempered are usually deflection mechanisms that children use to divert attention away from their academic struggles, as they’d rather be known as the “bad” kid rather than the “dumb” one.

If you see signs of your child struggling, try to understand what’s troubling them and work together to solve the issue.

Supporting the Emotional Needs of Your Child

The most common issue children with a learning disability face is thinking they are “less than” or perceiving themselves as being “stupid.”

Overcoming this issue is more straightforward than you think. Children need to be made aware of what exactly a learning disability is. Rather than it being a sign of low intelligence, learning disabilities describe those with average or above-average intelligence but are not able to perform to their full potential in a certain subject or area.

Once children understand that they have a specific issue rather than a lack of intelligence, they’ll gain a better perspective on their disability and in turn raise their self-esteem.

Learning disabilities in children often mean that they have to work harder than their peers. From spending more time on homework to attending tutoring lessons, fixating on challenging things for a long time can make kids feel frustrated and worn out.

A great way to motivate them is by finding something they’re good at and giving them time to practice it. This will help them feel accomplished and as their talent grows, so will their self-confidence and overall happiness.

a teen working with a tutor to work through homework

Exceptional Learning Disability Treatment in Ottawa

All parents want to watch their children reach their full potential and succeed in their academic and social life, but this is made difficult with a learning disability.

While we offer a straightforward process to recovery, you can rest assured that our approaches are not cookie-cutter but rather individualized to provide our clients with the care they deserve.

Reach out to us to learn more about our learning disability treatments and book your appointment today.