For a child with special needs, there are many aspects of school that can be extremely challenging. And when you’re child hurts, you hurt, too. One thing that can be especially difficult for these children is making friends. Often times, they may feel excluded from other kids at their school or in their daily lives because they think they’re too different.
As a parent, knowing that your child feels excluded and different can be very upsetting. You may even feel unprepared to handle your child’s learning disability, especially if you’ve never had to deal with something like that in the past. About one-third of parents of kids with learning disabilities, or LD, don’t feel as if they’re prepared to take on the LD challenge.
By seeing your child struggle to make friends, you may be searching for ways to help your child out and to get them involved with other people. However, there is good news. There are some things you can do to get your child included with other children inside and outside of school. Let’s take a look at two of them.
Find them a Friend with Special Needs
Taking your child to schools for special education is probably the easiest way for your child to make friends like them. Getting your child involved with another child with similar needs gives them the chance to relate to someone who knows exactly what they’re going through. If you’ve placed your child in a classroom that focuses on special education, there’s a good chance that your child will find a few people that they can relate to.
Schools for special education are perfect for kids not only in terms of making friends, but also because they can help your child learn most effectively. Since schools for special education focus only on learning disabilities, the faculty and staff are able to take more time with your child and help them at a slower pace. In time, this will help to mitigate fears children have about not fitting in with their peers.
Ask the Teacher
Regardless if your child attends a school for special needs children or a school that mainly focuses on general education, your child may still find it hard to make friends. By speaking to your child’s teacher, they may be able to tell you which kids in the class are the ones who may be best for your child to hang out with. Likewise, they may be able to identify children that are not treating your child with respect and kindness. In either case, you can speak with that child’s parent.
If you’re trying to help your young child make friends, don’t be afraid to be direct. When you talk to other parents, tell them that the teacher said your children would really get along well. You can then decide whether or not you tell the parent about your child’s disability.
Having a child with a learning disability can be a challenge. It can also be a challenge to help them make friends. No parent wants to see their kid struggle. By getting your child into a special education program or by taking them to a special education center in order to get them to know other kids with learning disabilities, you will help your child become more social and ultimately make friends.