If your child is enrolled in a quality special education program, they are learning in a safe and supportive environment. Schools for students with learning disabilities are designed to meet your child’s individual learning needs, helping them to grow. But what happens when they are not at school? As a parent, this is where you come in. By following these tips, you can help your child thrive at home as well as in school.
- Communicate with their teachers.: Supporting your child’s learning at home starts with knowing what they are doing in school. Talk to their teacher about their Individual Education Plan (IEP) and what you can be doing to help your child reach their goals. Meet with their teachers and school therapists regularly to understand your child’s progress.
- Spend time together.: While helping your child meet academic standards is important, their emotional upbringing should be a top priority. Carve out time to have fun, relax, and make outings together. School can be stressful for special needs students, so nurture them with family time.
- Focus on their victories.: Learning disabilities could be framed negatively, highlighting your child’s shortcomings. Turn this around by focusing on what your child is doing well. Have a conversation every day about what they are learning in school and what they are enjoying. Be sure to congratulate them on new accomplishments, such as moving forward a reading level.
- Be open and listen.: Your child might have questions or concerns about their special needs education or about life in general. When they speak up about something, be sure to listen. If they ask questions about their learning disability, be open and positive in your response. Try to see the situation from their perspective.
- Show your full support.: Whether they attend private schools for special needs children or not, students with learning disabilities face an their own spectrum of problems.For example, of parents of children with learning disabilities, 45% surveyed said that their child had been bullied. When your child comes to you with challenges such as bullying, show your full support and take appropriate action.
Raising a child with a learning disability comes with a unique responsibility. While your child is being nurtured in their school for special needs, or in any special education program, it is your job as a parents to extend this nurturing environment into the home. This will give your child all the tools they need to develop and succeed.