Emotional needs of children with learning disabilities (3)

When they think they are working more than everyone else.

Unfortunately, learning disabilities in children often means that kids need to work harder than their peers. This might mean spending more time on homework, going to tutoring, and working with an educational therapist. Spending so much time focusing on something that is challenging for them can leave kids feeling frustrated and resentful. It can also lead to waning motivation in school.

What to do:

Remember that success breeds success. It is important to set kids up for success—not failure—as much as possible. Teachers, therapists, and parents should consciously set modest, achievable goals that children can work towards meeting. When a child sees proof that she is making progress she will be more motivated to continue putting forth that extra effort.

Find their talent. This is possibly the most important thing you can do for a child who has a learning disability. You don’t need to find her “passion,” or the thing she will do for the rest of her life—most kids won’t end up being professional athletes or ballet dancers—but every child has a talent. Find something that your child feels good about doing, and that gives her a sense of mastery and accomplishment, and give her time to practice it. As her talent grows so will her confidence, self-esteem, and overall happiness.