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Q – Should I inform my child of his/her learning disabilities?

A – Parents have concerns telling their child of his/her learning disability because it may make the child become more conscious of their difficulties and make them feel inferior. Despite what parents think, there may be some positive outcomes to the child's knowledge of their learning disability.

 

The reason I say this is because I have seen students improve tremendously once they understood why they have/had difficulty learning. When the student doesn't understand the nature of his/her learning challenges, it is highly likely that they lack motivation, don't like school or learning or is disruptive in class. Due to their challenges, the child is unlikely to commit themself to learning because that child may think that s/he is inferior.

However, once the student is aware of his/her learning disability and understands that they have a unique way of learning, the student will feel greatly relieved of the fact that they are not really inferior, but just a little different.

Of course there is no right or wrong answer to this. Depending on the severity of the child's learning disability, it may not be feasible to talk to the child. I advise parents to work closely with the child's teacher, IEP team and/or psychologist to determine whether it is beneficial for the child to know of his learning disability and to implement positive ways to keep the child motivated.

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